Tag Archives: math in early childhood

Math in Early Childhood and Beyond: Building a Foundation for Excellence for All Children

Mathematics is the language of science. A lot of attention has been focused on the need to improve the technical and scientific literacy of the American public. The new demands of international competition in the 21st century require a workforce that is competent in and comfortable with mathematics. At what age should we start preparing students? According to Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity, we should start in pre-school. This book states that most children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics, but that for many, the potential to learn mathematics in the early years of school is not currently realized. This stems from a lack of opportunities to learn mathematics either in early childhood settings or through everyday experiences in homes and in communities. This is particularly the case for economically disadvantaged children, who start out behind in mathematics and will remain so without extensive, high-quality early mathematics instruction.

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood recommends that a coordinated national early childhood mathematics initiative should be put in place to improve mathematics teaching and learning for all children ages 3-6. Our goal should be to ensure that all children enter elementary school with the mathematical foundation they need for success. This requires that individuals throughout the early childhood education system—including the teaching workforce, curriculum developers, program directors, and policy makers—transform their approach to mathematics education in early childhood by supporting, developing, and implementing research-based practices and curricula. The book develops research-based teaching-learning paths—sequences of learning experiences in which one idea lays the foundation for the next.

Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics defines what it means to be successful in mathematics by describing the 5 strands of mathematics learning. This book examines school mathematics during a critical period in a child’s education—from pre-kindergarten (pre-K) through eighth grade.

Helping Children Learn Mathematics is a practical tool to provide comprehensive and reliable information that will direct efforts to improve school mathematics. It is addressed to parents and caregivers, teachers, administrators, and policy makers, as a guide to improve mathematics learning.

These books and others from the National Research Council can provide guidance and inform debate in mathematics education.

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity

Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children’s present and future educational success. Research has demonstrated that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young…


Helping Children Learn Mathematics

Helping Children Learn Mathematics

Results from national and international assessments indicate that school children in the United States are not learning mathematics well enough. Many students cannot correctly apply computational algorithms to solve problems. Their understanding and use of…


Adding It Up

Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics

Adding it Up explores how students in pre-K through 8th grade learn mathematics and recommends how teaching, curricula, and teacher education should change to improve mathematics learning during these critical years.

The committee identifies…


How Students Learn

How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom

How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom builds on the discoveries detailed in the best-selling How People Learn. Now these findings are presented in a way that teachers can use immediately, to revitalize their work in the classroom for…


From Neurons to Neighborhoods

From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development

How we raise young children is one of today’s most highly personalized and sharply politicized issues, in part because each of us can claim some level of “expertise.” The debate has intensified as discoveries about our development-in the womb and in the first…


Eager to Learn

Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers

Clearly babies come into the world remarkably receptive to its wonders. Their alertness to sights, sounds, and even abstract concepts makes them inquisitive explorers–and learners–every waking minute. Well before formal schooling begins, children’s early…