To support math outcomes for children ages birth through eight, the California Department of Education funded the California Statewide Early Math Initiative (CAEMI), led by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.
The CAEMI aimed to build educational leaders’ and educators’ positive math identities and raise their confidence, knowledge, and capacity to support children’s math learning. WestEd conducted a formative evaluation of the CAEMI.
The initiative implemented a train-the-trainer model of professional learning and coaching. Ninety-one education leaders from 30 agencies across California participated in professional learning and coaching sessions. The model included:
- A summer institute at the beginning and end of the initiative
- Quarterly community of practice sessions
- Monthly coaching
As education leaders built their capacity, they provided professional learning and coaching to educators in their communities.
From the beginning to the end of the initiative, leaders reported a significant decrease in negative feelings toward math. Their responses also indicated a significant increase in their confidence in their knowledge of children’s math development, math teaching skills, general training and coaching skills, and math training and coaching skills.
Furthermore, leaders reported high attendance, positive feedback, and engagement during professional learning and coaching sessions with educators. Through their local implementation, the leaders noted that educators deepened their early math knowledge and engaged in ongoing implementation of math teaching practices. They reported that educators began to develop more positive math mindsets and strengthened confidence in using new teaching practices to support children’s math learning.