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Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity

Edited by Christopher T. Cross, Taniesha A. Woods, Heidi Schweingruber

Produced by National Research Council of the National Academies


Recognizing the increasing importance of mathematics and encouraged by a decade of success in improving early literacy, the Mathematical Sciences Education Board of the Center for Education at the National Research Council established the Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics. 

The committee was charged with examining existing research in order to develop appropriate mathematics learning objectives for preschool children; providing evidence-based insights related to curricula, instruction, and teacher education for achieving these learning objectives; and determining the implications of these findings for policy, practice, and future research.

The committee found that the potential to learn mathematics in the early years of school is not currently realized for young children. An examination of current standards, curricula, and instruction revealed that many early childhood settings do not provide adequate learning experiences in mathematics.

To ensure that all children enter elementary school with the mathematical foundation needed for success requires that individuals throughout the early childhood education system—including teachers, curriculum developers, program directors, and policymakers—transform their approach to mathematics education in early childhood by supporting, developing, and implementing research-based practices and curricula. This book offers nine recommendations for doing so.

Resource Details

Product Information

ISBN: 978-0-309-12806-3
Copyright: 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 386
Publisher: The National Academies Press

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Praise for this Resource

  • “The recommendations in Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity show how various policy levers – including teachers, families, states, schools of education, and professional development staff – can promote preschool children’s mathematics competence and put them on a trajectory of high achievement. Supporting our children from the very start in life is necessary to maintain our human and economic capital in the global economy.”

    Jim Hunt, Former Governor of North Carolina and Chairman, James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy