The Research on Early Childhood Math

www.edutopia.org
4 min read
fairly difficult
In a recent book, developmental psychologists and teachers discuss the best approaches to math education in the early grades.
People who are doing more purely academic research and cognitive development, they usually care about what's happening with children in classrooms, and they want to know what the people on the ground think and understand. And teachers are also interested in understanding more about what academic research psychologists have to say. They don't have time to always dig in and follow research, but they are interested in what it means. We thought it would be fun and interesting to try to broker the conversation and see what came of it.

LISA GINET: The purpose was to build this bridge between developmental psychologists and early childhood teachers. We're trying to help educators develop their practice around developing children as mathematicians, eager and interested and flexible mathematicians. And part of doing that, we're trying to understand how children learn—we try to understand what mechanisms and things are underlying children's mathematical thinking in their development.

AMANDA ARMSTRONG: Can you tell me about the purpose of the book?

I recently spoke with the Collaborative's director, Lisa Ginet, EdD, about the group's 2018 book Growing Mathematical Minds , which connects research on children's mathematical thinking with classroom practice. Ginet has spent more than three decades as an educator in various roles and has taught mathematics to children from infancy to middle school and to adults in college classes and workshops.

For over 10 years, the Early Math Collaborative has focused on quality early math education—providing professional development to early childhood educators, administrators, and trainers; conducting research on effective methods for math instruction with children and on approaches for teacher educators and teacher development; and being a hub on foundational mathematics. The Collaborative is part of the Erikson Institute, a graduate school centered on child development.

ARMSTRONG: In your book, how do you blend the voices of the…
Amanda Armstrong
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