Improving math instruction for young children

Math is all around us, and we use it every day—yet it’s seldom taught well in preschool, where it really counts.

Research shows a solid early introduction to the “big ideas” in mathematics can help a child succeed in school later on. Yet too many early childhood teachers neglect math. They don’t realize young children are ready, even eager, to learn core mathematical concepts. Worse, they aren’t prepared to teach these concepts.

Erikson’s Early Mathematics Education Project works to change that in three ways:

  1. Teacher education. We bring better math instruction to the classroom through intensive professional development for preschool and kindergarten teachers. Workshops, in-class observation and video coaching, and advanced seminars build their math knowledge and confidence in their ability to teach math in fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate ways.
  2. Research: From our work, the EME project generates new knowledge about approaches to teacher education, teacher development, and the most effective methods of mathematics instruction for young children.
  3. Dissemination: We are a source for information on teaching foundational mathematics. Our international symposia bring world-renowned early mathematics experts to the U.S. to exchange ideas, share approaches, and influence local practice and policy.

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It’s working

We’re making a difference in children’s math skills. Our research shows that children in the classrooms of teachers in the project learn more about math during the school year than children whose teachers did not participate.


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