Mathematics Report Roundup

NRC Calls for Bolstering Preschool Math

By Sean Cavanagh — July 14, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Early-childhood education, whether provided through federal preschool programs or other means, needs to be revamped to place more emphasis on mathematics instruction and prepare adults to cover that material more effectively, a report concludes.

Released July 2 by the congressionally chartered National Research Council, the report reiterates a point commonly made by advocates for early education: Math is often neglected in prekindergarten settings, in contrast to the heavy focus placed on literacy.

That neglect stems in part from preschool instructors’ lack of comfort with math, as well as parents’ fear of that subject, the authors say. The lack of attention comes despite research that shows many young students arriving in preschool with an ability and a willingness to tackle math lessons, according to the report.

The consequences of not providing an early math foundation to disadvantaged children, given their more limited opportunities to learn the subject outside of school, can be especially great, the authors found. They contend, though, that high-quality math instruction can help overcome “systematic inequities in educational outcomes.”

The report focuses primarily on 2- to 6-year-olds. Enacting its recommendations, one member of the report panel said, would require involving many players, including officials from the federal Head Start program, professional associations, and state licensing programs.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 15, 2009 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Mathematics Gates Foundation Targets Culturally Responsive Math Teaching With New Grants
The goal is to improve algebra outcomes for Black and Latino students, English-language learners, and students experiencing poverty.
4 min read
silhouette of person with handwritten algebra equations
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Mathematics Opinion Q&A Collections: Math Instruction
Nearly 100 math educators answer 10 years of questions!
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Mathematics Opinion 'Beware of Teaching Math Vocabulary Out of Context!'
Three educators share their favorite math instructional strategies, including 'Turn & Talk to Your Neighbor.'
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Mathematics Opinion Four Teacher-Recommended Instructional Strategies for Math
Four teachers share their favorite strategies for math instruction, including the Concrete Representational Abstract approach.
10 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty