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ERIC Number: EJ792226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1040-9289
"Doing the Math": Maternal Beliefs about Early Mathematics versus Language Learning
Cannon, Joanna; Ginsburg, Herbert P.
Early Education and Development, v19 n2 p238-260 Mar 2008
Research Findings: Little is known about how parents approach preschoolers' mathematics learning and how this aligns with early mathematics education research and policy. This study examined these questions by contrasting parents' approaches to early mathematics and language and by exploring key themes in parents' talk about mathematics learning and education. Consistent with current research and policy, parents reported helping preschoolers learn mathematics and attempting to connect this learning to children's interests and everyday experiences. However, parents admitted to lacking goals for and knowledge about early mathematics. In addition, compared to language, parents reported that mathematics was taught less often at home, should be emphasized less in preschools, was less interesting to preschoolers, required more direct instruction, and was less of a personal interest and strength. Practice or Policy: Parent interventions could capitalize on parents' beliefs and practices by providing parents with concrete examples of what mathematics preschoolers learn through daily activities, how to maximize children's mathematics interests, and what the similarities are between early mathematics and language. These efforts will also need to help parents overcome their mathematics anxieties and show parents why early mathematics education is important. Similar strategies could be used to help early childhood teachers improve their mathematics practice. (Contains 2 tables and 3 footnotes.)
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York