High-quality mathematical education

In high-quality mathematical education for 3 to 6 year old children, teachers and other key professionals should:

  • enhance children’s natural interest in mathematics and their disposition to use it to make sense of physical and social worlds.
  • build on children’s experience and knowledge, including their family, linguistic, cultural, and community backgrounds; their individual approaches to learning; and their informal knowledge.
  • base mathematics curriculum and teaching practices on knowledge of young children’s cognitive, linguistic, physical, and social-emotional development.
  • use curriculum and teaching practices that strengthen children’s problem-solving and reasoning processes as well as representing, communicating, and connecting mathematical ideas.
  • ensure that the curriculum is coherent and compatible with known relationships and swquences of important mathematical ideas.
  • provide for children’s deep and sustained interaction with key mathematical ideas.
  • integrate mathematics with other activities and other activities with mathematics.
  • provide ample time, materials, and teacher support for children to engage in play, a context in which they explore and manipulate mathematical ideas with keen interest.
  • actively introduce mathematical concepts, methods, and language through a range of appropriate experiences and teaching strategies.
  • support children’s learning by thoughtfully and continually assessing all children’s mathematical knowledge, skills, and strategies.

To support high-quality mathematics, education, institutions, programme developers, and policymakers should:

  • create more effective early childhood teacher preparation and continuing professional development.
  • use collaborative processes to develop well-aligned systems of appropriate high-quality standards, curriculum, and assessment.
  • design institutional structures, and policies that support teachers’ ongoing learning, teamwork, and planning.
  • provide resources necessary to overcome the barriers to young children’s mathematical proficiency at the classroom, community, institutional, and system-wide levels.
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