The quantitative, spatial and logical reasoning competencies of mathematics form a cognitive foundation for thinking and learning across subjects, according to the research of University of Buffalo faculty members Douglas H. Clements and Julie Samara. Consequently, all children need a sound knowledge of mathematics in their early years.
Mathematics is not just one more subject to be learned as preschool children’s knowledge of mathematics predicts their success later on in school. It also predicts reading achievement, even better than early reading skills.
All children can develop mathematical knowledge and skill, say Samara and Clements.
“Young children have the potential to learn mathematics that is both deep and broad,” says Samara.
The researchers have developed educational interventions that have been shown to be effective in aiding children learn mathematics. These interventions are structured around research-based paths of learning based on a synthesis of research in cognitive and developmental psychology and mathematics education.
The basic approach of Building Blocks is to find the mathematics in, and developing mathematics from, children’s activity. The program is intended to help children extend and apply mathematics to their daily activities, from building blocks to art and stories, puzzles and games.
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