Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pre-School Math Critical to Education Growth: Columbia University Report

Faculty at Columbia University's Teacher's College calling for advanced focus on early education in math to boost equality in socio-economic status in the United States.

From the article at Columbia:

Research has clearly shown that nearly from birth, children develop an “everyday mathematics”—informal ideas of more and less, taking away, shape, size, location, pattern and position—that is broad, complex and often sophisticated. Indeed, everyday math is so fundamental to children’s understanding of the world that they could not function without it. And math ability upon entry to kindergarten not only predicts later math achievement, but also may be an even better predictor of success in later grades than is early reading ability.

Low-socioeconomic status (SES) preschool children generally perform more poorly on many simple (particularly verbal) math tasks than do their more privileged peers. But both groups use similar strategies to solve problems, perform as well on non-verbal math tasks and exhibit few differences in the everyday math they use in free play. Both groups have the potential to learn school math.

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