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Teachers' beliefs count: Teacher beliefs and practice in early childhood mathematics education (ECME)

Teachers are the key to success in Early Childhood Mathematics Education (ECME) and as such, there is a great need to focus on the teacher's mind...what teachers think about learning, their curriculum and the mathematics in it (Ginsburg, Lee and Boyd, 2008; Cross, Woods and Schweingruber, 2009). Early childhood teachers were surveyed on their beliefs and practices related to ECME. The findings suggest that early childhood teachers may not hold as negative a view of mathematics and ECME as previously has been supposed. Moreover, more instruction time seems to be devoted to ECME than previously reported. However, the findings also strengthen the contention that literacy-based activities dominate academic instructional time in the early childhood classroom. In line with the literature, the teachers expressed a narrow view of EMCE, with numeracy and arithmetic skill development as the most important focus of ECME; this narrow view is counter to recent recommendations by leading researchers and professional organizations. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
New York

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