Here’s yet another interesting educational piece in the news: Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article about how Chicago preschool and kindergarten teachers are integrating math concepts into daily classroom activities, giving young students firmer footing when they learn more complex math concepts in later grades. The teachers are being trained by The Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development which was co-founded by Barbara Bowman, mother of White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Erikson’s Early Mathematics Education Project grew out of the school’s findings that only 21 percent of Chicago early education teachers regularly taught math to their students, while 96 percent regularly taught language arts. This program trains teachers to focus on teaching mathematical thinking, rather than basic math procedures, and to make math an integral part of the children’s school day. As of the program’s professors explains, learning mathematical thinking at this young age helps students develop skills in reasoning and logic which prepare them to become not only better math students, but more focused students in any subject.
The Wall Street Journal article can be found here, and more information about the Erikson Institute can be found here.
How much math do your preschool and kindergarten children get in their day? Ask your schools if you don’t know.
Our schools, http://www.cefa.ca, offer a complete mathematics curriculum through games and reasoning, but I completely agree with the study, what is important is also to help children think mathematically, use math in their language and their every day activities.
I forgot to mention that this way of thinking mathematically is of course how we teach it as well 🙂 I think it is also important to develop children in all other areas instead of either math or language. The arts are very important, including music, and science, which definitely reinforces mathematical thinking and reasoning when taught well.