MATHEMATICAL AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

A Workshop Summary

Alix Beatty, Rapporteur

Mathematical Sciences Education Board

Board on Science Education

Center for Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary MATHEMATICAL AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD A Workshop Summary Alix Beatty, Rapporteur Mathematical Sciences Education Board Board on Science Education Center for Education Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. ESI-0102582 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09503-4 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-54682-6 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America. Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2005). Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary. Alix Beatty, Rapporteur. Mathematical Sciences Education Board, Board on Science Education, Center for Education. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary PLANNING COMMITTEE FOR THE WORKSHOP ON MATHEMATICAL AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD CATHERINE E. SNOW (Chair), Graduate School of Education, Harvard University BARBARA T. BOWMAN, Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL DOUGLAS H. CLEMENTS, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, State University of New York JAN DE LANGE, Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University, The Netherlands SHARON LYNN KAGAN, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY KATHLEEN E. METZ, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley VICKI STOHL, Research Associate HEIDI SCHWEINGRUBER, Program Officer MARY ANN KASPER, Senior Program Assistant

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES EDUCATION BOARD JOAN LEITZEL (Chair), President Emerita, University of New Hampshire JERE CONFREY (Vice Chair), Department of Education, Washington University in St. Louis, MO THOMAS BANCHOFF, Department of Mathematics, Brown University, RI JAN DE LANGE, Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University, The Netherlands LOUIS GOMEZ, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, IL DOUGLAS A. GROUWS, Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum, University of Missouri ARTHUR JAFFE, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University ERIC JOLLY, Science Museum of Minnesota JIM LEWIS, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln GEORGE MCSHAN, National School Boards Association, VA KAREN MICHALOWICZ, Mathematics Department, The Langley School, VA JUDITH MUMME, WestEd, CA CASILDA PARDO, Valle Vista Elementary School, NM SUE PARSONS, Teacher Training Academy, Cerritos College, CA MARGE PETIT, Independent Consultant, VT DONALD SAARI, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Irvine RICHARD SCHEAFFER, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Gainesville FRANCIS SULLIVAN, Center for Computing Sciences, Institute for Defense Analyses, MD HUNG HSI WU, Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley CAROLE B. LACAMPAGNE, Board Director

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION CARL WIEMAN (Chair), Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder TANYA ATWATER, Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara PHILIP BELL, Cognitive Studies in Education, University of Washington, Seattle KATHLEEN COMFORT, WestEd, CA DAVID CONLEY, Center for Educational Policy Research, University of Oregon, Eugene JEFFREY FRIEDMAN, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rockefeller University, NY BARBARA GONZALEZ, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Fullerton LINDA GREGG, Investigations Implementation Center, TERC, MA JENIFER HELMS, Education Consultant, CO JOHN JUNGCK, Department of Biology, Beloit College, WI ISHRAT KHAN, Department of Chemistry, Clark Atlanta University, GA OKHEE LEE, Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami, FL SHARON LONG, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University RICHARD MCCRAY, Department of Astrophysics, University of Colorado, Boulder LILLIAN MCDERMOTT, Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle MARY MARGUERITE MURPHY, Science Department, Georges Valley High School, ME CARLO PARRAVANO, Merck Institute for Science Education, NJ MARY JANE SCHOTT, The Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas, Austin SUSAN SINGER, Department of Biology, Carleton College, MN CARY SNEIDER, Boston Museum of Science, MA JEAN MOON, Board Director

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary Acknowledgments As the workshop summarized in this volume demonstrated, the research base about learning in early childhood is expanding and has great potential to contribute to a broader set of national policy goals focused on making sure that all children enter kindergarten ready to learn. With this important research base in mind, the National Research Council’s Center for Education (CFE) convened a workshop to focus on early learning in mathematics and science. Thanks go first to the National Science Foundation (NSF); through its grant to the Center for Education, NSF makes possible such convening events that focus on the intersections between research, policy, and practice. Examining the findings of research and their application to mathematics and science curricula for preschoolers seemed a rich and timely topic to explore. Particular thanks go to NSF’s Janice Earle who facilitates the intellectual exchanges between CFE and NSF that lie at the heart of the grant and its convening events. I thank all the expert presenters, who not only agreed to present their work, but who also participated as discussants throughout the day (see the appendices for the workshop agenda and list of participants). In CFE, both the Board on Science Education (formerly the Committee on Science Education K-12 and the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education) and the Mathematical Sciences Education Board helped to shape this event. I would also thank the members of the planning committee, who generously contributed their time and intellectual efforts to this project. Special thanks go to Catherine E. Snow who graciously agreed to chair the planning committee and offered her usual skills of leadership, both logistical and intellectual.

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary Thanks go to Vicki Stohl, who worked to organize and plan the workshop, Carole Lacampagne for her help in the planning stages, and to Mary Ann Kasper, who ably provided administrative assistance throughout. Thanks need to go to Heidi Schweingruber for her role in conceptualizing this workshop. Jean Moon, director of the Board on Science Education, provided her skillful and competent leadership to the project. Alix Beatty expertly wrote this report, summarizing a wide-ranging and stimulating discussion. Finally, I thank Jean Moon, Heidi Schweingruber, and Catherine E. Snow, for writing post-workshop pieces about the implications of the event for the future. This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John A. Dossey, Department of Mathematics (emeritus), Illinois State University; Leona Schauble, Teaching and Learning Department, Vanderbilt University; Prentice Starkey, School of Education, University of California, Berkeley; Louisa B. Tarullo, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Milton Goldberg, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Education Commission of the States, Washington, DC. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution. Martin Orland, Director, Center for Education

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary Contents 1   INTRODUCTION   1      Background,   1      Early Childhood Care and Education,   3 2   MATHEMATICAL AND SCIENTIFIC COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT   5      Learning from Children—Research in Preschool Settings,   5      Theoretical Evolution—New Modes of Experimentation,   7      Implications of Current Research,   9 3   GOING FROM KNOWLEDGE TO PRACTICE   13      A Union of Research and Practice,   13      Preschool Science as a Process,   16      Making Use of What Is Already Known,   18 4   LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND CURRICULUM   21      Cultural and Socioeconomic Influences on Development,   21      What Is a Preschool Curriculum?,   23      Making the Most of Research,   25     AFTERWORD: CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOL EUCATION Catherine E. Snow   27

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Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood: A Workshop Summary     AFTERWORD: NEXT STEPS Jean Moon and Heidi Schweingruber   31     REFERENCES   35     APPENDIXES     A   Workshop Agenda   37 B   Workshop Participants   41