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Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity
mented by early childhood educators or those who teach them. To ensure that all children enter elementary school with the mathematical foundation they need for success requires that individuals throughout the early childhood education system—including the teaching workforce, curriculum developers, program directors, and policy makers—transform their approach to mathematics education in early childhood by supporting, developing, and implementing research-based practices and curricula.
Recommendation 1: A coordinated national early childhood mathematics initiative should be put in place to improve mathematics teachingand learning for all children ages 3 to 6.
A number of specific recommendations for action follow from this overarching recommendation. The specific steps and the individuals or organization that must be involved in enacting them are outlined below. We provide further guidance about how to enact these steps in Chapter 9.
Recommendation 2: Mathematics experiences in early childhood settings should concentrate on (1) number (which includes whole number, operations, and relations) and (2) geometry, spatial relations, andmeasurement, with more mathematics learning time devoted to numberthan to other topics. The mathematical process goals should be integrated in these content areas. Children should understand the conceptsand learn the skills exemplified in the teaching-learning paths describedin this report.
Recommendation 3: All early childhood programs should providehigh-quality mathematics curricula and instruction as described in thisreport.
Recommendation 4: States should develop or revise their early childhood learning standards or guidelines to reflect the teaching-learningpaths described in this report.
Recommendation 5: Curriculum developers and publishers should basetheir materials on the principles and teaching-learning paths describedin this report.
Recommendation 6: An essential component of a coordinated nationalearly childhood mathematics initiative is the provision of professionaldevelopment to early childhood in-service teachers that helps them (a)