MATHEMATICAL AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
A Workshop Summary
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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.
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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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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
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
Department of Mathematics, Brown University, RI
JAN DE LANGE,
Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, IL
DOUGLAS A. GROUWS,
Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum, University of Missouri
Department of Mathematics, Harvard University
Science Museum of Minnesota
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
National School Boards Association, VA
Mathematics Department, The Langley School, VA
Valle Vista Elementary School, NM
Teacher Training Academy, Cerritos College, CA
Independent Consultant, VT
Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Irvine
RICHARD SCHEAFFER, Professor Emeritus,
University of Florida, Gainesville
Center for Computing Sciences, Institute for Defense Analyses, MD
HUNG HSI WU,
Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley
CAROLE B. LACAMPAGNE, Board Director
BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION
CARL WIEMAN (Chair),
Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder
Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara
Cognitive Studies in Education, University of Washington, Seattle
Center for Educational Policy Research, University of Oregon, Eugene
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rockefeller University, NY
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Fullerton
Investigations Implementation Center, TERC, MA
Education Consultant, CO
Department of Biology, Beloit College, WI
Department of Chemistry, Clark Atlanta University, GA
Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami, FL
School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
Department of Astrophysics, University of Colorado, Boulder
Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle
MARY MARGUERITE MURPHY,
Science Department, Georges Valley High School, ME
Merck Institute for Science Education, NJ
MARY JANE SCHOTT,
The Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas, Austin
Department of Biology, Carleton College, MN
Boston Museum of Science, MA
JEAN MOON, Board Director
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.
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
AFTERWORD: CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOL EUCATION