The goal of the Early Math Collaborative at Erikson Institute is to expand access to math for young children.
Our program provides professional development, research, publications, conference presentations, and a robust online presence. We work closely with child care providers, early childhood teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and other stakeholders.
Our work is rooted in a set of foundational early childhood math concepts that we call “Big Ideas.” These mathematical concepts are fundamental to a young child’s understanding of mathematics and can be incorporated into any early childhood curriculum.
Through our work, we help reduce anxiety around the teaching of math in the early years. When educators are comfortable teaching math skills, they can instill a positive mindset for a lifetime of mathematical learning and thinking.
Research shows that children learn more during the school year in the classrooms of teachers in our projects than children whose teachers did not participate.
In our Idea Library we have hundreds of foundational early childhood math resources that reflect our Big Ideas and Whole Teacher Approach to teacher development.
The best way to improve classroom instruction is to change what teachers believe and do — not just what they know. It’s the “Whole Teacher Approach” to professional development. The Whole Teacher Approach recognizes that the greatest impact comes by supporting all aspects of a teacher’s growth and development, including her/his/their attitudes, knowledge, and practice.
We partner with schools, school districts, and organizations to provide a range of professional development services about mathematics in early childhood education. Our Summer Institutes and other public events welcome any early childhood professional who desires an in-depth learning experience.
Sets are basic to children’s mathematical thinking and learning. They are also basic to our number system.
Number sense is the ability to understand the quantity of a set and the name associated with that quantity.
Measurement is any process that produces a quantitative description of an attribute, such as length, circumference, weight, temperature, volume, or number. Measurement is an essentially mathematical procedure that we apply in many different contexts.
Our research focuses on understanding teacher development in early mathematics:
To study these questions, we refer to the Whole Teacher Approach, a framework that informs our professional development (PD). Just as the Whole Child Approach–familiar to many in the early childhood field–directs teachers’ energy toward not only children’s cognitive development but also their social/emotional and physical development. The Whole Teacher Approach urges broader, holistic attention given to teachers as part of PD.