Cognitive and Educational Foundations of Preschool Mathematics
Most research into the foundations of emerging mathematical skills focuses either on non-symbolic "number sense" or on attentional and executive skills.
This project focuses not only on those skills, but also on how exactly preschool children acquire numerical symbols. This is a key predictor of how well children will go on to achieve in maths.
The study will also explore how preschoolers' informal experiences with maths – for example at home – affect their numeracy development. Although we know that children's home environment has an impact on their early literacy, less is known about how this affects numeracy.
The project will collect cross-sectional and longitudinal data from preschoolers in order to develop a comprehensive model of the cognitive and educational foundations of numerical skills. It will do this by:
- investigating how general foundations of maths (e.g. attention and executive functions) and specific foundations (e.g. number sense and symbolic understanding) interact with each other over time
- assessing the impact of informal educational opportunities in the home and preschool environment on early maths skills
- working with cognitive scientists, educational experts and practitioners to explore how future interventions might work in the preschool classroom.
Professor Victoria Murphy, Department of Education, University of Oxford
Professor Daniel Ansari, University of Western Ontario
Grant amount and duration:
1 August 2016 - 31 January 2019
- The influence of cognition and the home environment on early numeracy
- Public funding of early years education in England
- Improving preschoolers' number foundations
- NumberTalk - Mathematical skills of children with SLI
- The early take-up of Core Mathematics
- Trialling an executive function training intervention for preschoolers
- A review of interventions to improve primary school maths achievement