The Erikson Institute Early Math Collaborative is transforming the understanding, teaching and learning of early mathematics from the ground up.
#1 Math learning is for everyone.
- Mathematics is a creative, meaning-making endeavor that can empower children and adults to become problem solvers in their own lives.
- Mathematics learning is not a function of genetic inheritance, but a result of effort and equitable instruction.
- We can all enjoy mathematics and achieve a level of success.
#2 Math learning is crucial in early childhood.
- Early mathematics addresses simple, yet profound, concepts that are key building blocks to understanding later, more complex mathematics.
- It is important to nurture interest in mathematics and to build identities as capable mathematicians during early childhood because this is the time when children begin to define their self-concept by making choices and developing preferences.
- Early mathematics achievement is highly predictive of later school success in both mathematics and reading; yet children’s math achievement varies widely at kindergarten entry.
#3 Math learning follows developmental progressions.
- There are big ideas of mathematics that all learners must construct for themselves.
- Different strands of mathematical ideas develop in parallel – and sometimes unevenly – before getting connected.
- Different learners may take different pathways to reach the same mathematical understanding or skill.
#4 Math learning depends on effective teaching.
- Effective math teaching focuses on the most important mathematical concepts and skills and illuminates why they matter.
- Effective math teaching values existing ideas learners have about concepts and makes connections to new or different ideas.
- Effective math teaching provides ongoing opportunities for learners to engage in mathematical practices that result in depth and quality of understanding.