Series: Hear from the Experts

What Teachers Know About Math with Jennifer McCray and Jie-Qi Chen

What Teachers Know About Math with Jennifer McCray and Jie-Qi Chen

Jie-Qi Chen and Jennifer McCray review answers they received from a survey administered to early education teachers. The survey prompted the teachers to imagine that they were giving advice to a new teacher, “Tina,” who had some questions about parts of the curriculum.

Dr. Jie-Qi Chen is the Principal Investigator of the Early Math Collaborative and a professor of child development at Erikson Institute. She is also the director of Erikson’s Ph.D. in Child Development doctoral program. Chen’s work focuses on cognitive development, teacher professional development, classroom assessment, early mathematics education, the application of multiple intelligences theory, and school-based intervention.

Jennifer McCray earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees at Erikson Institute. A former preschool teacher, she has taught pre- and in-service preschool and elementary teachers for the past eight years. In addition to directing the Early Math Collaborative, Jennifer conducts research on preschool teaching and learning. Her dissertation, which focused on preschool teachers’ understanding of mathematics, recently won two national awards.

The Early Math Collaborative, supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, held international symposia in 2009 and 2010. The two events brought experts from around the world to share approaches to early mathematics education with teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and other education professionals. The goal was to generate globally-informed ideas and recommendations for improving math instruction in the early childhood classroom. In breakout discussions and plenary sessions, participants brainstormed ideas, identified issues, and recommended actions.