Series: Hear from the Experts

Comparing Tech and Real World Teaching Tools with Joanne Mulligan

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Joanne Mulligan questions the efficacy of current electronic educational teaching tools.

What’s the difference between holding a pattern block and tracing around it, and moving it across a screen? Is the learning the same?

Joanne Mulligan is an associate professor in mathematics education and associate director of the Centre for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRiMSE) at Macquarie University in Sydney. Dr. Mulligan specializes in early mathematical development for children aged 4 to 9 and has 30 years of related experience, both as a primary school teacher and a mathematics education researcher.

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.