At Promising Math 2019, Kelly Mix gave a talk about how language promotes the development of numerical cognition in young children. Dr. Mix is the Chair of the Human Development and Quantitative Methodologies (HDQM) department at the University of Maryland.
Mix suggests that adults use language to label sets (e.g., “two shoes”), count sets (“1, 2 shoes”), and match sets with one-to-one correspondence (“Look, 2 shoes and 2 socks”). Parents and caregivers help children focus on the meaning of the number words when language like this is used during everyday experiences along with familiar objects that children can see and touch.
How Children Learn about Numbers: A Conversation with Kelly Mix
We talked with Dr. Mix in order to understand better the connections between her research and how children learn mathematics.