The Progress of Education Reform from ECS presents us with some surprising research findings concerning mathematics education.
Surprise 1: There is predictive power in early mathematics
Mathematical thinking is cognitively foundational, and children’s early knowledge of math strongly predicts their later success in math. More surprising is that preschool mathematics knowledge predicts achievement even into high school. Most surprising is that it also predicts later reading achievement even better than early reading skills. In fact, research shows that doing more mathematics increases oral language abilities, even when measured during the following school year. These include vocabulary, inference, independence, and grammatical complexity. Given the importance of mathematics to academic success in all subjects, all children need a robust knowledge of mathematics in their earliest years.
Surprise 2: Given opportunities to learn, young children possess an informal knowledge of mathematics that is amazingly broad, complex, and sophisticated
Surprise 3: Teachers vastly underestimate what their children know and can learn
Surprise 4: All students need a math intervention
Surprise 5: We know a lot
Read more about the 5 Surprises and corresponding policy implications and recommendations.