Every child counts! Preparing preschool children for successful learning of mathematics
This pilot project aims to design and test, in the laboratory and in selected preschools, three sets of math games for preschool children living in poverty in the U.S. The games build on decades of basic research on the foundations of mathematical competence in human infants and young children and on an ongoing successful educational intervention with poor preschool children in India. All three sets of math games exercise numerical and geometrical abilities that emerge in infancy, are used spontaneously by preschool children, and contribute to school children's learning of symbolic mathematics. One set, tested in India, exercises these abilities in engaging, non-symbolic formats, with the goal of enhancing everyday skills that are foundational for learning mathematics. A second set focuses on mathematical language and symbols that link children's spontaneous mathematical abilities to their future school mathematics curriculum. The third set combines these two formats. By developing and testing the three sets of games with children, this project prepares for a randomized impact evaluation that builds on the field research in India and tests interventions for enhancing disadvantaged U.S. children's readiness for learning mathematics.