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The Path for Math in Early Childhood: The Learning Trajectories Perspective

What are the mathematical and educational building blocks of early mathematics? What role should these building blocks play in a developmentally appropriate setting? Join two of the most preeminent early math experts in the country, Dr. Douglas Clements and Dr. Julie Sarama, as they describe research-based learning trajectories as the core of all aspects of the educational enterprise. These learning trajectories include three components: the mathematical goals, developmental progressions of children’s learning, and educational activities and teaching strategies (based on finding the mathematics in, and developing mathematics from, children’s everyday activity). This webinar will explore teachers’ learning and implementation, as well as the cognitive benefits for the children in their classrooms.

Learning outcomes (objectives): Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe in general terms what young children know and can learn about math.
  2. List gaps that threaten some children’s success.
  3. Informally define learning trajectories and the role they should play in early education.

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Dr. Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Professor at the University of Denver, is widely regarded as “the major scholar” in the field of early childhood mathematics education, one with equal relevance to the academy, to the classroom, and to the educational policy arena. At the national, level, his contributions have led to the development of new mathematics curricula, teaching approaches, teacher training initiatives, and models of “scaling up” interventions, as well as having a tremendous impact on educational planning and policy, particularly in the area of mathematical literacy and access. He has served on President’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel, the Common Core State Standards committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national curriculum and Principles and Standards committees, and is a co-author of each of their reports. He is presently serving on the Common Core committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, helping to write national academic standards.

Julie Sarama
, Kennedy Endowed Chair and Professor, has taught high school mathematics and computer science, gifted, and early mathematics. She directs 6 projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences and has authored over 50 refereed articles, 4 books, 30 chapters, and 20 computer programs.