EarlyMath - Mathematical Development and the Impact of Interaction Quality in Early Childcare

Mathematical competences of children vary significantly even at an early age of three. These differences seem to be relatively consistent. A number of study results indicate that basic structures of mathematical competence patterns and inter-individual differences in competences have already developed by the age of 4, which persist and cannot be compensated for by regular preschool or school attendance. Since the early mathematical competences predict later mathematical development - even more strongly than general intelligence - this points to the importance of developing mathematical competences already at an early age.

Initial studies in this research area show that mathematical competences of preschool children are influenced in particular by interactions with educators. In addition to general interaction behavior (e.g. emotional support and stimulation), mathematical-specific interactions (e.g. naming quantities, numbers or relationships) also play a major role.

Despite the importance of children´s early mathematical development of children, there are only few studies that focus on the influence of ECEC quality aspects on early mathematical competence development. The EarlyMath project therefore focuses on the development of children from the age of two years and investigates the relationships between global and domain-specific interactional behavior of preschool teachers and the early development of mathematical competences up to the age of four. The implementation of an intervention-based approach should also allow to draw conclusions about relevant factors influencing early mathematical development and providing clues for future interaction design in the U3 range. The EarlyMath project is a joint study between the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg and the DJI.


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