Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 150 - 161 (April 2009).
Mathematics is a natural part of daily life for young children as they explore the world around them. To build on these experiences, and to begin establishing a mathematical foundation, early childhood educators must be knowledgeable about mathematical concepts. Furthermore, they must also be aware of the most developmentally appropriate ways in which to teach these concepts to young children.
After participation in an ongoing professional development program, specifically targeting teachers of prekindergarten children in public school, Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities (PPCD), Head Start, and child care settings, teachers reported positive changes in math practices. Specifically, teachers reported a stronger alignment to national mathematics standards and increased awareness pertaining to developmentally appropriate mathematics practices as they apply to early childhood classrooms. Teachers reported a shift towards more hands-on activities and a shift away from the use of worksheets in their prekindergarten classrooms.
Implications from this study suggest that ongoing professional development that is designed to meet the specific needs of early childhood educators can have a positive impact on reported mathematics content knowledge and instructional practices.