Supporting Young Children’s Development of Executive Function Through Early Mathematics

Christina Mulcahy, Crystal A. Day Hess, Douglas H. Clements, Jasmine R. Ernst, Sarah E. Pan, Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Julie Sarama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Early childhood teachers face competing instructional priorities to support specific academic skills and general skills that underlie learning, such as executive function (EF) skills that allow children to control their own thinking and behavior. As the evidence shows, EF skills predict later mathematics achievement, and early mathematics predicts later EF. These relations between mathematics and EF suggest high-quality mathematics teaching has a dual benefit: Teachers can promote children’s math and EF competencies by embedding support for EF in high-quality mathematics activities. Children benefit when guided to reflect on solutions and alternative strategies, and teachers benefit from guidance on how to support both math and EF. Finally, research on teachers developing both domains can inform educational policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalPolicy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Preparation of this manuscript and some of the research reported here was supported by the Development and Research in Early Mathematics Education (DREME) Network’s “Making More of Math” project, funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation (HSF) award 2020-1777; all authors are DREME Network members or affiliates. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the HSF.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Preparation of this manuscript and some of the research reported here was supported by the Development and Research in Early Mathematics Education (DREME) Network?s ?Making More of Math? project, funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation (HSF) award 2020-1777; all authors are DREME Network members or affiliates. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the HSF.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • early childhood curricula
  • early childhood education
  • executive function
  • intervention
  • mathematics education
  • self-regulation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Supporting Young Children’s Development of Executive Function Through Early Mathematics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this