Friends of IES Holds Briefings on Early Math Education Research

Douglas Clements (University of Denver);
Hirokazu Yoshikawa (New York University);
Deborah Phillips (Georgetown University);
Taniesha Woods; Prentice Starkey (WestEd)

September 2015

The Friends of IES, of which AERA is a leading member, organized two briefings in Washington, D.C., titled “Building Strength in Numbers: How Do Early Interventions in Math Instruction Add Up?” which highlighted important research on early math education funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

The first briefing took place on September 24 at the U.S. Department of Education, followed by a second event on September 25 on Capitol Hill. Both highlighted the importance of long-term investment in research at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The presentations spanned the range of basic research, development, and scale-up projects that IES awards.

Prentice Starkey, senior research associate at WestEd, discussed his research on cross-national and cross-socioeconomic gaps in four-year-olds’ mathematical knowledge and how educational interventions can reduce those gaps.

Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and professor at the University of Denver, described the development and evaluation of Building Blocks, a pre-K math curriculum, and TRIAD, a teacher professional development program. The use of both of these resulted in increased understanding of mathematical concepts in comparison with the control group.

The third speaker, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at New York University, presented his evaluation on the Boston Public Schools Preschool Program, finding that the curricula and supports implemented in the program resulted in positive effects on executive function skills and on math and language learning.

Taniesha Woods served as moderator for the briefing at the Education Department and provided closing remarks at the congressional briefing. Deborah Phillips, professor of psychology and associated faculty in the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University, moderated the congressional briefing.

The briefings were co-sponsored by AERA, the American Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development, and WestEd, with additional support from the American Sociological Association, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and the Knowledge Alliance.