NCTM – San Francisco

Friday 15 April 2016

The Common Core in Early Mathematics and Developmental Appropriateness

Douglas Clements and Karen Fuson

“Different perspectives can be positive, unless they result from biased or limited perspectives.  Unfortunately, this is what is too frequently happening with the issue of the Common Core State Standards.  Her we use research evidence as a basis to evaluate three main criticisms of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. ”

notes from this session –

  • The Great Debates – ECE is replete with debates –
  • “child-centred” vs “Teacher-directed”
  • “Play” vs. “Academic”
  • Ravitch’s 3 Criticisms of the CC



“Not Surprising Many teachers do not recognise children’s potential”

Kamii’s DP Criticisms


  • play-based some days and academic based pedagogies some days is not productive
  • CC critics – skills /concepts  myths/facts
  • CC challenging but achievable
  • Children as young as 6 months can differentiate between 2 or 3 objects (research)
  • young children  can  count to 100 do understand the system has a pattern – its not rote, rule governed
  • Preschoolers play with  counting large numbers
  • Most can count to 5 on K entry
  • They can deal with place value in Kindergarten as numbers 11-19 are foundations for place value understanding

Learning Trajectories :

  1. Goal
  2. Developmental Progression
  3. Instructional Activities
  • Mathematics of children – representations and thinking of children as it developments naturally
  • Activities  matched to children’s development in each topic


  • All within developmental capacities of children
  • Provide a natural “building block” to the next level
  • Provides mathematical building blocks for school success


  • Mathematical Activity in PreK play – 42% of each minute
  • Children who are exposed to maths earlier – less likely to struggle
  • opportunities to learn
  • “Mathematising Play” – Karen Fuson  -University of Northwestern

Talking to the lady next to me –

California  have TK  classes – Transitional Kindergarten

Substantial Portion of the day ( at least 1/3 ) must be choice based

ECERS – Early childhood Environmental Rating Scale  – Thelma Harms




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