Children show informal understanding of numerical concepts long before they start school, influencing their future achievements in mathematics. These skills can be strengthened through direct and indirect instruction in early learning settings, according to a recent ACER report. Bedrock Journalist Fiona Stutz looks at the role early childhood professionals play in understanding early numeracy development in order to construct learning contexts that assist children to develop their mathematical thinking.
A report released in 2016 by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has shown that children’s numeracy knowledge when they enter school provides a foundation for their school maths achievement and strongly predicts their maths competence later in school.
The report, Counting on it: Early Numeracy Development and the Preschool Child by ACER Research Fellow Kate Reid shows that counting skills and understanding of quantities, and the relationships between them, in the year before starting primary school predict children’s mathematics achievement.
“Children’s informal number sense when they enter school provides a foundation for their school mathematics achievement and strongly predicts their mathematics competence later in school,” Dr Reid said.