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Supporting Teacher To Enhance Math Practice (STEP)

STEPResearch suggests that young children’s early executive function and mathematics skills predict later school success. Teachers benefit from targeted professional development to understand and support children’s development in these areas, as well as specific strategies to help children meet educational goals.

Researchers at The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), at the University of Virginia, in partnership with early care and education centers, are developing an online professional development (PD) and practice-based coaching program to increase teachers’ knowledge, skills, and practice in the areas of executive function and mathematics. The program will be designed to work flexibly with a wide range of existing preschool curricula (e.g., High Scope, Creative Curriculum).

There is significant potential for the project to advance knowledge  in several areas, including:

  • The inter-related nature of children’s executive function and mathematics skills.
  • Effective ways of improving early childhood teachers’ instruction in both mathematics and executive function.

Project Duration: March 2016 - March 2018

Principle Investigators:
Jessica Whittaker, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator
Bridget Hamre, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator

Project Funder: 
The Heising-Simons Foundation 

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