University of Illinois at Chicago

Early Childhood Teachers’ Mathematics Professional Learning

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posted on 2022-12-01, 00:00 authored by David Banzer
To prepare preschoolers for kindergarten and success in later academic learning, early experiences with mathematics is an integral component of early childhood education. Because young children’s success in early math is an indicator of positive developmental and later academic outcomes (Duncan et al., 2007), high-quality early math experiences should be emphasized within a well-rounded early children education curriculum. However, there are limited opportunities for teachers to engage in early math professional development to support the implementation of high-quality early math instruction (Simpson & Linder, 2014). This mixed methods sequential explanatory study examined early childhood teachers’ early math professional learning within a STEM course in an early childhood education alternative licensure program. Early math attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge were evaluated at pre- and post-course timepoints. Video recordings at pre- and post-course timepoints analyzed teacher-child interactions associated with best practice math instruction. A study-developed math language analysis instrument measured changes in math language pre- and post-course. Teacher interviews gathered data to triangulate and explain quantitative findings and to understand how teachers’ early math perceptions and practice shifted across the course and in continuation past the course. Early math attitudes, knowledge, and instructional practice significantly changed across the course. Teachers reported specific course components that affected these perception and practice shifts. Based on findings, a model for early math professional learning with a social constructivist theoretical framework examines the effectiveness of early math professional learning supports in the STEM course with implications for early math professional development design.



Sheridan, Kathleen


Sheridan, Kathleen


Educational Psychology

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Coba-Rodriguez, Sarai Maggin, Daniel Teasdale, Rebecca Zinsser, Katherine Main, Catherine

Submitted date

December 2022

Thesis type



  • en

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