Enhancing mathematics teaching and learning in early childhood settings

Funding year: 
2 years
Auckland UniServices
ECE sector
Project start date: 
January 2005
Project end date: 
January 2007
Principal investigator(s): 
Maggie Haynes
Research team members: 
Carol Cardno, and Janita Craw with Katrina Bone, Melanie Chaplin, Kathryn Palmer, Marjo Whyte-van Diessen, and Petra Wyrsch
Research partners: 
Unitec, with Avondale Kindergarten, Birdwood Kindergarten, and Don Buck Kindergarten

Project Description

In view of the ongoing government strategy within Aotearoa New Zealand to promote numeracy knowledge and skill development in the school sector, it became crucial to undertake research within an early childhood context with the intention that recommendations from the research would promote best, or wise, mathematics teaching practices for early childhood teachers.

Researchers such as Carr, Peters, and Young-Loveridge (1994), Young-Loveridge, Carr, and Peters (1995), and Wylie (2001) have for some time now highlighted the importance of how children’s mathematical competencies in the early years impact on children’s successes in mathematics in the school years. However, there has been little documented on mathematical learning and teaching in the early childhood sector, from the perspective of the teacher, and particularly within Aotearoa New Zealand. Consequently, areas that needed to be explored included:

  • How mathematics teaching and learning is conceptualised in early childhood settings
  • Teachers’ attitudes to providing learning experiences that support and extend mathematical learning
  • What helps and hinders effective teaching and learning of mathematics
  • What can be done to improve practices that enhance mathematical learning outcomes for children

Project Outputs


Presentations, conferences and workshops

Youngs, H., Bone, K., Palmer, K., & Whyte-Van Diessen, M. (2005). Enhancing mathematics teaching and learning in early childhood settings: moving towards change. Paper presented at the annual conference of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE), Dunedin, 6-9 December 2005.