“Teachers are the key to academic achievement for students.” This statement is widely accepted, but professional development in early childhood mathematics education faces a number of barriers. What are those barriers? What do teachers have to say about developing their own knowledge of the teaching and learning of mathematics? What should be done to address these problems? Answering these questions was the goal of a recent project funded by the National Science Foundation called “Planning for Professional Development in Pre-School Mathematics: Meeting the Challenge of Standards 2000.” This article shares some of the answers I found in the course of that project.
Edited by Douglas Clements, clements@buffalo. edu, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260. This department addresses the early childhood teacher's need to support young children's emerging mathematics understandings and skills in a context that conforms with current knowledge about the way that children in prekindergarten and kindergarten learn mathematics. Readers are encouraged to send manuscripts for this section to “Early Childhood Corner,” NCTM, 1906 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1502.