In this full research and development project, a team of learning scientists and media researchers at Education Development Center and SRI International will collaborate with educational media producers at WGBH to develop, test, and refine a curriculum supplement (a hands-on technology) that (1) promotes childrens' understanding of number (counting, comparing, and ordering) and fair sharing (equipartitioning); (2) uses interactive media on an emerging handheld platform (touch screen tablets), integrating new multi-touch activities with existing hands-on activities; (3) enhances opportunities for learning with interactive media through shared use with adult guides and peers; and (4) provides professional and technical support materials for preschool educators. The project investigates if and how engagement with activities in a media-rich curriculum supplement improves low-income young childrens' early learning of number and equipartitioning.
The project builds on sound research about learning trajectories to develop materials for fostering young childrens' learning. In addition, this project will generate new research findings about how engagement with activities in a media-rich curriculum supplement can improve low-income childrens' learning. The project uses use mixed methods (ethnographic observations and interviews and HLM analyses) to answer the research questions.
This project addresses a critical need to develop quality early childhood mathematics curriculum, particularly that aimed at low-income students. This project involves two important content areas. Both the content and the mode of delivery make major contributions to curriculum development and research. This project can provide much needed insights about how to effectively use technology for improving student learning.