What is it about?

The results of this study underscore the benefits of teaching early arithmetic following learning trajectories, that is, providing instruction that is just beyond a child’s present level of thinking. Children who experiences this approach learned significantly more than those who were taught the target skills for the same time period.

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Why is it important?

We found that instruction following learning trajectories may promote more learning, including learning target competencies, than an equivalent amount of instruction on these target competencies with developmentally unready children.


This is just one of more than 10 studies. Most showed the same results. Most of those that differed were plagued by methodological problems; however, some just had not-well-enough-developed learning trajectories. This approach depends on well-research, validated learning trajectories. Please see https://www.learningtrajectories.org/.

Douglas Clements
University of Denver

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Comparing the efficacy of early arithmetic instruction based on a learning trajectory and teaching-to-a-target., Journal of Educational Psychology, October 2021, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/edu0000633.
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