Relations between early childhood educators’ qualifications and experience and their beliefs about mathematics education for babies and toddlers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cognition research has demonstrated that babies, from birth, can detect numerical correspondences and abstract properties of objects and events. However, this limited existing research is often distant from educational practice, and thus, this information may be inaccessible to early childhood educators; most of whom hold pre-Bachelor level qualifications. This quantitative study reports on a survey of 466 Australian early childhood educators to examine what relationships may exist between educators’ qualifications and experience in the profession, and their beliefs about mathematics education for babies and toddlers. Findings show that although most educators have strong, positive beliefs about mathematics education for very young children, there are significant differences in beliefs about when mathematical ideas develop in children found between educators without Bachelor level qualifications and those with Bachelor and post-graduate qualifications. Our findings lend support to Australia’s sustained quality improvement agenda for the early childhood educator sector and point to the benefits of Bachelor level teaching qualifications for establishing strong foundations in mathematics education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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