Our goal is to help Teacher Educators (TEs) prepare prospective and practicing teachers to promote young children’s mathematics learning.
This website is a project of the Development and Research in Early Math Education (DREME) Network.
The DREME Network was created in 2014 to advance the field of early mathematics learning research and improve young children’s opportunities to develop math skills. The Network focuses on math learning from birth through age eight years, with an emphasis on the preschool years. Network members and affiliates collaborate to conduct basic and applied research, develop innovative tools that address high-priority early math topics, and inform and motivate other researchers, educators, policymakers, and the public. Find out more about the mission of DREME here.
The DREME Network would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Heising-Simons Foundation.
Our General Approach
We recognize that children come to school with diverse experiences and math-related knowledge that teachers can build on. Our materials focus on developing the ability of teachers to promote deep mathematical understanding in children. The materials are not designed to prepare teachers to engage in didactic "drill and kill" instruction.
The materials are designed to help prospective and practicing teachers of young children develop learning opportunities that are intentional, developmentally appropriate, engaging, and playful. By intentional we mean that the teacher has a clear mathematical goal in mind, creates learning opportunities designed to support children in achieving those goals, and assesses what the children have learned. Settings may range from a classroom with planned activities, to centers with guided play, to pretend play and outdoors play. Math learning opportunities may be based on a planned activity or non-prescriptive lesson, or on spontaneous opportunities that emerge through classroom or playground interactions.
We believe that teachers and prospective teachers learn best when they actively engage in learning (as do the children they teach). For this reason, our materials include not only appropriate readings, but also ideas for group interactions. We provide recommendations for guiding teachers and teacher education students though critical analyses of videos depicting children’s mathematical thinking, as well as videos showing their own and other teachers’ lessons. The materials can also be used to support preparation in formative assessment. Our goal is to help TEs nurture prospective and practicing teachers who understand the subject matter of early math education, have insight into children’s mathematical thinking and learning, can assess individual children’s knowledge of math, can think critically about teaching and teach effectively, and who ultimately enjoy early math education and transfer the feeling to the children they teach or will teach.