Mathematical language in early childhood settings: What really counts?

Loretta C. Rudd, Matthew C. Lambert, MacY Satterwhite, Amani Zaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research indicates that, prior to entering kindergarten, most children are exposed to some type of formal or direct mathematics instruction. However, the type of mathematical language and the frequency of its use vary greatly in terms of its emphasis on academic content. This study investigated the types and frequency of mathematical language used in six classrooms for children ranging in age from birth to five years. The study site was a quality early childhood setting at a state university in Southwest. Results indicated that utterances pertaining to spatial relations exceeded any other type of mathematical concepts by approximately twice the frequency. In addition, there was a paucity of higher level mathematical concepts observed. These data suggest a need for enhanced attention to higher level mathematical concepts explored in early childhood settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Early childhood
  • Math-mediated language
  • Mathematics
  • Quality settings
  • Vocabulary development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mathematical language in early childhood settings: What really counts?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this