What do Parents Believe About Young Children and Math?

According to the National Research Council’s newest publication Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity there are only a few studies that look specifically at parent beliefs and behaviors related to early mathematics.  However, a study conducted in 2008 by  Oscar Barbarin entitled Parental Conceptions of School Readiness: Relation to Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Children’s Skills reported that mathematical skills were rated less important than other social and cognitive tasks452 parents of 4-5 year old children were interviewed for this study. Over the course of the interviews, language/early literacy was mentioned 50% of the time while numeracy was only mentioned 3.5% of the time. This indicates that parents are more concerned that their children develop language skills in preschool over mathematical skills.

Do you think this is true?  What do you attribute this to?

 

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