Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Pre-K Mathematics’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Pre-K Mathematics is a supplemental curriculum designed to develop informal mathematical knowledge and skills in preschool children. Mathematical content is organized into seven units. Specific mathematical concepts and skills from each unit are taught in the classroom through teacher-guided, small-group activities with concrete manipulatives.

The evidence for Pre-K Mathematics covers students in pre-kindergarten.

The outcomes examined include: General mathematics achievement, oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Pre-K Mathematics’s impact on each outcome:

  • General mathematics achievement: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 19 percentile points)
  • Oral language: No detectable impact
  • Phonological processing: No detectable impact
  • Print knowledge: No detectable impact

The studies looking into Pre-K Mathematics had student samples that were in urban areas in New York and California, had students who were White, Black, Asian and Hispanic, and were male and female.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here:

https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_prekmath_121713.pdf

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