Mathematics content coverage and student learning in kindergarten

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Engel M., Claessens A., Watts, T. W., & Farkas, G. (2016). Mathematics content coverage and student learning in kindergarten. Educational Researcher, 45(5), 293–300.


Analyzing data from two nationally representative kindergarten cohorts, we examine the mathematics content teachers cover in kindergarten. We expand upon prior research, finding that kindergarten teachers report emphasizing basic mathematics content. Although teachers reported increased coverage of advanced content between the 1998–1999 and 2010–2011 school years, they continued to place more emphasis on basic content. We find that time on advanced content is positively associated with student learning, whereas time on basic content has a negative association with learning. We argue that increased exposure to more advanced mathematics content could benefit the vast majority of kindergartners.