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Title:Fostering parental support for childrenÕs mathematical development: An intervention with Head Start families
Author:Starkey, P., & Klein, A.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Early Education and Development, 11(5)

pp. 659-680
Education Level:Early Childhood/Pre-K
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

Can family math classes that support parents working with Head Start students prepare children for kindergarten entry and increase their numeric knowledge? Results from this research study indicated that this intervention was effective in increasing Head Start childrenÕs informal mathematics knowledge development. No differences were attributable to the childrenÕs ethnicity or gender. Although the intervention was focused on mathematics, researchers used literacy skills criteria to test the effects on literacy, and found no differences in the control or experimental groups. Twenty-eight San Francisco-area Head Start parent-child pairs (mostly mother and child) participated in a series of family mathematics classes and were given access to a lending library of math kits for use at home. Data were collected from randomly assigned control and experimental groups through pre- and post-intervention assessments, which included both numerical and spatial reasoning problems. This study shows that steps can be taken to close the achievement gap in school readiness by strengthening parentsÕ abilities to support and provide tailored help to their children in specific subject areas.

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