Eastern Connecticut State University
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Research Clips


The Relationship of Teacher-Child Interactions in Preschool Play to

Young Children's Mathematical Abilities

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Math ability in preschool is one of the best predictors of later school success--research suggests it is a better predictor than early literacy skills. While many studies have found strong relationships between young children's play and literacy, studies of teacher interactions in play and mathematics learning have not been conducted. This edition of Research Clips describes findings from a study aimed at identifying classroom interventions in play that are associated with math achievement in three- and four-year-olds. The findings indicate that how teachers interact with and communicate with children while they play has powerful impacts on children's mathematical learning.


This study was funded in part by the Spencer Foundation.

Research credits

Principal Investigators: Dr. Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Dr. Sudha Swaminathan, Dr. Xing Liu

Student Research Assistants: Christina Cammisa, Claire Fryer, Tasia Supino, Eliza Welling, Jenny Wolff, Kelly Zimmermann


Video production credits

Producer: Julia DeLapp

Production Coordinator: Ken Measimer

Production Consultant: Dr. Denise Matthews

Videographer/Editor: Sean Leser (Eastern student)

Production Assistant: Amy Dillon (Eastern student)


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