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Educating the Whole Child: Kindergarten Mathematics Instructional Practices and Students’ Academic and Socioemotional Development

by Anna Bargagliotti, Michael A. Gottfried & Cassandra M. Guarino - 2017

Background: To date, school policies and practices have emphasized early-schooling mathematics instructional practices only as a way to boost academic achievement. However, because young children spend a large part of their formative years in classroom settings, it is important to understand not only the link between instruction and achievement but also the link between instruction and socioemotional development. Our study addressed this issue. Using a nationally representative dataset of kindergarten students, we inquired into which early mathematics instructional practices might be linked to a range of child outcomes, including both achievement and socioemotional development. We also investigated whether these associations varied across different subpopulations of students.

Population: The ECLS-K: 2011 dataset for a nationally representative sample of kindergartners in 2010–11 was used. Children were assessed in mathematics at kindergarten entry and at the end of the kindergarten year. Their socioemotional development was also rated by teachers and parents.

Research design: We used student-level multiple regression analyses with school fixed effects, a rich set of individual, family, and classroom covariates, and school cluster-adjusted standard errors to estimate the associations between kindergarten mathematics instructional practices and achievement and multiple socioemotional outcomes.

Conclusions: We found that several instructional practices were associated with multiple types of outcomes, often with different results for different types of students. Thus, an exclusive focus on achievement likely obscures the full range of influence that teaching practices have on student success. As school systems increasingly seek to foster socioemotional learning, it is important to establish a research base that considers the links between pedagogy and all facets of childhood development.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 8, 2017, p. 1-41
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21940, Date Accessed: 9/20/2021 5:12:50 PM

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About the Author
  • Anna Bargagliotti
    Loyola Marymount University
    E-mail Author
    ANNA BARGAGLIOTTI is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Seaver College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University.
  • Michael Gottfried
    University of California Santa Barbara
    E-mail Author
    MICHAEL A. GOTTFRIED is an assistant professor in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research interests pertain to issues including school quality and effectiveness, classroom peer effects, and STEM. Recent articles include: “School Entry Age and Children’s Socio-Behavioral Skills: Evidence from a National Longitudinal Study of U.S. Kindergarteners” (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis) and “Classmates with Disabilities and Students’ Non-Cognitive Outcomes” (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis).
  • Cassandra Guarino
    University of California at Riverside
    E-mail Author
    CASSANDRA M. GUARINO is Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of California Riverside.
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