Community Conversation on Early Mathematics


Dr. Linda Platas and Dr. Yasmin Sitabkhan will discuss how the importance of early mathematics development in young children's lives has become a topic of increasing interest to families, educators, and policy makers. This presentation will briefly review the history of early math research, examine the current state of the field, and explore several case studies that illustrate lessons learned on the promise and complexity of supporting early math development.


 Hosted by Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller, February 24, 2017, 3:30 - 5:30 PM

About our Experts

Dr. Linda M. Platas is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University, teaching courses in child development, curriculum, and public policy. Her primary areas of research in the United States and internationally are measurement development in early childhood, teacher education, professional development, and the formation and implementation of early childhood public policy. in the United States, her experience includes developing measures of, and designing interventions for, early mathematics, and language and literacy development. Internationally, she has worked on preschool and early primary greades child assessment and classroom observation instruments including the Early Grades Math Assessment (EGMA) and the Measuring Early Learning Quality and Outcomes (MELQO) instruments. She has served as an expert in international meetings on early mathematics and literacy development and on my technical and policy advisory groups. She also has extensive experience working with young children and their families as a teacher and director. 

Her most recent work includes the development of a set of two practicum and foundations courses in early childhood education with an emphasis on supporting early mathematical development that places interns in low-income classrooms across San Francisco, and ongoing research in several states on pre- and in-service teachers' knowledge of early mathematical development and their beliefs around early mathematics in the preschool classroom. Her work with the Development and Research in Early Math Education (DREME) Network on the Teacher Educator Professional Development project supports the development of open-source materials for teacher educators (i.e., professional development providers, university and college instructors, school districts, ad county offices of education) to support their teaching in early mathematics. 

Dr. Yasmin Sitabkhan is a research education analyst in RTI's Teaching and Learning group in the International Education Division. Dr. Sitabkhan has spent the past 17 years in the fild of education, beginning as a primary school teacher and charter school administrator after which she transitioned to the role of a researcher in India, Mexico, and the United States. Her research interests build directly on her experiences as a clasroom teacher, in which she focuses on instructional strategies to connect informal and formal mathematics. 

Dr. Sitabkhan has worked on numerous research projects that promote a deeper understanding of teaching and learning at the early childhood and primary school levels. Her research has explored the mathematical competencies of groups of marginalized children in developing countries (Mubai, India, and Oaxaca, Mexico) through qualitative and quantitative methods. She has also contributed to a design research project at UC Berkeley (Learning Mathematics through Representations, P.I. Geoffrey Saxe & Maryl Gearhart), in which she worked on developing mathematics curriculum and instructional methods. 

In her role at RTI, Dr. Sitabkhan currently provides technical expertise in early childhood through Grade 3 mathematics and reading instruction to projects around the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, North Africa, and Central and South America. She designs, analyzes, and disseminates results from various mixed methods research studies to governments and donors around the world. 

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