Investigating RightStart Mathematics Kindergarten Instruction in Finland

Investigating RightStart Mathematics Kindergarten Instruction in Finland

Author(s): Mononen, Riikka a (riikka.m.mononen@helsinki.fi), Aunio, Pirjo b & Koponen, Tuire c

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Education Research; Vol 3(1), p. 2-26.

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Abstract: This study investigated the effects of RightStart Mathematics instruction on Finnish kindergartners’ mathematics performance. The RightStart group (n = 38) received instruction that followed the RightStart Mathematics program, replacing their typical mathematics instruction, from their kindergarten teachers during the kindergarten year. A comparison group (n = 32) received business-as-usual Finnish mathematics instruction. Early mathematics skills (i.e., counting, number comparison, and addition facts knowledge) significantly improved in both groups during the kindergarten year. No statistically significant difference was found in early mathematics performance between the groups after the instruction phase. The counting skills of initially low-performing children improved in both groups to the level of typically performing children. In first grade, six months after the kindergarten instruction ended, no statistically significant difference was found in mathematics performance between the RightStart and comparison groups. The results are discussed in the context of need and possibilities of educational support.

Author-Supplied Keywords: core instruction, kindergarten mathematics, low-performing children

ISSN: 2323-7414

ISSN-L: 2323-7414 online

Authors Affiliations: a, b University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education, Special Education, Finland, c Niilo Mäki Institute, Jyväskylä, Finland