Early mathematical experiences: Observing young black and white children's everyday activities

Jonathan R H Tudge, Fabienne Doucet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children's early mathematical experiences play an enormous role in the development of their understanding of mathematics, and serve as a foundation for their cognitive development. In this descriptive study, we observed the naturally occurring mathematical activities engaged in by thirty-nine 3-year-olds, equally divided by race/ethnicity and social class. We observed each child for 18 hours over the course of a single week, in such a way as to cover the equivalent of a complete day in its life. The children varied a good deal in the extent to which they were observed engaging in mathematical activities, but the variation was not explicable by race/ethnicity or class. For comparative purposes, we also report on the literacy-related activities in which the children were engaged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Ethnicity
  • Everyday activities
  • Literacy
  • Math
  • Social class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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