When Should We Begin Developing Grit?
Watts and coworkers have recently demonstrated how mathematical skills at 54 months are correlated with mathematics achievement in high school (age 15) in a paper published in Educational Researcher. The article, "What’s Past Is Prologue: Relations Between Early Mathematics Knowledge and High School Achievement", relates the results of a longitudinal study involving more than 1000 children. These children were assessed at age 4 and a half years (54 months) on simple counting tasks and addition and subtraction. In addition, skills in reading, working memory, vocabulary, attention, and impulsivity were also measured at this time. These tests were also administered when these children were at first grade. At third and fifth grade, and at age 15, the children took grade-level standardized tests in mathematics. The results are summarized in the following figure:
|Above figure copied from Educational Researcher|
Proficiency in mathematics may not be decided at birth but it is clear that good preschool mathematics can predict future performance in math. This study offers strong support for providing quality math education in the early years. Grit works but it has prerequisites. What happens in the early years is important....