1. SQU and Petrofac sign Sponsorship Agreement
  2. Ways to Make Farming More Sustainable
  3. SQU Marks Renaissance Day
  4. Ways to Make Math Fun for Kids
  5. Prerequisites for Significant Learning
  6. Omani Studies Centre Team Visits Brunei
  7. Conference to Address Research Management and Administration
  8. Cooperation Program to Promote Date Palm Sector in Oman
  9. SQU, Orpic Sign LoA for Funding Engineering Design Lab
  10. Dead Zones of the Western Arabian Sea
  11. Conference to Address All Aspects of Unmanned Vehicle Systems
  12. SQU Gets Patent for New Antimicrobial Formula
  13. SQU Council Approves Center for Innovation & Technology Transfer
  14. SQU Signs Cooperation Agreement with Muscat Securities Market
  15. Information Systems Students ‘Capture’ the Cybersecurity Flag
  16. SQU This Week
  17. SQU, Al Buraimi Solar Energy Systems Sign Cooperation Program
  18. SQU, Oman Oil Marketing Company Sign Sponsorship Agreement
  19. “Anwaar Ramadhan” Exhibition Features Pics of the Past
  20. Association of Arab Universities Executive Council Meets at SQU
  21. CAMS Academic’s Book Deals with Food Microbial Analyses
  22. SQU This Week
  23. Forum on Future Media Discusses Media Sector Challenges
  24. SQU This Week
  25. SQU Hosts Pearl Initiative Award Ceremony
  26. Huge Enthusiasm for Blockchain Technology in Oman
  27. First Phase of Solar Parking Shades Opened
  28. MSF Students Visit Oman Aquarium Project
  29. Nursing Students Urge Evidence-based Maternity Care Practice
  30. Project Examines Population Structures of Spiny Lobster along Oman’s Coastline
  31. Workshop Sheds Light on “Integration of Technology into Nursing Education”
  32. New Patent for Invention based on “Therapeutic Composition for Treating Gangrene”
  33. SQU This Week
  34. HMTF Projects 2018 Announced
  35. 18th SQU Day Celebrated with Grandeur
  36. SQU Signs Research Cooperation Program with OAPGRC
  37. SQU Organizes First Aid Workshop for School Children
  38. New Assessment Unit Facility at CPS
  39. Statistics to become Independent Department at SQU
  40. Dr. Mona Al Said Receives Charles University’s Gold Medal
  41. SQU This Week
  42. ELT Conference Addresses Current Perspectives, Trends and Challenges
  43. Workshop Highlights Nutritional Antioxidants Therapy
  44. Academics Co-edit Volume on Cancer Prevention and Treatments
  45. Power Station and Transmission Lab Opened
  46. Conference Focuses on Law, Economic and Social Transformations
  47. SQU Marks Biomedical Laboratory Science Day
  48. SQU, RUDN University to Boost Ties
  49. Commercially Valuable Bioproducts from Waste Paper
  50. Forum Highlights Role of Information Specialists in Smart Society
  51. IS Department Holds Industry Advisory Board Meeting
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  53. Jordanian NDC Delegation visits SQU
  54. The Earthquake Monitoring Center and Seismic Hazard Studies in the Sultanate
  55. Research Workshops and Training Held
  56. The Story of a Lighting Revolution
  57. Patent for “Method of Making an Ajwa Date-Based Treatment for Snake Envenomation”
  58. SQU Holds the First Students’ Conference for Scientific Research
  59. Engineering Students Projects on Display
  60. SQU Hosts National Conference on Civil & Architectural Engineering
  61. SQU, Ministry Mark World Water Day 2018
  62. Forum Deliberates Business Intelligence and Big Data Analysis
  63. SQU-Ministry of Higher Education Joint Committee Meets
  64. Forum Addresses Soil System as Foundation of Food Security
  65. Framework for Making Oman an Innovation Hub
  66. CETL Official Opening Held
  67. SQU, University of Nizwa to Enhance Ties
  68. SQU This Week
  69. SQU Receives Egyptian Minister of Higher Education
  70. SQU Team Wins Robot Championship
  71. Conference Discusses Risk Management Practices
  72. Institutional Accreditation
  73. SQU This Week
  74. SQU Launches its New Media Identity
  75. Neuroprotective Effects of Plant Extracts
  76. Technical Festival Features 20 ICT Projects
  77. ICT Accessibility: Oman Well-positioned to Continue Playing a Leading Role
  78. SQU Team Makes Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Research
  79. Sensor-activated Taps Most Effective for Saving Water
  80. Study Underscores the Need for Stronger School-University Partnerships
  81. Study Identifies Factors Impeding Entrepreneurial Growth in Oman
  82. OCMB Hosts Frontiers in Marine Biotechnology Conference
  83. SQU Council Approves Master’s Program in Psychological Counselling
  84. Nursing Conference Focuses on Technology and Innovation
  85. Microbial Fuel Cells: A Promising Energy Source
  86. Researcher Prepares Database of Aquatic Plants in Wadis
  87. Blended Learning Approach Can Tackle Transitional Academic Challenges
  88. Medical Research Centre to Focus on Themes Relevant to Oman

Douglas H. Clements is Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning, and Executive Director, of the Kennedy Institute for Educational Success and the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy, at the University of Denver, USA.  Dr. Clements received his PhD from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Previously a preschool and kindergarten teacher, he has conducted funded research and published over 500 articles and books in the areas of the learning and teaching of early mathematics and computer applications in mathematics education. Dr. Clements was a member of President Bush’s National Math Advisory Panel, the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics the Common Core State Standards committee and a coauthor of their reports.  His research interests include creating, using and evaluating research-based curricula, taking successful curricula to scale using technologies, and learning trajectories in standards, assessment, curriculum and professional development. Dr. Clements recently visited Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, and delivered a keynote address at the “International Conference on Trends in Innovative Mathematics Curricula: Highlights on Early Mathematics Education” organized by the Oman Mathematics Committee. In this interview, Dr. Clements, speaks about the strategies for early mathematics education, based on his extensive research experience in this area.

Why Is Teaching Mathematics So Different From Teaching Other Subjects?

Dr. Clements: Early mathematics is surprisingly important. We ignore the early years at our peril. That is, we know that children’s early knowledge of math strongly predicts their later success in math. More surprising is that preschool mathematics knowledge predicts achievement even into high school. Most surprising is that it also predicts later reading achievement, as well as early reading skills. One reason teaching mathematics is different than teaching other subjects is that in most subjects, children have to learn skills first, such as word recognition. But in early mathematics, they can be immediately engaged at the “cutting edge” of their intellect. For these and other reasons, mathematical thinking is cognitively foundational. Given the importance of mathematics to academic success in all subjects, all children need a robust knowledge of mathematics in their earliest years.

Why do many students avoid Mathematics despite the much value placed on this subject of study?

Dr. Clements: Even though mathematical processes are cognitive, they are influenced by emotions and beliefs. For example, if people are anxious about mathematics, they may perform poorly, not necessarily because they have limited ability or skills, but because nervous thoughts “push” themselves into their minds, limiting the amount of working memory available to work on mathematics.  In many cultures, such as the U.S., many people have unfortunate, negative emotions and beliefs about mathematics.

One deeply embedded belief is that achievement in mathematics depends mostly on aptitude or ability. In contrast, people from some countries believe that achievement comes from effort. The belief in aptitude—you’re either a “math person” or you’re not—hurts many children and, further, it is just not true. Children who believe—or are helped to understand—that they can learn if they try, work on tasks longer and achieve better throughout their school careers than children who believe you either “have it” or you do not. This view often leads to failure and learned helplessness. On the other hand, those who have mastery-oriented goals—who try to learn and see the point of school to develop knowledge and skills, achieve more than children whose goals are directed toward high grades or outperforming others. They even see failure as an opportunity to learn.

Could you explain the concept “Teaching Early Mathematics for Understanding with Trajectories and Technologies”, the topic of your talk at SQU?

Dr. Clements: Teachers who learn to use curricula based on learning trajectories are not only better teachers of mathematics, they continue to use that curriculum for years after its introduction and their teaching improves each year. Teachers need help to do this. However, we have the tools to provide that help. We know a lot about how children think about and learn math. And we know a lot about how to use learning trajectories to synthesize this knowledge into effective interventions for children. Our books detail the learning trajectories that can help underlie scientific approaches to standards, assessment, curricula, and professional development. Our new web site, learningtrajectories.org, provides similar information with videos that make the learning trajectories come alive. Our research on our Building Blocks curriculum and TRIAD scale up model show effect sizes that are large and signification. High-quality instruction has meaningful effects on children’s mathematics knowledge. All children can learn mathematical thinking.

How would you summarize your years-long research on early childhood learning?

Dr. Clements: Young children can learn amazingly broad, complex, and sophisticated mathematics. For example, preschoolers can learn to invent solutions to solve simple arithmetic problems. Also, almost all preschoolers engage in substantial amounts of pre-mathematical activity in their free play. They explore patterns, shapes, and spatial relations; compare magnitudes; and count objects. Importantly, this is true regardless of the children’s income level or gender. They simply need opportunities to engage in interesting mathematics. Teachers can and should provide rich environments, questions, and interactions to engage children in such experiences.

 

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