Clements, D. H. (2002). Computers in early childhood mathematics. Contemporary issues in early childhood, 3(2), 160-181.


Type: Review Article

Purpose: The purpose of this review was to examine empirical articles that "investigated the implementation and use of computers in early childhood mathematics, from birth to grade 3" (p. 160).

Findings: There were three themes that emerged: children using computers; computers, mathematics, and reasoning; and teaching with computers. Under the theme of children using computers, research has found that preschoolers can exhibit thinking at a 'concrete' level. Computers that are thought of as dangerous and detrimental to brain development is unwarranted. The second theme of 'computers, mathematics and reasoning' revolves around research indicating that "computers can help young children learn mathematics" (p. 162). The author reviews research on computer-mediated practice, on-computer manipulatives, turtle geometry, and computer approaches to developing higher-order thinking skills. The final theme, teaching with computers, describes research in how adults are key in helping young children's become successful in using the computer. Effective strategies such as scaffolding, modeling and sharing are described as effective in preparing teachers for using computers. The arrangement of the classroom setting, and professional development were also discussed to help enhance the computer experience for children.