Understanding and improving mathematics learning is critically important for both individual wellbeing and a successful society. The need for research-based interventions that focus on children’s early mathematical learning is vital, as research already shows that substantial individual differences in mathematical achievement emerge early and can restrict a child’s potential when moving into adult life.

The Centre for Early Mathematics Learning will transform research in early mathematics education, early years and Key Stage 1, by linking interdisciplinary studies on mathematical learning with the design of educational activities and translation of research into practice.

Our research employs rigorous research methods and draws on advances across disciplines, including psychology, education, social policy, learning sciences and economics, to better understand and support children’s early mathematics learning.

Our vision

Our mission is to uncover key predictors of successful early mathematics learning, understand how they interact, and determine how they can be developed through interventions. We will have a direct impact on educational practice nationally and internationally by working with educators to co-design effective pedagogy based on insights from this research.

We will:

  • Uncover how the early foundations of mathematics learning emerge during the preschool years
  • Identify casual mechanisms of mathematics learning
  • Determine how children’s experiences at home and preschool influence their mathematics development
  • Impact educational practice by co-designing and evaluating educational resources via research-practice partnerships with teachers and early years practitioners
  • Drive educational policy in the UK and internationally by providing evidence for research-informed policy
  • Build the UK’s capacity for research on early mathematics learning by training a cohort of highly skills ECRs and improving teachers’ research literacy