When ECR meets ECR and self-regulation meets mathematics

Year: 2014

Author: Kate, Williams, Sonia, White, Amy, MacDonald

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

 Kate Williams recently completed her PhD in which she used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to examine self-regulation development from birth to age seven, and associated parenting aspects and child behavior problems. Following her thesis submission, a CRN fellowship prompted Kate to consider the ways in which her findings and experience with structural equation modeling, and the LSAC dataset, could be leveraged to further build her own and other CRN members' capacity in quantitative research, while broadening substantive knowledge in related areas. She approached fellow early career researchers (ECRs) from QUT (Sonia White) and CSU (Amy MacDonald) who share an interest and expertise in early childhood mathematics. This collaboration resulted in new analyses of the LSAC dataset examining relations among early childhood self-regulation and early school mathematical achievement. Each of the ECRs made unique and important contributions to the collaboration including statistical analyses, knowledge of the relevant literature, and writing skills. The resultant journal paper (submitted) concluded that new approaches to early childhood mathematical pedagogy are needed that embed self-regulatory support for children. The ECRs have gone on to collaboratively design a pilot research project to investigate the current practices of early childhood educators in relation to mathematics and self-regulation, and to develop a resource that would both boost both educator skill and confidence, and children's developmental competency in two curriculum areas vital to ongoing educational success for children. They are currently seeking funding to conduct this project. Throughout this process each ECR has contributed unique and valuable skills and expertise, while also gaining new skills and substantive knowledge. The process of working together has built capacity in each ECR to continue to engage in work in this area, together and individually, and to branch out into new fields of inquiry and seek further collaborative opportunities.