Educational programs for young children emerged reasonably early in the history of the United States of America. The movements of Child-Centered Education, the Nursery School, the Project Method, Curriculum Reform, and contemporary research have all influenced mathematics in early childhood education. The Froebelian kindergarten and the Montessori Casa die Bambini (Children’s House) included approaches to teaching mathematics. This article reviews the history of mathematics education in relation to the history of early childhood education from the turn of the twentieth century. It also discusses how research in mathematics education attempted to gain its own identity. Throughout history, researchers have identified mathematics issues and addressed them, defining the field, and generating a cadre of mathematics researchers.
Springer has decided to make several articles in Early Childhood Education Journal available for free (till March 31, 2009). One of these articles is a very interesting article about mathematics education: Educating the Young Mathematician: The Twentieth Century and Beyond, by Olivia N. Saracho and Bernard Spodek. Here is the abstract of this article: