Impacting Early Childhood Teachers’ Understanding of the Complexities of Place Value

Document Type


Publication Date



In order to help children gain a more robust understanding of place value, teachers must understand the connections and relationships among the related concepts as well as possess knowledge of how children learn early number concepts. Unfortunately, teachers’ familiarity with the base-ten number system and/or lack of an understanding of multidigit whole numbers leads to instruction that encourages a superficial understanding of the concepts of our base-ten system rather than instruction that pushes students to go beyond recitation of the value of the digit in the ten's place. This study highlights the attempts of three mathematics educators in reconceptualizing and impacting teachers’ understanding of place value concepts.