Data collection and analysis for preschoolers: An engaging context for integrating mathematics and computational thinking with digital tools

October 14, 2023

Collecting and organizing data to understand and answer real-world questions is an increasingly important skill in our current world. Fostering data collection and analysis (DCA) skills in young children leverages key mathematics skills as well as the data representation, visualization, and interpretation skills of computational thinking (CT), culminating in a problem-solving approach with data. As such, the intervention, comprising investigations and a digital app, supported preschool teachers and children to answer data-focused questions by engaging in each step of the DCA process in order to foster CT and math skills. Teachers appreciated that the app offers a new way for children to visualize data and noted that the app provided learning opportunities for children that would not otherwise be possible or easy to implement. Results also suggest that the app provides a systematic process for data collection, entry, and interpretation. Children in classrooms that completed the intervention had significantly higher scores at post-intervention compared to children in classrooms that did not complete the intervention, controlling for pre-intervention scores, B(SE) = 0.13(0.05), t (6) = 2.48, p = .048.