douglas clements

Doug H Clements

Professor

Distinguished University Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning

  • Faculty
  • Morgridge College of Education
  • Marsico Institute for Early Learning

What I do

Douglas H. Clements, previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one year, has conducted research and published widely in the areas of the learning and teaching of early mathematics and computer applications in mathematics education. His most recent interests are in creating, using, and evaluating a research-based curriculum and in taking successful curricula to scale using technologies and learning trajectories.

Specialization(s)

early childhood education, mathematics education, STEM Education

Professional Biography

Douglas H. Clements is Distinguished University Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning, and Executive Director of the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy at the University of Denver. Previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one year, he has conducted research and published widely in the areas of the learning and teaching of early mathematics and computer applications in mathematics education. His most recent interests are in creating, using, and evaluating a research-based curriculum and in taking successful curricula to scale using technologies and learning trajectories. He has published over 135 refereed research studies, 22 books, 86 chapters, and 300 additional publications. His latest books detail research-based learning trajectories in early mathematics education: Early childhood mathematics education research: Learning trajectories for young children and a companion book, Learning and teaching early math: The learning trajectories approach (Routledge). Dr. Clements has directed over 35 funded projects. Currently, Dr. Clements is Principal Investigator on two large-scale research projects. The first, Longitudinal Study of a Successful Scaling Up Project: Extending TRIAD, follows students the original large-scale TRIAD project from pre-K to fifth grade. The second, Evaluating the Efficacy of Learning Trajectories in Early Mathematics, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to evaluate the specific benefits of using learning trajectories. The NSF has funded three recent research projects. Clements is PI on the first, Using Rule Space and Poset-based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test, which will develop a computer-adaptive assessment for early mathematics. Clements is co-PI on the second, Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science, and Literacy, developing an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum. The third, developing better ways of assessing and teaching geometric measurement, is Learning Trajectories to Support the Growth of Measurement Knowledge: Pre-K through Middle School. Another recent project, just funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Gates Foundation, Scalable Professional Development in Early Mathematics: The Learning and Teaching with Learning Trajectories Tool, is updating and disseminate a professional development software application empirically supported in previous projects. Additional information can be found at http://du.academia.edu/DouglasClements, http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Douglas_Clements/, and http://portfolio.du.edu/dclemen9

Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Mathematics Education, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 1983

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Nursery, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-6

Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
  • National Association for the Educational of Young Children
  • International Group for the Psychology in Mathematics Education

Research

Douglas H. Clements is Distinguished University Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning, and Executive Director of the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy at the University of Denver. Previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one year, he has built on those early experiences in conducting research and publishing widely in the areas of the learning and teaching of early mathematics, computer applications, and scaling up successful interventions. His most recent interests are in creating, using, and evaluating a research-based curriculum and in taking successful curricula to scale using technologies and learning trajectories. He has published over 166 refereed research studies, 27 books, 100 chapters, and 300 additional works. His latest books detail research-based learning trajectories in early mathematics education: Early childhood mathematics education research: Learning trajectories for young children and a companion book, Learning and teaching early math: The learning trajectories approach (Routledge).

Dr. Clements has directed over 37 funded research and developments projects. Currently, Dr. Clements is Principal Investigator on a multiple-study project funded by the U.S. Department of Educatio39n’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Evaluating the Efficacy of Learning Trajectories in Early Mathematics. He is also DU PI on a new center, Special Education Educational Technology Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities (funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Department of Education), with Dr. Sarama (as all his work is) colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Drs. Sarama and Clements are also directing Scalable Professional Development in Early Mathematics: The Learning and Teaching with Learning Trajectories Tool, updating and disseminate a professional development software application (LearningTrajectories.org) empirically supported in previous projects, funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Gates Foundation, as well as contributing to two centers, National Center on Early Childhood, Teaching, Learning, and Development and the Regional Educational Laboratory: Central.

Previous funded projects include, Longitudinal Study of a Successful Scaling Up Project: Extending TRIAD,following children from preschool to fifth grade (TRIADScaleUp.org); Increasing the efficacy of an early mathematics curriculum with scaffolding designed to promote self-regulation to evaluate whether self-regulation and mathematics instruction can be combined synergistically; Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science, and Literacy, which developed an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum C4L (www.connect4learning.com); Learning Trajectories to Support the Growth of Measurement Knowledge: Pre-K through Middle School, developing better ways of assessing and teaching geometric measurement; and Building Blocks—Foundations for Mathematical Thinking, Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2: Research-based Materials Development, the initial grant that developed the Building Blocks curriculum and the learning trajectories on which most of their work is based.

Areas of Research

learning trajectories
cognition and learning
scale-up of interventions
early number
arithmetic
geometry
spatial thinking.

Key Projects

  • Evaluating the Efficacy of Learning Trajectories in Early Mathematics
  • Development & Research in Early Childhood Mathematics (DREME) -PHASE III
  • CREMAT: Using Rule Space and Poset-based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test
  • Development & Research in Early Childhood Mathematics (DREME) -PHASE III
  • EMERGE: Increasing the Efficacy of and Early Mathematics Curriculum with Scaffolding Designed to Promote Self Regulation
  • Learning Trajectories as a Complete Early Mathematics Intervention: Achieving Efficacies of Economies at Scale
  • Scalable Professional Development in Early Mathematics: The Learning and Teaching with Learning Trajectories Tool
  • Developing Teaching Experience in K-5 Mathematics
  • Evaluating the Efficacy of an Interdisciplinary Preschool Curriculum (EPIC)
  • Learning Trajectories to Support Growth of Measurement Knowledge: Pre-K through Middle School

Featured Publications

Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2020). Promoting a good start: Technology in early childhood mathematics. In E. Arias Ortiz, J. P. Cristia, & S. Cueto (Eds.), Learning mathematics in the 21st Century: Adding technology to the equation (pp. 181-223). Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.

Presentations

Clements, D. H., Bezuk, N., Martin, G., & Bay-Williams, J. (2020). AMTE Standards for Mathematics Teacher Preparation. AMTE. Phoenix, AZ: Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.
Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2021). LT-Squared—Learning and Teaching with Learning Trajectories Tool: Support for Professional Learning. Annual Meeting of the NCTM. Virtual: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics .
Sarama, J., & Clements, D. H. (2021). From Cognition to Curriculum to Scale: Learning Trajectories for Early Math . Designs for researching mathematics learning in early childhood education and care. Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg.
Clements, D. H. (2021). The Surprising Importance of Early Math. WSA Winter Meeting 2021 / Reunión Invernal de la Asociación WS. Bellevue, WA: Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP.
Stark Guss, S., Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., & Day-Hess, C. A. (2021). Exploration of Theoretical and Empirical Congruence in a Measure of Early Math. The 2021 Virtual Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Society for Research in Child Development.
Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., Van Dine, D., & McDonel, J. (2011). A Hypothetical Learning Trajectory for Volume in the Early Years. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference. New Orleans: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Sarama, J., & Clements, D. H. (2021). Learning Trajectories as the Core of Teacher Professional Development. AERA Annual Meeting (virtual in 2021). Orlando, FL: American Educational Research Association.
Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2020). Pre-School Mathematics Intervention Can Significantly Improve Student Learning Trajectories Through Elementary School. AERA Annual Meeting (virtual in 2020). San Francisco, CA: American Educational Research Association.
Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2020). The Importance of Interdisciplinary Approaches for Early Childhood Programs. CISC (Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee) Symposium. Monterey, CA: California Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee.

Awards

  • 2015 Innovator Award, Kaplan Early Learning Company and the Leon & Renee Kaplan Foundation for the Health and Well-being of Children
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo
  • EISS Educator of the Year Award 2009, Early Intervention for School Success
  • Facilitator’s Choice Award, National Science Foundation