Dr. Douglas H. Clements

Douglas H. Clements

Professor

Distinguished University Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood 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 at the University of Denver. Previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one, 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 166 refereed research studies, 27 books, 100 chapters, and 300 additional works . His latest books detail research-based learning trajectories in early mathematics education, including Learning and teaching early math: The learning trajectories approach. Dr. Clements has directed over 38 funded projects. He has served on the U.S. President's National Mathematics Advisory Panel, the Common Core State Standards committee, and the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics, and is and co-author each of their reports. 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 Education’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.

Clements has served on many national and state committees. Currently, he is an inaugural Member of the USA STEM Education Advisory Panel, whose responsibility it will be to provide advice and recommendations to the National Science and Technology Counsel's Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education in identifying needs and opportunities to update the Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan. He has served for years on Colorado’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission.

Previously, Clements and co-chaired NSF’s DR K-12 Topical Group on Early Learning proposed and chaired a joint committee that produced a joint National Association for the Education of Young children and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) position statement on early childhood mathematics, Early childhood mathematics: Promoting good beginnings. A joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Other projects include the Using Rule Space and Poset-based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test, which is developing a computer-adaptive assessment for early mathematics; Logo Geometry, which developed an elementary geometry curriculum based on Logo, Logo Geometry, published by Silver Burdett & Ginn. In a related NSF research project, he conducted research on the teaching and learning of geometry with and without computers resulting in Logo and Geometry, a Journal for Research in Mathematics Education monograph. He also completed two addition NSF projects with several colleagues. The first developed a K-5 mathematics curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (published by Dale Seymour Publications). In that context, he has developed several constructivist-oriented software packages (with he and colleague Julie Sarama performing all the design, programming, and implementation), including their own version of Logo and Logo-based software activities to complement the curriculum (this software environment was also published as a stand-alone product, including activities that integrate Logo into the geometry curriculum, under the name Turtle Math™, which was awarded Technology & Learning Software of the Year award, 1995, in the category "Math"), a computer-based manipulative software environment (Shapes) and several others (Trips, Tumbling Tetrominoes). He was co-PI on “A Longitudinal study of the Effects of a Pre-Kindergarten Mathematics Curriculum on Low-Income Children’s Mathematical Knowledge,” funded by IES.

While a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University of Buffalo, Dr. Clements was a member of President Bush's National Math Advisory Panel, convened to advise the administration on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics, and coauthor of the Panel’s report. He was also a member of the National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Early Mathematics and co-author of their report and is presently a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ (IOM/NRC) Committee on the Science of Children. He helped write and continues to serve on the Common Core State Standards committee of the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers, helping to write national academic standards and the learning trajectories that underlie them. With Julie Sarama, he authored the NGA’s policy documents on early mathematics.

Dr. Clements is active in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, coauthored NCTM's Principals and Standards for School Mathematics and the 2006 Curriculum focal points for prekindergarten through grade 8 mathematics: A quest for coherence, and was editor and author of the NCTM Addenda (to the Standards)materials. He was chair of the Editorial Panel of NCTM's research journal, the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.

Additional information can be found at http://du.academia.edu/DouglasClements, http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Douglas_Clements/, and http://portfolio.du.edu/dclemen9

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 Inderdisciplinary 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
  • Distinguished University Professor, University of Denver