Early mathematics counts Promising instructional strategies from low- and middle-income countries

By Yasmin A Sitabkhan, Linda Platas

This occasional paper examines common instructional strategies in early-grade mathematics interventions through a review of studies in classrooms in low- and middle-income countries. Twenty-four studies met the criteria for inclusion, and analyses reveal four sets of instructional strategies for which there is evidence from multiple contexts. Of the 24 studies, 16 involved the use of multiple representations, 10 involved the use of developmental progressions, 6 included supporting student use of explanation and justification, and 5 included integration of informal mathematics. Based on the review, we provide conclusions and recommendations for future research and policy.


Sitabkhan, Y. A., & Platas, L. (2018). Early mathematics counts: Promising instructional strategies from low- and middle-income countries. (RTI Press Publication No. OP-0055-1807). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2018.op.0055.1807

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Yasmin A SitabkhanYasmin Sitabkhan, PhD, is an early childhood education researcher and advisor in RTI’s International Development Group.

Linda PlatasLinda M. Platas, PhD, is an assistant professor and the associate chair of the Child and Adolescent Development Department at San Francisco State University.

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