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Mathematics and reading develop together in young children: Practical and policy considerations

Early mathematics and reading skills underlie later school and career success. Yet, many children struggle to acquire these skills at the same rate as their peers. Often, these challenges are interrelated because both domains share basic underlying factors. Although research considers the development and instruction of these two domains together, practice and policy efforts lag behind, often treating these as completely independent domains. Here, we review the empirical basis for linking mathematics and reading: domain-specific and domain-general connections, neurobiological underpinnings, and shared genetic and environmental factors. Furthermore, we recommend enhanced national policies and practices that place mathematics alongside reading campaigns and integrate the two. Future work should also support empirically based instructional tools for both domains and develop links across instructional efforts. (author abstract)
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