The author examined whether mathematics instruction provided by kindergarten teachers is related to children's mathematics learning during the kindergarten year based on the children's socioeconomic status and race. Hierarchical linear modeling was employed using a large sample of kindergarten students to estimate relationships between the teacher's instructional approach (e.g., concrete-spatial, interpersonal, linguistic) and children's mathematics skills. Results showed that the teacher's instructional approach was selectively related to children's mathematics learning. Students in classrooms where teachers frequently employed a concrete-spatial instructional approach learned more during the kindergarten year. Students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds benefitted more from teachers who often employed an interpersonal approach, and Black/African American students benefitted less from classrooms where teachers relied more on a linguistic approach. The findings suggest that kindergarten teachers instruction needs to employ varied methods that take into account students mathematics skills and background characteristics.
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