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Toddlers’ mathematics – an intense physical work
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses mathematics for toddlers in preschool. The study pays attention to the importance of education in early years. The aim of the project presented here is to study the practices that formal and informal ascribes mathematics for the youngest preschool children, 1-3 years old. Nowadays, young children’s mathematical learning is hot stuff in many countries considering data from international studies on student’s knowledge of mathematics shows significant differences between countries. These differences in mathematic knowledge worry researchers and teachers and they emphasize the importance to start mathematic learning in early years. 

According to these international studies, Swedish children in general have insufficient knowledge of mathematics. Studies also show that despite the fact that girls achieve good results in primary school, they lose interest when they get older. These data have caused the Swedish government to support in service training in mathematics for practicing preschool teachers. The Swedish newly revised curriculum for preschools stresses the role of mathematics in preschool. Recent research on preschool children and mathematics emphasizes the children’s cognitive learning. These studies give attention to how children understand mathematical concepts and which strategies they use for learning. There is reason to believe that the methods and practices for children’s mathematic learning have been developed for the slightly older pre-school children (4-6 years). In Sweden, even 1-3 year olds spend a great part of their day in preschool and here we ask ourselves what mathematics might mean for the youngest children in their everyday preschool life.

This question is framed by a concern for the youngest children’s right to learn and develop in general and, more specifically, a wish to find out what discourses are involved when the young child encounters mathematics in early childhood education practice. In this study the focus is on what discursive rules that frame the way preschool teachers talk about and act as teachers in relation to mathematical activities and the toddler as learner of mathematics. Further mathematics in children’s own activities will be considered.

Data will be collected from the preschool practice by interviewing teachers and by observing the children’s activities and the teachers work. Data will be analyzed by inspiration from discourse theory. The ambition to involve young children claims careful ethical consideration. Children participating in this study are too young to consent. Accordingly, it’s important to be very attentive to the children’s behaviors during the observations.   

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-12020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-12020DiVA, id: diva2:507769
Conference
EECERA 2011 Geneva
Available from: 2012-03-06 Created: 2012-03-06 Last updated: 2012-03-22Bibliographically approved

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Franzén, Karin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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