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Giving young children a mathematical challenge.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013). (SMEER)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6525-9871
2015 (English)In: Innovation, Experimentatin and Adventure in early childhood, 2015, 211-212 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper shows the implications of children (age 6) working with challenging mathematical problem-solving tasks in statistics.Historically mainly arithmetic has been taught in preschools (Saracho & Spodek, 2008) and Sarama & Clements (2009) state numbers and quantitative thinking as the main area of research for young children.The study presents results of a design-research project with the purpose of innovating and improving classroom practice (Cobb & Gravemeijer, 2008). The design was both process and utility oriented (van den Akker, Gravemeijer, McKenney, Nieveen, 2006) aiming at developing design theories regarding the learning in these designed settings.The task was to determine; What will the outcome be when I draw two beads out of a bag with two red and two yellow beads? First the children were to predict the outcome resulting in a bar-chart. The beads were then drawn thirty times while they, based on own strategies, documented the outcome. Finally the mathematical outcome was discussed and an explanation was found. Furthermore the documentation per se was focused on.The ethical regulations for research in Sweden where followed, where guardians and children approved the participation.The results of the documentation showed the following: The children had used a diversity in their documentation, corresponding to levels of abstraction. Few children managed to document both outcome and number of draws. During the discussion, they explored and tried to understand each other’s documentation. This task and children’s documentations supports the idea that challenging mathematical problem-solving tasks can (ought to) be used in early childhood mathematics education settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. 211-212 p.
Keyword [en]
problem solving, mathematics, probability, pre-school, documentation
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41156OAI: diva2:915244
EECERA - European Early Childhood Education Research Association, Barcelona 7-10 September 2015
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2016-04-27Bibliographically approved

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van Bommel, Jorryt
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