ERIC Number: ED464764
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Learning To Guide Preschool Children's Mathematical Understanding: A Teacher's Professional Growth.
Kirova, Anna; Bhargava, Ambika
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v4 n1 Spr 2002
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics emphasizes that young children need play-based opportunities to develop and deepen their conceptual understanding of mathematics. From a social-constructivist perspective, learning is more likely to occur if adults or more-competent peers mediate children's learning experiences. Emphasizing both the developmental and the curricular perspectives, this article focuses on the role of the teacher in guiding preschool children's mathematical learning while they play with everyday materials. Professional growth in three areas was identified as critical in teachers' learning to guide young children's learning of mathematical concepts. The three areas are: the ability to recognize children's demonstrated understanding of mathematical concepts; the ability to use mathematical language to guide their progress from behavioral to representational understanding of mathematical concepts; and the ability to assess systematically children's understanding of mathematical concepts. Checklists tracing the development of three fundamental mathematical concepts--one-to-one correspondence, classification, and seriation--are suggested as tools for teachers to monitor preschool children's learning of mathematical concepts and plan appropriate learning experiences within children's zones of proximal development. The article asserts that creating an environment that is mathematically empowering and mediating children's experiences in this environment establish the foundation for constructing, modifying, and integrating mathematical concepts in young children. The three checklists are appended. (Contains 26 references.) (Author/HTH)
Descriptors: Check Lists, Classroom Environment, Constructivism (Learning), Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Instruction, Play, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Preschool Teachers, Professional Development, Teacher Role
For full text: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/index.html.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Early Childhood Research & Practice: An Internet Journal on the Development, Care, and Education of Young Children, Spring 2002; see PS 030 400. Published biannually.