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ERIC Number: EJ1064470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-1463-9491
Toward Broader Perspectives of Young Children's Mathematics: Recognizing and Comparing Olivia's Beliefs and Activity
Wernet, Jamie L; Nurnberger-Haag, Julie
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, v16 n2 p118-141 Jun 2015
Little research exists on young children's beliefs about mathematics, and current research perspectives on early mathematical activity may overlook a great deal of young children's sophisticated mathematical thinking. We argue this is attributable, in part, to a need for a broader view of what mathematics is, including cultural practices that are mathematical. Thus, this study investigated a young child's mathematical activity and beliefs prior to school using a framework reflecting a view of mathematics as cultural activity. Through the case study of Olivia, aged 3 and 9 months, we found that her early beliefs about mathematics did not reflect her rich mathematical activity. Although Olivia engaged in a diverse range of mathematical activity (counting, measuring, designing, playing, locating, and explaining), what she believed mathematics to be was constrained to writing numbers and letters. To help young children perceive their own activity as mathematical, we argue there is a need: (a) for researchers, parents, teachers, and teacher educators to recognize the range of mathematics in children's everyday activities; (b) to explicitly tell children when their activity includes mathematics; and (c) for teacher educators to emphasize the cultural nature of early mathematical experiences and how to capitalize on these experiences.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A