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ERIC Number: EJ788372
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0020-7187
Identifying and Solving Problems: Making Sense of Basic Mathematics through Storytelling in the Preschool Class
Pramling, Niklas; Samuelsson, Ingrid Pramling
International Journal of Early Childhood, v40 n1 p65-79 2008
In a general sense, the research interest of this article concerns the preschool class, which is an intermediate form of schooling for six-year-olds in Sweden, between preschool and school and their two traditions of "play" and "learning," respectively. In a more specific sense, the issue of learning one aspect of basic mathematics in this practice is focused on, as a case study. A video-observation of a teacher and children verbally interacting is analysed. The case studied is the use of a story as presenting a mathematical task, where the children are being asked to draw their solutions in the form of an illustration. The empirical question is: What do the children make an issue of, that is, what is the problem as far as the learners are concerned? It is found that (a) the difficulty for the children does not primarily seem to be mathematical but one of co-ordinating one's explanation to a visual illustration (i.e., a matter of representation), and that (b) making concrete the abstract mathematical principle of division may make it difficult for the learners to distinguish between the two senses of the term (i.e., division as a mathematical operation, and as a practical activity, respectively). The use of a story and the instruction to draw the solution to the task appear to have introduced additional difficulties for children in solving the problem. The implications of the findings for educational practice are discussed.
OMEP: Organisation Mondiale pour l'Education Prescolaire. Goteborg University, Department of Education, Box 300, Goteborg, SE-40530, Sweden. Tel: +46-317-732461; Fax: +46-317-732391; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden