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ERIC Number: EJ833982
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1350-293X
Making Sense of Mathematical Graphics: The Development of Understanding Abstract Symbolism
Carruthers, Elizabeth; Worthington, Maulfry
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v13 n1 p57-79 2005
In this paper we develop our theory of "Bi-numeracy" and show the importance of children's own invented symbolism. Most studies to date have concentrated on the analysis of children's number representations in clinically set-up tasks (Hughes, 1986; Sinclair, 1988; Munn, 1994). These studies have added to our knowledge of and understanding of children's mathematical marks. Our research differs in that we based our study in children's homes, nursery and classroom contexts. Rather than being clinical researchers our role has been that of participant observer, based on ethnographic research and grounded theory. We have analysed almost 700 examples of mathematical graphics. These cover all aspects of number and mathematics from the wider mathematics curriculum. They range from child-initiated marks within play to adult-directed sessions in which the children also chose what they wanted to put down on paper. All the samples have come from our own classes or those in which we have been invited to teach. Based on this large sample of original children's marks from authentic teaching situations, our findings are therefore evidence based. We have grouped examples to show where some clear patterns emerged and developed categories that will support teachers' assessment of children's developing mathematical understanding. We will show the range of these mathematical marks from early play exploration to later written calculations. Our central thesis is that there is a huge need to more openly support children's thinking and mathematical thinking in particular. (Contains 13 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)