ERIC Number: EJ1229928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Probabilities and Preschoolers: Do Tangible versus Virtual Manipulatives, Sample Space, and Repetition Matter?
Early Childhood Education Journal, v47 n6 p769-777 Nov 2019
Probabilities tend to become an integral part of early childhood mathematics curricula. Research has shown that at the age of 4, children indicate basics of probabilistic reasoning and can engage with probabilistic tasks and uncertainty. The aim of this study is to examine whether methodological and design alterations influence children's inferences of the most probable event. Children (N = 480), aged 4-6 years, participated in choice tasks involving probabilistic predictions after repeated random draws, in groups of 3. Participation was either through the interaction with tangible manipulatives (Condition 1) or through computer-based manipulatives (Condition 2). During participation, children recorded their initial predictions and the actual outcomes on specially designed sheets and each task was repeated three times. Findings imply that preschoolers appreciate what is more probable and show a significantly better understanding of the likelihood of events when interacting with tangible rather than computer-based manipulatives and when the sample space is simpler (p < 0.01); thus, repetition was not found to be significant. Such results are important when designing and embedding basic probabilistic notions in the early childhood classroom, aiming at promoting children's probability literacy.
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Probability, Manipulative Materials, Prediction, Inferences, Computer Uses in Education, Abstract Reasoning, Repetition, Literacy, Task Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A