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The development of mathematical concepts and language in school

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The development of mathematical concepts and language in school. Maulfry Worthington. Background. Foundation stage curriculum Birth to three: strong research base EYFS – birth to five Play-based curriculum Subject areas including mathematics. Play and Learning.

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Presentation Transcript
background
Background
  • Foundation stage curriculum
  • Birth to three: strong research base
  • EYFS – birth to five
  • Play-based curriculum
  • Subject areas including mathematics
play and learning
Play and Learning
  • Cultural-historical perspective (Vygotsky)
  • Play as a leading activity for the child
  • Child at the centre of the educational process
  • Imaginative play promotes abstract thought
  • Important link between education and development
original data
Original Data
  • Teacher in class of thirty, 4 – 6 years olds (Reception and Year 1)

Observations collected during one school year:

  • to help build my understanding of children's interests (schemas)
  • to support and extend the children's thinking
previous research
Previous Research

Analysed my original observations to:

  • Identify patterns of children’s behaviours, using frequency charts
  • Explored the relationship between children's schemas and their early written symbols

(Carruthers and Worthington, 2003/2006)

theoretical frameworks
Theoretical frameworks

Current research:

  • Socio-cultural framework - Vygotsky

Informed by:

  • Research on schemas - Athey
  • Research on Multi-modality – Kress

Aims:

  • To explore the relationship between play and children’s personal mathematical interests
  • To trace the development between ‘everyday’ and ‘scientific’ mathematical concepts
methodology
Methodology
  • Ethnographic study
  • Participant observer
  • Qualitative research
  • ‘Re-mining’ the original data – short observations of ‘significant moments’ of children’s play
1 daniel s spontaneous play interests reveal strong cultural influences
1. Daniel’s spontaneous play interests reveal strong cultural influences
  • Robin Hood; pirates, Paddington Bear, Batman; spaceships; submarines; police; kings, racing cars; aeroplanes and helicopters; fire engines; submarines and postmen
  • Other influences from home
2 high level of mathematical concerns explored through play
2. High level of mathematical concerns explored through play
  • Mathematical thinking and language developed within imaginative play
  • Both collaborative and individual play and explorations
  • Through actions, 3D constructions, mark-making and imaginative play (symbolic activity)
  • Wide range of resources
3 frequency range and development
3. Frequency, range and development

Plotting observations of Daniel’s schemas revealed:

  • a general forwards movement indicating developing interests and development
  • A zigzagging pattern and a clustering as he re-visited schemas and explored new ones
  • Analysis points to ways in which the everyday mathematical concepts support development of scientific mathematical concepts
4 drawing and writing as central concerns
4. Drawing and writing as central concerns
  • Drawing maps
  • Writing letters and numerals
pedagogy
Pedagogy
  • Important role of the teacher in developing the child’s thinking
  • Adults mediating and scaffolding learning
  • Importance of involving the child’s family
  • Value of observations to inform pedagogy
conclusions
Growing interest in schemas as a pedagogical tool

Schemas appear to support skills relating to symbolic language systems children develop in school (but not meanings)

Observations revealed the mathematics hidden in play

Play offers idea contexts for children up to six year of age to explore everyday mathematical concepts

Conclusions
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