‘We make stories one meter long’: children’s participation and meaningful mathematical learning in Early Childhood Education

MARIA PAPANDREOU, ZOE KONSTANTINIDOU

Abstract

By taking a cultural-historical perspective, the present case study put participatory pedagogies into practice for early mathematical learning and sought to delve into children’s emerging mathematising and the teacher’s role who attentively follows children’s initiatives. Drawing on a series of selected critical incidents that evolved as the children of a kindergarten classroom engaged with the investigation of linear measuring tools, we analysed both children’s mathematising processes and teacher’s responsive and mediational acts aiming to promote young learners’ mathematical thinking. With respect to children, the analysis demonstrated how through a series of ongoing mathematising processes, they elaborated and gradually developed key measurement concepts. Regarding the teacher's role, it was found that children’s emerging mathematising was supported by five lines of action enacted by her: (a) documenting thoroughly children’s actions, (b) posing challenging or clarifying questions, (c) introducing activities to the plenary as a response to children’s actions, (d) motivating children to ask their classmates for help, and (e) creating connections between children’s funds of knowledge and key mathematical ideas.

Keywords

Participation, early mathematics, mathematising process, children’s initiatives, play pedagogies

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/rev.3511

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