When do children begin to learn mathematics? Views of preschool practitioners in regional and rural Australia
Hunting, Robert P. and Mousley, Judith 2009, When do children begin to learn mathematics? Views of preschool practitioners in regional and rural Australia, Australian research in early childhood education, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 27-38.
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Preschool directors, teachers, and assistants from regional and rural eastern Australia were interviewed in the autumn of 2008 to discover their knowledge and beliefs concerning whether young children had the capacity to solve mathematical problems, when young children begin to think mathematically, and their observations of children’s mathematics learning. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that preschool children were capable of mathematical activity and thought. Fifty eight (88%) respondents believed that children had begun to exhibit mathematical thinking by age 3; 30 (46%) by their first birthday. Practitioners interviewed were able to provide examples of both incidental and planned mathematical activities across a breadth of content, including number and operations, measurement, geometry, and fundamental classifying and ordering activities. The practitioners also demonstrated a creditable awareness of children who seemed to have a good grasp of mathematics. Many practitioners realized that mathematical proclivity could be shown in the processes children use as they engaged in mathematical activity and solved mathematical problems.
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Re published in journals Special Mathematics Issue 2009-2010 pg. 13 - 24
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