Mathematical thinking of preschool children in rural and regional Australia : research and practice

Hunting, Robert, Bobis, Janette, Doig, Brian, English, Lyn, Mousley, Judith, Mulligan, Joanne, Papic, Marina, Pearn, Catherine, Perry, Bob, Robbins, Jill and Young-Loveridge, Jenny 2012, Mathematical thinking of preschool children in rural and regional Australia : research and practice, ACER, Melbourne, Vic..


Title Mathematical thinking of preschool children in rural and regional Australia : research and practice
Author(s) Hunting, Robert
Bobis, Janette
Doig, Brian
English, Lyn
Mousley, Judith
Mulligan, Joanne
Papic, Marina
Pearn, Catherine
Perry, Bob
Robbins, Jill
Young-Loveridge, Jenny
Publication date 2012
Total pages 135
Publisher ACER
Place of Publication Melbourne, Vic.
Keyword(s) childhood educators
mathematical thinking
preschool mathematics
practitioner knowledge
teaching mathematics
Summary At what age do young children begin thinking mathematically? Can young children work on mathematical problems? How do early childhood educators ensure young children feel good about mathematics? Where do early childhood educators learn about suitable mathematics activities?

A good early childhood start in mathematics is critical for later mathematics success. Parents, carers and early childhood educators are teaching mathematics, either consciously or unconsciously, in any social interaction with a child.

Mathematical Thinking of Preschool Children in Rural and Regional Australia is an extension of a conference of Australian and New Zealand researchers that identified a number of important problems related to the mathematical learning of children prior to formal schooling. A project team of 11 researchers from top Australian universities sought to investigate how early childhood education can best have a positive influence on early mathematics learning.

The investigation complements and extends the work of Project Good Start by focusing attention on critical aspects of parents, carers and early childhood educators who care for young children. Early childhood educators from regional and rural New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria were interviewed, following a set of structured questions. The questions focused on: children’s mathematics learning; support for mathematics teaching; use of technology; attitudes to mathematics; and assessment and record keeping.

The researchers also reviewed research focusing on the mathematical capacities and potential foundations for further mathematical development in young children (0–5 years) published in the last decade and produced an annotated bibliography. This should provide a good basis for further research and reading.

Based upon the results of this investigation, the researchers make 11 recommendations for improving the practices of early childhood education centres in relation to young children’s mathematical thinking and development. The implications for policy and decision makers are outlined for teacher education, the provision of resources and further research.
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Language eng
Field of Research 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori)
Socio Economic Objective 930103 Learner Development
HERDC Research category A6 Research report/technical paper
HERDC collection year 2012
Copyright notice ©2012, ACER
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30057386

Document type: Book
Collection: School of Education
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