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Title:Perspectives on mathematics education for young children
Author(s):Jang, Youn Joo
Director of Research:Walsh, Daniel J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Daniel J. Walsh
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Westbury, Ian; Perry, Michelle; Lubienski, Sarah T.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):young children
mathematics education
children's mathematical cognition
mathematics content
Abstract:Through interviews with 32 participants, this study cast a wide net in its attempt to understand four professional groups’ views on mathematics education for young children. These groups included (a) mathematicians, (b) teacher educators, (c) cognitive/developmental psychologists who study young children’s mathematics learning, and (d) preschool and kindergarten teachers. Both similarities and differences were found across groups. All participants have optimistic views on children’s mathematical ability. Newly suggested in this study, by psychologists, is to connect how children construct mathematical knowledge with pedagogical strategies. There was substantial agreement on the range of content areas that should be taught to young children. These included (a) number sense and operations, (b) algebraic thinking, (c) geometry, (d) measurement, and (e) data analysis. Mathematicians suggested an ideal sequence for teaching mathematical content areas. All four groups addressed three substantial ideas related to pedagogy: (a) instilling a positive attitude about math, (b) using diverse teaching strategies, and (c) finding various ways to support teachers. Teacher educators were particularly concerned that current teacher education programs do not prepare teachers well enough to teach math effectively because of the limited number of required courses related to teaching math. Implications for practice and suggestions for further research are presented. A critical goal for future research should be to get these four groups talking with each other.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Youn Joo Jang
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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