Tuesday 13 May, 2014
In this paper, two Swedish preschool children’s interactions around a balance game on an interactive table are examined in relationship to how they learn to think mathematically. Sarama and Clements listed 7 affordances of computer manipulatives that they considered could lead to young children developing mathematical thinking. However, they had scant evidence for showing whether all of these affordances actually support young children’s mathematical thinking. One of the issues related to this topic is having a clear definition of what it means to learn mathematical thinking. In this study, the work of Biesta on education and socialisation is combined with that of Radford on subjectification and objectification to present an alternative definition to learning than Piaget’s approach of cognitive conflict. This definition is then used to consider the kind of mathematical thinking that the two children developed while playing the balance game.
Tamsin is Professor of Mathematics Education at Malmö University in Sweden and previously was Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education at CSU (Wagga) and a founding member of the TTPRG. Tamsin’s research has focussed on the complexity of the process of teaching and learning mathematics. This research has come from a concern for social justice and looks at wider issues not just those found in the classroom. For many years, she has investigated how language, particularly Indigenous languages, are used in teaching and learning of mathematics. More recently, she has begun to investigate how young children engage in mathematics activities at home and school and how teachers use children’s play to interact with them around mathematical ideas.
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