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Preschool children’s understanding of numbers shown in a partitioning task
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Praktiknära utbildningsforskning (PUF), Mathematics Education Research. Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Volume 4: Oral Communications and Poster Presentations / [ed] Mellony Graven, Hamsa Venkat, Anthony A. Essien & Pamela Vale, Pretoria, South Africa: PME , 2019, p. 59-59Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Children’s ways of handling numbers in arithmetic tasks has been studied extensively, providing us with insights about strategies for solving tasks and development of arithmetic skills (Carpenter & Moser, 1982). Children’s ability to decompose numbers is one important part of development, since the ability allows children to apply different strategies when solving tasks (Hunting, 2003). Children’s different ways of encountering numbers in simple tasks may give a comprehensive understanding of the challenges in learning to use numbers in proficient ways. When experiencing part-part-whole relations of numbers, the child needs to consider the parts and the whole simultaneously. This paper reports on an analysis of 103 individual interviews with 5-year-old children on two occasions during their last year in preschool in Sweden. We report on the analysis of one particular task illustrating children’s experience of numbers when partitioning seven hidden marbles into two parts. The specific research question was: What different ways of experiencing numbers by 5-year-old children were exposed in a partitioning task?

Variation theory (Marton, 2015) was used to analyse children’s ways of experiencing numbers and what aspects were critical to discern in order to solve the task. Variation theory emanates from more than thirty years of phenomenographic research, investigating different ways in which the same phenomena can be experienced. We found that children experienced numbers in six different ways: as number words, as names, as extents, as countables, as structure, or as known number facts. Our study shows that those ways of experiencing numbers that are foregrounding the cardinal, ordinal and the parts and whole simultaneously end up in plausible answers and the children initiate ways to handle the task in powerful ways. Consequently, if the children experience either the cardinal (e.g. numbers as extent) or the ordinal (e.g. numbers as names) they are not able to decompose the whole and thereby solve the task.

References

Carpenter, T. P., & Moser, J. M. (1982). The development of addition and subtraction problem-solving skills. In T. P. Carpenter, J. M. Moser, & T. A. Romberg (Eds.), Addition and subtraction: A cognitive perspective. Hillsdale, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hunting, R. P. (2003). Part-whole number knowledge in preschool children. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 22(3), 217-235.

Marton, F. (2015). Necessary conditions of learning. New York: Routledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pretoria, South Africa: PME , 2019. p. 59-59
National Category
Didactics Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-46514ISBN: 978-0-6398215-6-6 (print)ISBN: 978-0-6398215-7-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-46514DiVA, id: diva2:1359672
Conference
43rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Pretoria, South Africa, 7 – 12 July 2019
Available from: 2019-10-10 Created: 2019-10-10 Last updated: 2019-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Ekdahl, Anna-Lena

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
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