, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 453–467

Telling and illustrating stories of parity: a classroom-based design experiment on young children’s use of narrative in mathematics

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11858-012-0474-2

Cite this article as:
Roberts, N. & Stylianides, A.J. ZDM Mathematics Education (2013) 45: 453. doi:10.1007/s11858-012-0474-2


This paper examines ways to engage young children in constructing and interpreting narratives to develop their understanding of parity. It reports on a teaching intervention that was developed over three research cycles of a classroom-based design experiment, and focuses on the last of these cycles. The teaching intervention set out to investigate how young children (5–6-year-olds) can be supported to draw on narrative in their explanations of whether a whole number less than 20 is odd or even. Evidence of the effectiveness of the intervention is provided through comparison of children’s performance on pre- and post-tests in the form of semi-structured individual interviews. Also, authentic examples are provided of how children utilised their power of ‘imagining and expressing’ to tell stories of whether a whole number is odd or even, using either a counting, partitive, or quotitive model for division. Implications for research and practice are discussed in light of these findings.

Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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