, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 453–467 | Cite as

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

Original Article


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.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2012

Authors and Affiliations

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

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