In 2001, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued Guidelines for Preschool Education (GPE) (trial version) to call on early childhood practitioners to use a child-centered and play-based approach to teaching and learning. The guidelines also include mathematics within the science domain and described its standards in a way that significantly lessens the teacher’s role as knowledge disseminator. Instead, the guidelines encourage mathematics learning and teaching through play, self-discovery, and problem solving. This qualitative case study examined one kindergarten teacher’s implementation of and associated challenges in delivering mathematics lessons from a newly developed integrated provincial curriculum (PC) and the quality of instruction as influenced by using a curriculum that is organized around thematic units. The analysis of the curriculum, ten videotaped lessons, two teacher interviews, and other supporting documents, such as student work and teacher lesson plans, indicated that the teacher encountered difficulties implementing the PC as intended due to a number of factors, including inadequate curricular resources, incoherency of the curriculum design, and a mismatch between the mathematics standards and curriculum goals and the teacher’s instructional style and teaching philosophy. As a result, the quality of mathematics instruction was poor, especially in the areas of (1) using effective teaching strategies, (2) providing clear and accurate instruction with a positive attitude, (3) engaging students in sustained interactions with mathematical ideas, and (4) offering on-going assessment and feedback. To close, recommendations for curriculum refinement and professional development are provided.
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Describe your teaching experience.
What is your educational background?
What is the name of the mathematics curriculum that you currently use? Describe the layout of the curriculum?
What do you think about the curriculum in terms of its strengths and weaknesses after implementing it in your classroom?
How do you use and to what extent do you use the teachers’ guide and resources that come along with the curriculum? Please give some concrete examples.
Do you make modifications to the curriculum? Why and how?
Are you satisfied with the curriculum in terms of student responses and performance?
What changes would you recommend if you were invited to revise this curriculum?
Have you used other curricula for teaching Kindergarten mathematics? What do you think about those curricula? How do the other curricula compare to the one that you are currently using?
If you could choose the mathematics curriculum, which one would you choose and why?
Do the curriculum materials provide an explanation of the goal of the lesson? Do the materials help you understand how the goal is enacted in the lesson? Explain.
Are the different representations of the mathematical content explicit and clear in terms of their use and the intended learning outcomes? Explain.
Do the curriculum materials suggest ways to introduce or elicit multiple strategies or ways of thinking? Explain.
Do the curriculum materials provide examples of when students are likely to have difficulties and ways to respond to these difficulties? Explain.
Do the curriculum materials suggest when and how to check for student understanding? Explain.
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Hu, B.Y., Fuentes, S.Q., Wang, C.Y. et al. A CASE STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CHINESE KINDERGARTEN MATHEMATICS CURRICULUM. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 12, 193–217 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-013-9429-5
- Chinese preschools
- kindergarten mathematics