Preservice Teachers’ Development of Literacy-Themed Mathematics Instruction for Early Childhood Classrooms

Abstract

There is a history of innovative educators who have taught mathematics through literacy-based activities that enable children to connect new mathematical knowledge using children’s real-life experiences. The picture book, Math Curse, was utilized as the stimulus for 72 preservice teachers to analyze the structure and content of the mathematics-themed storybook and, subsequently write their own version of such a story. The stories were coded for content themes and coverage of mathematical content. The stories covered all major mathematical content areas, around themes such as family life, school, and sports. The research findings illustrate how preservice teachers could creatively generate mathematically focused stories for students so that young children could identify with the characters and storylines and imagine how mathematical concepts apply in everyday activities. This research with preservice teachers provided preservice teachers with knowledge and insights into how they could embed mathematics instruction into a story format. It also increased the likelihood that the preservice teachers could apply this knowledge in their future classrooms.

Résumé

Il existe un récit concernant des éducateurs innovateurs qui ont enseigné les mathématiques par le biais d’activités fondées sur l’alphabétisation pour permettre aux enfants de connecter de nouvelles connaissances mathématiques en faisant appel aux expériences de la vie réelle des enfants. Le livres d’images intitulé Math Curse (‘La malédiction des maths’) a servi comme stimulus à 72 enseignants en formation initiale pour qu’ils analysent la structure et le contenu de ce livre de contes sur le thème des mathématiques puis écrivent leur propre version de ce genre d’histoire. Les récits ont été codés par thème de contenu et par couverture du contenu mathématique. Les histoires ont porté sur tous les grands domaines des mathématiques autour de thèmes comme la vie de famille l’école et les sports. Les observations de cette recherche illustrent comment les enseignants en formation initiale pourraient produire pour les élèves des histoires créatives axées sur les mathématiques de façon à ce que les jeunes enfants puissent s’identifier aux personnages et aux narrations et imaginer comment les concepts mathématiques s’appliquent dans la vie de tous les jours. Cette recherche avec des enseignants en formation initiale a apporté à ceux-ci des connaissances et des perspectives sur la façon dont ils pourraient incorporer l’enseignement des mathématiques dans un format de récit. Elle a également augmenté la probabilité que les enseignants en formation initiale appliqueraient ces connaissances à leurs classes dans l’avenir.

Resumen

Hay una historia de educadores innovadores que han enseñado matemáticas a través de actividades basadas en la alfabetización que permiten a los niños conectar nuevos conocimientos matemáticos utilizando las experiencias de la vida real de los niños. El libro de imágenes Math Curse se utilizó como estímulo para que 72 profesores en formación analizaran la estructura y el contenido del cuento de temática matemática y posteriormente escribieran su propia versión de la historia. Los cuentos fueron codificados según temas de contenido y cobertura de contenido matemático. Los cuentos cubrieron las principales áreas de contenido matemático en torno a temas como la vida familiar la escuela y los deportes. Los hallazgos de la investigación ilustran cómo los profesores en formación pueden generar cuentos creativos enfocados matemáticamente para los estudiantes de modo que los niños pequeños puedan identificarse con los personajes y las líneas de la historia e imaginar cómo se aplican los conceptos matemáticos en las actividades diarias. Esta investigación con maestros en prácticas brindó a los docentes en prácticas conocimientos e ideas sobre cómo podrían integrar la instrucción de matemáticas en el formato creativo de un cuento. También aumentó la probabilidad de que los maestros en prácticas pudieran aplicar este conocimiento en sus futuras aulas.

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An, S., Tinajero, J., Tillman, D. et al. Preservice Teachers’ Development of Literacy-Themed Mathematics Instruction for Early Childhood Classrooms. IJEC 51, 41–57 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-019-00232-9

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Keywords

  • Early childhood
  • Literacy-themed mathematics
  • Literacy
  • Teacher education
  • Mathematics education