Supporting Early Mathematics Learning: Building Mathematical Capital Through Participating in Early Years Swimming

  • Robyn JorgensenEmail author
Part of the Early Mathematics Learning and Development book series (EMLD)


Much has been written about out of school contexts and their importance and relevance to learning mathematics. This chapter explores the swim environment for under 5s and its potential for learning mathematics. The findings are drawn from a much larger, international study on the potential impact of early years swimming to add capital to young children. The focus here is on adding mathematical capital to under-5s. It was found the there is a very strong case for early years swimming to be of significant benefit to young children. Drawing on both internationally and nationally accredited and recognised psychological testing and observations of lessons, the chapter explores specific results and then offers a potential explanation for how such results may have been achieved by drawing on lesson observations. The results provide interesting and valuable insights into the potential of non-school contexts to add mathematical capital to young children.


Early years Swimming Out-of-school contexts Mathematical capital Bourdieu 



I would like to thank Drs Roland Simon for the statistical advice on the child development tests. I also recognise the advice and support offered by Dr Laurie Lawrence and Ross Gage with respect to the nuances of the swim industry. I would also acknowledge the support of members of the swim industry, particularly ACTSA and Swim Australia who offered both financial support and access to swim schools in order that the research could be undertaken. The views in this chapter are those of the author and independent of the sponsoring organisations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and MathematicsUniversity of CanberraBruceAustralia

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