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Mathematical Problem-Solving Visualised in Outdoor Activities

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Mathematics Education in the Early Years

Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss characteristics of problem-solving situations in outdoor activities considered as mathematical. Although kindergarten children often participate in outdoor activities, these activities are rarely considered as being mathematical. We use theories about instrumental and pedagogical situations in kindergarten to identify the kinds of problem-solving that is occurring and how mathematics comes to play in these situations. We analyse one spontaneous episode in an outdoor setting to gain a better understanding of mathematical problem-solving in outdoor activities. Our findings indicate that although the children only used mathematics implicitly as a tool to solve a practical task in the outdoor environment, the kindergarten teacher was able to support their understanding of the mathematical ideas. This indicates that the teacher had a pedagogical purpose when contributing to the interaction. We argue that awareness of the features of mathematical problem-solving could support kindergarten teachers to be able to support and develop mathematical problem- solving in the outdoor environment.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    When we use the term Kindergarten, it relates to children between 1 and 6 years old that is the year span in Norwegian kindergartens.

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Correspondence to Magni Hope Lossius .

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Lossius, M.H., Lundhaug, T. (2020). Mathematical Problem-Solving Visualised in Outdoor Activities. In: Carlsen, M., Erfjord, I., Hundeland, P.S. (eds) Mathematics Education in the Early Years. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34776-5_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34776-5_8

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