Primary Numeracy Research

PrimarNumeracyy Research6Research is essential to the improvement of primary early childhood  education. Teaching practice based on research has a positive impact for all Australian children, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  The following links provide some insight into the research that has been conducted.

Do you know of a good research paper? To share it with your colleagues, please email MAV with the link and a brief description.

Enhancing Pupils’ Knowledge of Mathematical Concepts through Game and Poem

Toinpere Mercy, Frederick-Jonah, 2Mojeed Kolawole Akinsola, Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

This study investigated the effects of game and poem enhanced instruction on pupils’ knowledge of mathematics concepts in mathematics (Fractions and decimals, Volume of, cylinder; triangular prisms and sphere; Capacity and Weight). A total of 344 pupils from twelve  public primary schools of Ogbia and Yenagoa Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State, Nigeria were involved in the study. A pretest-posttest control group quasi-experimental design was adopted in the research. The moderating effects of gender were also examined on the independent and dependent variables. Issue-2/Version-1/L05216066.pdf

"Best Practice" in the Classroom: Teaching Poetry and Mathematics

Barbara Kane Schneider, Erin Fletcher, Grand Valley State University

..."children who cannot apply their reading, writing, and math skills to real-world situations are not being educated to succeed beyond the walls of their classrooms."...

Exploring a Structure for Mathematics Lessons that Foster Problem Solving and Reasoning

Peter Sullivan, Nadia Walker, Chris Borcek & Mick Rennie

While there is widespread agreement on the importance of incorporating problem solving  and reasoning into mathematics classrooms, there is limited specific advice on how this can best happen. This is a report of an aspect of a project that is examining the opportunities and constraints in initiating learning by posing challenging mathematics tasks intended to prompt problem solving and reasoning to students, not only to activate their thinking but also to develop an orientation to persistence. The results indicate that such learning is facilitated by a particular lesson structure. This article reports research on the implementation of this lesson structure and also on the finding that students’ responses to the lessons can be used to inform subsequent learning experiences.

Inclusive Practices in the Teaching of Mathematics: Supporting the Work of effective primary teachers

Barbara Clarke, Rhonda Faragher

The practices of effective primary school teachers including students with Down syndrome in their mathematics classes are largely unexplored and many teachers feel unprepared to teach students with intellectual disabilities. A study with cohorts in Victoria and the ACT is underway and here we report a subset of findings concerning the support teachers claim to require. There was an identified need for mathematics specific resources and strategies but a strong endorsement of inclusion as an appropriate practice in primary mathematics

The Impact of Let’s Count on Children’s Mathematics Learning

Ann Gervasoni, & Bob Perry, & Linda Parish
Let’s Count is an early mathematics program that has been designed by The Smith Family and the authors to assist educators in early childhood contexts in socially disadvantaged areas of Australia to work in partnership with parents and other family members to promote positive mathematical experiences for young children (3-5 years). A longitudinal evaluation of Let’s Count was undertaken in 2012-2014 involving 337 children in two treatment groups and 125 children in a comparison group. This paper shares preliminary results from the evaluation. Overall the findings demonstrate that Let’s Count was effective.

Challenging the Mindset of Sammy: A Case Study of a Grade 3 Mathematically Highly Capable Student

Linda Parish Australian Catholic University

This case study narrative reports on the journey of *Sammy as her mindset as a learner of mathematics is challenged. Often students who are mathematically highly capable are viewed as being privileged, they are rarely placed with the cohort of struggling students. Children like Sammy who are mathematically highly capable or gifted, however, are simply students who learn differently and therefore require a different type of teacher support. [*Sammy is a pseudonym].

iPlay, iLearn, iGrow

Nicola Yelland & Caja Gilbert

This report presents the findings from a project that used tablet technology with young children (aged 2 to 6 years of age) in three different early childhood settings. The project was designed to explore the possibilities for learning in each setting to determine if the use of tablets is appropriate for this age group.

Note: links directly to PDF (3 MB) Report iPlay, iLearn, iGrow.pdf

Learning Stories and Children’s Powerful Mathematics

Bob Perry, Sue Dockett & Elspeth Harley

Published in Early Childhood Research and Practice (ECRP) vol. 9 no. 2

This paper reports work done with preschool educators as part of a research project. It traces how 'powerful ideas' in mathematics were identified in current preschool practice, how they were linked to the Developmental Learning Outcomes in the mandatory curriculum documents, and how the technique of learning stories (narrative assessment) was established as a valid assessment regime compatible with key principles of preschool education. The professional development focus on children’s powerful mathematical ideas, combined with action research that encouraged educators to identify these ideas within children’s experiences and to document these through learning stories, form the basis of this paper.

Mathematics Education in the Early Years: Building Bridges

Glenda Anthony & Margaret Walshaw

Published in Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Vol. 10 No. 2

Aligned with the enhanced international commitment to early childhood education, recognition of the importance of providing young children with opportunities to develop mathematical understandings and skills is increasing. Focused on people, relationships and the learning environment, this article draws on a synthesis of research on effective pedagogical practices to describe effective learning communities that can enhance the development of young children's mathematical identities and competencies.

Mathematics in Early Childhood: Exploring the Issue

Nicola Simmons

This paper explores a number of issues relating to mathematics within children’s play experiences in early childhood settings. In particular, what makes mathematical experiences both meaningful and purposeful is considered within the framework of play, as promoted by Te Whariki. In doing so both traditional/instructional and investigative teaching/learning approaches to mathematics and related theories of learning will be briefly examined.

Note: links directly to .doc (67 KB) Papers/Issue 17/ACE_Paper_8_Issue_17.doc

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity

Christopher T. Cross, Taniesha A. Woods & Heidi Schweingruber (Eds)

This report summarises the now substantial literature on learning and teaching mathematics for young children in hopes of catalysing a similar effort in mathematics to that achieved in supporting children's literacy.

Play and Mathematics

Bob Perry & Sue Dockett

Early childhood education draws on a long tradition of play-based curricula. In contrast, mathematics is often regarded as a formal academic subject found in school curricula. Neither of these positions is absolute. Play is an important vehicle for young children’s learning, though it is not the only way that young children learn. Mathematics is also a focus of young children’s learning and, indeed, young children have developed a wide range of significant and powerful mathematics understandings well before they start formal schooling. Many of these understandings will have developed and been refined through play.

Note: need to download PDF from webpage.