The purpose of the thesis is to study how mathematics is experienced and used in preschool children’s activities and how preschool teachers frame their teaching of mathematical content. The studies include analyses of children’s actions in different activities from a mathematical perspective and preschool eachers’ intentions with and their teaching of mathematics. Preschool teachers’ understanding of the knowledge required in this area is also scrutinised.The theoretical points of departure are variation theory and sociocultural theory. With variation theory the focus is directed towards how mathematical content is dealt with in teaching situations where preschool teachers have chosen the learning objects. The sociocultural perspective has been chosen because children’s mathematical learning in play often takes place in interactions with others and in the encounter with culturally mediated concepts. The theoretical framework also includes didactical points of departure. The study is qualitative, with videography and phenomenography as metholological research approaches. In the study, video observations and interviews with preschool teachers have been used as data collection methods. The results show that in children’s play mathematics consists of volume, geometrical shapes, gravity, quantity and positioning. The situations also include size, patterns, proportions, counting and the creation of pairs. The preschool teachers’ intentions, planning and staging of their goal-oriented work are that all children should be given the opportunity to discern a mathematical content. This also includes making learning objects visible in here-and-now-situations. Variation and a clear focus on the mathematical content are important in this context. One of the study’s knowledge contributions concerns the didactics of mathematics in the preschool. This relates to the teaching of mathematics and includes the knowledge that preschool teachers regard as essential for their teaching. This includes theoretical and practical knowledge about children and children’s learning and didactical issues and strategies. The conclusion is that preschool teachers need to have a basic knowledge of mathematics and the didactics of mathematics.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|MoE publication type||G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)|