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Mathematics in the Preschool: Comparing In-service Teachers and Pre:service Preschool Teachers' Knowledge of Early Mathemati - Dissertation Example

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Mathematics in the Preschool: Comparing In-service Teachers and Pre–service Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Early Mathematical Development and Their Beliefs about Mathematics Teaching Chapter 1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Preschool is a time when children may first encounter mathematical lessons, however, much recent research has indicated that preschool children have the ability to understand a variety of mathematical concepts even prior to entering kindergarten (Klein, Stakey, Clements, Sarama, & Lyer, 2008; Clement & Sarama, 2007)…
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Mathematics in the Preschool: Comparing In-service Teachers and Pre:service Preschool Teachers Knowledge of Early Mathemati
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Mathematics in the Preschool: Comparing In-service Teachers and Pre:service Preschool Teachers' Knowledge of Early Mathemati

Download file to see previous pages... The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000) emphasizes the need to provide high quality early childhood mathematics programs in preschools because a solid mathematical foundation in early childhood is essential. At this age, young children are building their own perceptions of what math is – what it means to know and do math and even about themselves as math learners. “These beliefs influence their thinking about, performance in, and attitudes toward mathematics and decisions related to studying mathematics in later years” (p. 98) According to the NCTM, the quality of mathematical education in early childhood plays an important part in the child’s understanding of possibly difficult math concepts (Loop, 2009). Although there had been many studies pertaining to patterns of mathematical teaching in preschool, there is a lack of research on how teachers of Math perceive how young children learn Math and even what to teach in accordance to the developmental level of their learners. That is why enhancing early childhood education teachers’ confidence and competence in teaching math is considered a route to improvement of mathematics instruction in preschool. Sarama & DiBiase (2004, cited in Tsamir & Tirosh, 2009) suggest that early childhood teacher training focus both on mathematics content and teachers’ dispositions towards math. This reflects the need for highly qualified professionals. The NAEYC Code of Ethics state: “In decisions concerning children’s programs, we shall draw upon the education, experience, and expertise of staff members” (Decker et al, 2009, p.359). This principle pertains to the ideal of professional training and development of early childhood workers. “To further the professional development of the field of early childhood care and education and to strengthen its commitment to realizing its core values” (Decker et al, 2009, p.361). Early childhood educators need much training for all the tasks expected of them when they begin work. Being an effective teacher encompasses a wide spectrum of responsibilities – from designing an environment conducive to learning, to planning appropriate lessons for students and implementing them with effective educational strategies to being able to manage the class well and instilling discipline in the students, to involving parents and coordinating with others regarding the provision of quality education for the students. It may take a Herculean effort to be able to manage all these skills at the same time, hence professional training with experience is required. This current study draws much inspiration and idea from the work of Platas (2008) entitled “Measuring Teachers’ Knowledge of Early Mathematical Development and their Beliefs about Mathematics Teaching and Learning in the Preschool Classroom”. Platas was able to measure the knowledge of early mathematical development and beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning in the preschool classroom of preschool teachers using developed and validated survey instruments and statistical analysis (2008). There was a significant variation in the knowledge and beliefs of early childhood ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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