Qualities in mathematical discourses in kindergartens
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHundeland, P. S., Carlsen, M. & Erfjord, I. (2020). Qualities in mathematical discourses in kindergartens. ZDM: Mathematics Education, 52 (4), 691-702. doi: 10.1007/s11858-020-01146-w
In this study we investigated qualities of the mathematical discourse in four kindergarten classes in which kindergarten teachers and 5-year-old children engaged in mathematical learning activities. We analysed differences in the mathematical discourses in two experimental kindergarten classes and two control kindergarten classes, in a research and development project. The overarching research question guiding our study was as follows: what characterises the mathematical discourse unfolding in kindergarten classes? In our study we drew on the theoretical framework Mathematical Discourse in Instruction coined by Adler and Ronda, as we quantified the collected qualitative data. Our analyses identified significant characteristics of mathematical discourse with respect to the children’s opportunities to contribute with ideas and arguments. The discourse in the kindergartens differed both with respect to the extent and nature of verbal utterances among the participants, as well as the mathematical engagement nurtured amongst the children. Moreover, the mathematical discourse within the experimental kindergarten classes, to a greater extent than that in the control kindergarten classes, initiated opportunities for the participating children’s mathematical learning.