Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years

Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years

Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years

Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years

Synopsis

Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years provides practical guidance for parents, teachers and other early years workers who want to give children a good start in mathematical development. Showing how competent children are as mathematicians from an early age, the book offers an overview of young children's mathematical behaviour at home and in early years settings.

Excerpt

We are, all of us, at all ages, already highly skilled
mathematicians. We just haven't often learned it in our
mathematics lessons.

(Lewis 1996: 17)

There is widespread concern – from successive governments, from the media, from the teaching profession itself – about standards of achievement in mathematics. This concern is not new. In 1982, the influential Cockcroft Report was published but even then, as the report makes clear, anxiety about standards of mathematical achievement had existed for well over a century before that. The Cockcroft Committee was charged with reporting on mathematics in school and in the world of employment. The report drew attention to the high number of apparently educated and intelligent adults who were unable to engage comfortably in everyday activities because 'they are hopeless at arithmetic' (DES 1982: 5).

Over the ensuing twenty years throughout Britain, there have been widespread curricular revisions, including the introduction of the National Numeracy Strategy (NNS), which was designed to raise achievement and improve the quality of learning and teaching in mathematics. Despite the enormous range of curriculum changes, the teaching and learning of mathematics remains the topic of much heated debate in Britain. Even what we are talking about when we mention mathematics is questioned. The term 'numeracy' is now frequently used . . .

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