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Matematiserande i förskolan: Geometri i multimodal interaktion
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (CLIP)
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the dissertation is to contribute with knowledge about mathematizing in preschools, by empirically and analytically examining mathematizing as accomplished in children’s multimodal interactions with each other and their pedagogues in everyday activities. Theoretically and analytically the dissertation is based on an ethnomethodological and conversation analytic perspective (EM/CA) (e.g. Goodwin, 2000; Heritage, 1984), which highlights multimodal interaction and communication in social contexts. Mathematizing is defined as participation in mathematical discourse (Sfard, 2008). A special interest is directed to how preschool children use talk, embodied actions and other semiotic resources as they orient to mathematics in play and other activities. The dissertation is based on ethnographic fieldwork combined with video recordings of everyday mathematizing in two Swedish preschools with children 3–5 years old.

The findings are presented in three studies. The first study examines how mathematical activities emerge in children’s interactions with each other and with their pedagogues. Whether it is the children or the pedagogues who initiate the activity, the children are shown to be actively involved in the construction of the emerging mathematical content. Geometric shapes as well as different aspects of number sense are a couple of the mathematical topics covered in the study. The second study explores children’s mathematizing in the block play area, with an interest in preschoolers’ displayed understandings of geometry (spatiality, shape, symmetry) (Seo, 2003). The study demonstrates how the participants orient to different spatial phenomena as they work with a construction toy. The children are shown to rely upon verbal and embodied resources such as deictics and pointing gestures as geometrical aspects are actualized in their interaction. The third study investigates mathematizing with an interest in how geometrical shapes are made relevant in interaction in two consecutive pedagogical activities: reading and painting. The results of the study demonstrate how naming (baptizing) (Sfard, 2008) of geometrical shapes are central in the two activities. In the painting activity an aesthetic dimension was actualized in the children’s discourse, that somewhat obscured the mathematical content in the activity. The study thus shows the complexity of the relations between the activities. Together the studies contribute with knowledge on preschool children’s everyday mathematizing, in particular children’s appropriation of a geometric discourse as it emerges in the unfolding flow of multimodal interaction. Through the use of an EM/CA perspective the dissertation contributes with new theoretical and methodological approaches to research on mathematics in preschools. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. , p. 91
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences ; 14
Keywords [en]
ethnomethodology/conversation analysis, geometry, multimodal interaction, mathematizing, mathematical discourse, preschool activities, preschool children
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357519ISBN: 978-91-513-0409-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357519DiVA, id: diva2:1239564
Public defence
2018-10-05, sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-11 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2018-10-02
List of papers
1. "Jag kan göra matte å minus å plus": Förskolebarns och pedagogers deltagande i matematiska aktiviteter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Jag kan göra matte å minus å plus": Förskolebarns och pedagogers deltagande i matematiska aktiviteter
2014 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This licentiate thesis examines mathematical activities in a preschool. More precisely, the aim is to create knowledge of how mathematical activities emerge and are constructed in children's interactions with each other and with their teachers. The empirical material consists of video recordings and field notes collected through participant observations during a six-month period in two preschool units for children 3-5 years old. Theoretically the study is based on an ethnomethodological (EM) and conversation analytic (CA) perspective. Video recordings were analyzed using conversation analytic methods, involving a close and detailed analysis of sources in situated mathematical activities. Through the use of an EM and CA perspective this study contributes with new theoretical and methodological approaches to research on mathematical activities in preschools. In the close analysis of children's actions in interaction, an active child with ideas, interests, and commitment emerges, a child who uses a variety of communicative resources when participating in mathematical activities. Whether it is the children or the teachers who initiate the activity the children are actively involved in the construction of the mathematical content.

Geometric shapes and concepts as well as different aspects of children's number sense are a couple of the mathematical topics covered in the study. In the activities the childrens display knowledge of math verbally as well as with their bodies, something that is analyzed by using the concept of epistemic stance. The preschool teachers sometimes used occasions when children display specific knowledge as an educational resource for other children's learning. The study also shows that children as well as their teachers follow each other's initiatives in the activities. This means that children change and enlarge the mathematical content within the activities and that the teachers follow the children's initiative. Through this reciprocity the mathematical content of the activity is maintained.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. p. 156
Series
Studia didactica Upsaliensia, ISSN 1654-8426 ; 7
Keywords
mathematical activities, epistemic stance, geometry, number sense, preschool children, participation, interaction, gesture, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis
National Category
Educational Sciences Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234629 (URN)978-91-554-9072-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-11-07, Gunnar Johanssons sal, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers Allé 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-12-19 Created: 2014-10-21 Last updated: 2018-08-16Bibliographically approved
2. Mathematizing in preschool: Children's participation in geometrical discourse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mathematizing in preschool: Children's participation in geometrical discourse
2018 (English)In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 495-511Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores preschool children's mathematizing in everyday block play activities. Building on an ethnomethodological and multimodal conversation analytic framework, we explore how geometry (i.e. spatiality, shape, and symmetry) is actualized in children's verbal and embodied interaction with their peers, pedagogues, and material environment. The selected data are drawn from a video ethnographic study in a Swedish preschool in which a boy and a girl play with a magnetic construction toy. The results of the study demonstrate how the participants orient to spatial locations, properties, dimensions, orientations, transformations, and shapes as they build a house. The children are shown to rely upon verbal and embodied resources such as deictics (e.g. here, there, these) and pointing gestures as geometrical aspects are actualized in their interaction. The study contributes with knowledge on preschool children'e everyday mathematizing, in particular, children's appropriation of geometric discourse as it emerges in the unfolding flow of interaction.

Keywords
Ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, block play, geometry, mathematizing, preschooler's multimodal interaction
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356118 (URN)10.1080/1350293X.2018.1487143 (DOI)000438637100004 ()
Available from: 2018-07-14 Created: 2018-07-14 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved
3. Utforskande av geometriska former i förskolan: barns deltagande i pedagogiska aktiviteter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Utforskande av geometriska former i förskolan: barns deltagande i pedagogiska aktiviteter
(Swedish)In: Nordisk matematikkdidaktikk, NOMAD: [Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education], ISSN 1104-2176Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [sv]

Artikeln undersöker matematiserande i förskolan, med intresse för hur geometriska former görs gällande i interaktion mellan barn och pedagoger i två på varandra följande aktiviteter: högläsning och målning. Utifrån ett etnometodologiskt och samtalsanalytiskt perspektiv analyseras hur geometriska former aktualiseras i deltagarnas verbala och förkroppsligade interaktion i en materiell miljö. Data utgörs av videoinspelningar genomförda inom ramen för en studie som dokumenterat matematiska aktiviteter i en svensk förskola. Resultaten visar hur benämning (baptizing) av geometriska former är centralt i båda aktiviteterna. I målningsaktiviteten aktualiseras även en estetisk dimension i barnens diskurs, vilket riskerar att otydliggöra det matematiska innehållet. Studien visar därmed på det komplexa i relationerna mellan aktiviteterna och vikten av att tydligt rama in det matematiska innehållet.

Keywords
etnometodologi/samtalsanalys, matematiserande i förskolan, geometriska former, multimodal interaktion
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357518 (URN)
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2018-08-16

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