АУТОР(И): Boris Čulina
While there are satisfactory answers to the question “How should we teach children mathematics?”, there are no satisfactory answers to the question “What mathematics should we teach children?”. This paper provides an answer to the last question for preschool children (early childhood), although the answer is also applicable to older children. This answer, together with an appropriate methodology on how to teach mathematics, gives a clear concep- tion of the place of mathematics in the children’s world and our role in helping children develop their mathematical abilities. Briefly, children’s mathematics consists of the world of children’s internal activities that they eventually purposefully organize in order to understand and control the outside world and organize their overall activities in it. We need to support a child in math- ematical activities that she does spontaneously and in which she shows interest, and we need to teach her mathematics that she is interested in developing through these activities. In doing so, we must be fully aware that the child’s mathematics is part of the child’s world of internal activities and is not outside of it. We help the child develop mathematical abilities by developing them in the context of her world and not outside of it. From the point of view of this concep- tion, the standards established today are limiting and too focused on numbers and geometric figures: these topics are too prominent and elaborated, and other mathematical contents are subordinated to them. Adhering to the standards, we drastically limit the mathematics of the child’s world, hamper the correct mathematical development of a child, and we can turn her away from mathematics.
preschool mathematics, standards for preschool mathematics, the NCTM standards, the “new mathematics” movement.
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