Characterization of mathematical knowledge of pre-service teachers of early childhood education

Marjorie Sámuel, Yuly Vanegas, Joaquin Giménez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    © Sociedad Española de Pedagogía. INTRODUCTION. Currently, teacher training at all levels is considered as a subject under permanent study. Nevertheless, little research has concentrated on what knowledge prospective Early Childhood Education teachers have of their mathematical skills. In this study, it is sought to characterize the initial mathematical knowledge of future teachers of early childhood education, when faced with the analysis about symmetry in school tasks. METHOD. An ethnographic case study is conducted with a group of future teachers of Early Childhood Education. A professional task is designed based on the reflection upon symmetry in school situations and the pupils’ answers. We analyze future teachers’ written productions from the perspective of noticing competence, focusing on the analysis of identifying mathematical notions and properties. RESULTS. Three levels of understanding of symmetry are identified. Future teachers who are at the high level recognize at least three properties of symmetry. At the middle level (where most of the future teachers of the study are situated), one or two properties are identified, basically justifying the idea of symmetry as a pattern of visual repetition and the change of orientation of the figures. At the low level the future teachers recognize symmetry as a repetition of shapes and color. In general, there are difficulties in recognizing all the properties of symmetry. CONCLUSIONS. In relation to the identification of the relevant mathematical elements in the proposed professional task, it is observed that very few educators identify symmetry as a point-to-point transformation, confusing sometimes the bilateral symmetry with central symmetry and evidencing difficulties in recognizing all the properties that define symmetry. In particular, future teachers do not identify neither the symmetry axe as invariant of the transformation nor as involutive movement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-75
    JournalBordon, Revista de Pedagogia
    Volume70
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

    Keywords

    • Early Childhood Education
    • Mathematical knowledge
    • Symmetry
    • Teaching competence

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