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Reflections Magazine : Issue 56 Spring 2014
Curriculum reforms both in Australia and overseas are promoting increased emphasis on numeracy education in the early years of children's development (van Oers, 2009). Teachers are expected to prioritise numeracy and literacy education in an attempt to ensure that children are not left behind academically, and to improve Australia's results on international comparisons of numeracy and literacy performance outcomes (Petriwskyj, O'Gorman, & Turunen, 2013). This emphasis on outcomes is placing pressure on before school educators to develop mathematical skills and knowledge in young children (Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Berk, & Singer, 2009). The way in which educators understand maths strongly influences the types of learning experiences they provide. In the rush to prepare children for school based learning, some early childhood educators are reverting to 'skill and drill' practices that do not align with the intent of the Early Years Learning Framework. An emphasis on numeracy leads educators to value rote skills such as counting and naming shapes. An alternative framing of mathematical thinking is as a language that allows children to see their world using particular processes and ways of working. This view supports a much wider range of learning experiences that link children's everyday experiences with mathematical concepts. 4 Maths is more than Counting Sue Southey Co-Director Springwood Community Kindergarten, Brisbane
Reflections Issue 57 Summer 2014
Reflections Magazine Issue 55 Winter 2014