Draft title of doctorate: The genesis of mathematical semiosis in early childhood.
Researcher(s): Malfry Worthington
Setting(s): Redcliffe Nursery School and Children’s Centre
This doctoral research analyses data from case studies of seven 3-4 year olds attending the maintained nursery at Redcliffe Children’s Centre in Bristol. It considers the children’s cultural mathematical knowledge of home and ways in which they adapt and extend this knowledge within their rich pretend play in the nursery. The research focuses particularly on the children’s own graphical communications of mathematics, highlighting ways in which the children make meaningful beginnings with the abstract symbolic language of mathematics and how these connect to the mathematical notations of ‘school’ mathematics. The study argues that meaningful social and cultural contexts such as pretend play provide potentially rich and sustained contexts for young children’s mathematics. The findings are likely to challenge current narrow ‘basic skills’ approaches in England.
Abstracts for three doctoral papers for this ongoing research are attached below.