Special issue on early childhood mathematics teaching and learning

Journal für Mathematik-Didaktik had a special issue on early childhood mathematics teaching and learning in their latest issue. In addition to the editorial by Andrea Peter-Koop and Petra Scherer, the issue included the following articles:

  • Fostering Early Mathematical Competencies in Natural Learning Situations—Foundation and Challenges of a Competence-Oriented Concept of Mathematics Education in Kindergarten, by Hedwig Gasteiger 
  • Attitudes of Kindergarten Educators about Math, by Christiane Benz 
  • Non-numerical and Numerical Understanding of the Part-Whole Concept of Children Aged 4 to 8 in Word Problems, by Petra Langhorst, Antje Ehlert, Annemarie Fritz 
  • Young Children’s Structure Sense, by Miriam M. Lüken 
  • First-Graders’ Development of Calculation Strategies: How Deriving Facts Helps Automatize Facts, by Michael Gaidoschik
  • The “Non-canonical” Solution and the “Improvisation” as Conditions for Early Years Mathematics Learning Processes: The Concept of the “Interactional Niche in the Development of Mathematical Thinking“ (NMT), by Götz Krummheuer
Whereas most issues in this journal feature articles in German, this special issue includes articles in English only, which is nice for those who are not German-speaking. 

Accommodation practices

Mikyung Kim Wolf, Jenny C. Kao, Nichole M. Rivera and Sandy M. Chang have written an article about "Accommodation Practices for English Language Learners in States’ Mathematics Assessments". This article was recently published in Teachers College Record. Here are their conclusions:

Despite the limitation of the small sample in this study, the findings of the study offer practical implications for policymakers and educators in the use of accommodations for ELL students. The study found considerable variation reported by teachers with regard to the perception of accommodation decision makers, selection criteria, and the types of accommodations allowed in each state’s math assessment. This variation raised serious concerns regarding the adequacy of the accommodation uses and the comparability of accommodated test results across schools. In this paper, we discussed a number of possible reasons for teachers’ reported difficulty in keeping up with state policies: (a) lack of clear guidelines in making accommodation decisions and implementing accommodations in a standardized way, (b) lack of or limited opportunities in receiving information and communicating about accommodations among decision makers and teachers, and (c) limited resources and logistical difficulties. To support an appropriate use of accommodations for teachers, we recommend that states make efforts to provide comprehensive, operationalized guidelines for ELL accommodations, monitor the use of the guidelines, and hold regular professional meetings for ELL and content teachers.


Want to join the community?

Since early 2008, I have used this blog as well as my twitter account to communicate things related to research in mathematics education. I started doing this mostly for myself, because I wanted a place to write about new articles, journal issues, conferences etc. from my field. I did this for myself, because when I wrote about it in my blog (or on twitter), there was a bigger chance that I would remember it. It also forced me to use English frequently, since this is not my mother tongue (it is, however, the main language in which I write most of my own academic publications).

Quite early on, I was surprised to learn that lots of people from all over the world was interested in what I did. So, what I was trying to do (aside from the personal aspects of it), with the blog as well as my twitter account, was obviously appreciated by many. It appeared then, that there was a need for somewhere you can go to learn about new things that happen within such a limited field of research as mathematics education.

The last couple of years, I have spent more and more time doing this on twitter, and less time communicating this on my blog. I don't plan on abandoning neither my blog nor my twitter account, but I have started experimenting with Google+, and I now want to invite you all to join me in a collaborative effort to do what I have been trying to do – but now collaboratively (and presumably better)!

I have created a so-called "community" on Google+, called "Mathematics education research", and I hereby invite you all to join me! My hope is that we can use this as a tool to communicate and discuss new articles, journal issues, etc. in the field of mathematics education research.