Measuring temperature within the didaktic space of preschool
Ola Helenius, Maria L. Johansson, Troels Lange, Tamsin Meaney and Anna Wernberg
The informal character of preschool mathematics, engaged in during children’s play, places complex requirements on preschool teachers. It also leads to challenges in developing appropriate analytical tools for researching teacher work. In this paper a framework, the ”didaktic space”, is described and used to analyse interactions between preschool teachers and children in relationship to mathematical learning situations. An interaction between a preschool teacher and a group of children about how to compare their temperatures is analysed, using this framework. The analysis focuses on how the teacher’s contributions as well as those of the children changed as the role of the mathematics changed. The paper discusses how the didaktic space offers a nuanced understanding of preschool mathematical situations, both to researchers and to teachers.
Ola Helenius has PhD in mathematics and is a researcher and deputy director at the National Center for Mathematics Education, University of Gothenburg. Some of his current research interests include neuroscience perspectives on learning mathematics and mathematics curriculum design research. Another interest is socio-cultural perspectives on preschool mathematics and he is a member of the research group Young children’s mathematics.
Maria L. Johansson
Maria L. Johansson has a PhD in mathematics and one in mathematics education. Her PhD in mathematics education focused on issues related to mathematics in preschool, particularly to professional development of preschool teachers and childcare workers. She is an associate professor at Luleå University where she works in teacher education. Her research interests are wide ranging, covering both mathematics and mathematics education for a range of ages. She has also published extensively with the research group, Young children’s mathematics.
Troels Lange has been a mathematics teacher educator for twenty years, first in Denmark, then Australia and Sweden. He currently works at Bergen University College in Norway and in 2016 became Professor in mathematics education. His research interests centre on how children experience learning mathematics, but he has published on a range of different issues regarding mathematics education. Since 2011, he is part of and publishes with the research group Young children’s mathematics.
Tamsin Meaney is professor of mathematics education at Bergen University College, having previously been professor at Malmö University. She has worked in teacher education in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Norway. Her research interests are varied but centre around the need for mathematics education to support social justice concerns. Whilst in Sweden she started the research group, Young children’s mathematics, with researchers from Norway, Sweden and USA.
Anna Wernberg is associate professor in mathematics teacher education in the Faculty of Education and Society, Malmö University. She has previously worked at Kristianstad University and Borås University, also in Sweden. Her research interests focus on the use of Learning studies in mathematics classrooms for young children. She has also published extensively with other members of the research group Young children’s mathematics.