Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Mathematics Through Number Talks and Math Baskets: Challenging Dominant Mathematics Curriculum in One Kindergarten Classroom
by Yates, April, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2018, 219; 11009981
Abstract (Summary)

This research explored the nuances of co-creating and implementing a co-constructed and reconceptualized Kindergarten mathematics curriculum including innovative teaching practices such as number talks, math baskets, and counting collections to examine their impact on a student's mathematical identity, mindset, and content knowledge. The goal of this research was to provide a counter-story on mathematics curriculum in an early elementary classroom setting with a focus on social justice and equity. The project employed qualitative methodologies using a bricolage approach. A critical theoretical framework and related postdiscourses guided my research design, data collection, and analysis. Data sources for this study included a reflective journal kept by myself as a teacher-researcher focused on mathematical curriculum experiences, semi-structured focus group discussions with students, and electronic student artifacts collected over a twelve-week period in the late fall and winter of a school year. Data was analyzed using open and thematic coding. The major themes that emerged were used to create a community autoethnographic narrative via a bricolage of vignettes. The large and overarching theme of social justice and equity permeated the research findings in connection with students establishing a mathematical identity and mathematical mindset. Other themes included: (a) "growing our math brains"; (b) culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP); (c) operating as a community of learners; (d) students taking ownership of their mathematical learning; (e) teacher as ethnographer, facilitator and co-creator of learning; (f) making math meaningful and tangible; (g) play, enjoyment, and fun during math learning; and (h) meeting or exceeding standards with a localized curriculum in lieu of following a standardized curriculum. The vignettes and subsequent analyses are not intended to be a replicable mathematics curriculum for Kindergarten students. Rather, the vignettes are intended to inspire teachers to reconceptualize mathematics curriculums that influence their young students' mathematical identities. It is suggested that a reconceptualized and co-constructed mathematics curriculum will have a lasting influence on the mathematical mindset and identities of young students.

Keywords: reconceptualized mathematics curriculum; mathematical identity; mathematical mindset; number talks; math baskets; criticalism; social justice and equity; bricolage; community autoethnography; Kindergarten; early childhood education

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perez, Michelle Salazar
School: New Mexico State University
School Location: United States -- New Mexico
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Early childhood education, Elementary education
Keywords: Bricolage, Community Autoethnography, Kindergarten, Mathematical Idenity, Reconceptualized Math Curriculum, Social Justice and Equity
Publication Number: 11009981
ISBN: 978-0-438-63735-1
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