How do children relate to numbers and mathematics? How can they be helped to understand and make sense of them? People are rarely ambivalent towards mathematics, having either a love or hate relationship with the subject, and our approach to it is influenced by a variety of factors. How we are taught mathematics as children plays a big role in our feelings towards it. Numbers play a large part in our lives, and it is therefore beneficial to inspire a positive attitude towards them at a young age.
With contributors comprised of teachers, teacher educators, mathematicians and psychologists, Mathematical Misconceptions brings together information about pupils' work from four different countries, and looks at how children, from the ages of 3 - 11, think about numbers and use them. It explores the reasons for their successes, misunderstandings and misconceptions, while also broadening the reader's own mathematical knowledge. Chapters explore:
- the seemingly paradoxical number zero
- the concept of equality
- children's perceptions and misconceptions of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
- the learning process
- the ways in which children acquire number concepts.
This unique book will transform the way in which primary school teachers think about mathematics. Fascinating reading for anyone working with children of this age, it will be of particular interest to teachers, trainee teachers and teaching assistants. It will show them how to engage children in the mysteries and delights of numbers.
Anne D. Cockburn is a Professor Emeritus in Early Years Education at the University of East Anglia (UEA). She was educated in Edinburgh before reading Psychology at the University of St Andrews. Subsequently, she trained to be a primary teacher and taught in Scotland. In 1979, she became a Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster, working with Neville Bennett and Charles Desforges. Her PhD was completed in 1986 at the UEA. Following a period of working as a researcher, she took up her first lectureship at UEA in 1989. She became an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1994. Initially Anne's teaching focused on pre-service teacher education (BA and PGCE), gradually extending to in-service courses (BPhil and MA) and research (PhD and EdD). Throughout, she continued with her own research, with many of the catalysts for her investigations stemming from the needs and interests of professional practitioners and those with whom they work. More recently, she also started working with MA counselling students. Anne has examined doctoral theses, undergraduate and postgraduate courses at universities across the United Kingdom, Australia and Norway. She was a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Board of Examiners for studentships (2002-2005).
Zero: understanding an apparently paradoxical number - Anne d Cockburn and Paul Parslow-Williams Equality: Getting the right balance - Paul Parslow-Williams and Anne D Cockburn Beginning to unravel misconceptions - Sara Hershkovitz, Dina Tirosh and Pessia Tsamir Insights into children's intuitions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division - Dina Tirosh, Pessia Tsamir and Sara Hershkovitz Right or Wrong? Exploring misconceptions in division - Pessia Tsamir, Sara Hershkovitz and Dina Tirosh Developing an understanding of children's acquisition of number concepts - Anne D Cockburn Highlighting the learning processes - Graham Littler and Darina Jirotkova Everyday numbers under a mathematical magnifying glass - Carlo Marchini and Paoloa Vighi