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Educational Research for Social Change

versión On-line ISSN 2221-4070


KORTJASS, Makie. Enriching Teaching Through Artefacts: An Early Childhood Mathematics Teacher Educator's Self-Study Project. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2019, vol.8, n.1, pp.70-85. ISSN 2221-4070.

This paper reports on what I learned in a self-study research project, using artefacts for teaching foundation phase (FP) pre-service (student) teachers in the module, Numeracy in the Early Years. The study focused on the merits of an integrated learning approach (ILA). As a teacher educator, the self-study concept has inspired me to continually attempt to improve my educational practices with the aim of supporting pre-service teachers' learning and, consequently, their teaching. ILA requires critical awareness of how mathematical relationships are used in social, environmental, and cultural relations. I adopted a sociocultural theoretical perspective that highlights the fundamental requirement of working together in educational contexts in order to make sense of collective and personal experiences. In the artefact activity I employed, students discussed and presented self-selected cultural artefacts such as beadwork, jewellery, and clothing. This interactive activity demonstrated that pre-service teachers require ample opportunities to utilise objects from their sociocultural environments whilst gaining practical experience of the content of early childhood mathematics in order to learn about and appreciate mathematics in a meaningful way. By engaging in innovative self-study methods to support pre-service teachers, teacher educators can improve the quality of their own practice, and improve student learning.

Palabras clave : self-study research; integrated learning approach; early childhood mathematics; cultural artefacts; pre-service teachers; mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT).

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