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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


HENNINGSEN, Marjorie. Making sense of experience in preschool: Children's encounters with numeracy and literacy through inquiry. SAJCE [online]. 2013, vol.3, n.2, pp.41-55. ISSN 2223-7682.

Opening up space for authentic inquiry in preschool can influence the extent to which children can make use of their growing mathematical and linguistic understandings to make sense of themselves and the world around them. Authentic inquiry here refers to investigation that arises naturally from the interests and questions of the children as they experience the learning environment. Three authentic examples are presented from the work of four- to five-year-old children in the domains of mathematics and literacy development to illustrate how the two domains need to be viewed as intertwined at the preschool level. Reflections are also offered on the role of the learning environment, the role of curriculum and the role of teachers and other adults in the learning process. This manuscript is based on a plenary address given in Grahamstown, South Africa at the SARAECE Research and Development week: "Strengthening Foundation Phase Education" conference at Rhodes Universityin September 2012.

Keywords : early years; literacy; numeracy; preschool; inquiry; sense-making; student-led; international; IB-PYP; Reggio.

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