Departmental Bulletin Paper Young children and Mathematics : A Relook at Mathematical Development from Sociocultural Perspectives

Ong, Marcruz Yew Lee

126pp.43 - 74 , 2016-06-30 , 北海道大学大学院教育学研究院
The primary goal of this article is to explore the sociocultural context of young children's mathematical development by reviewing the psychological theories and research, and propose future directions for research on this topic. I begin with a brief history of the early theories of mathematical learning and development, including one of the earliest and influential developmental theories - Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. I will then look at two areas of study addressing young children’s mathematical development that challenged Piaget’s theory. One examined the mathematical competencies in infants and young children, while the other investigated the linkage between sociocultural influences and young children’s mathematical development. As this article focuses on the sociocultural context of young children’s mathematical development, I will, therefore, concentrate on the latter area of study. In terms of the latter area of study, I will take a closer look at studies that seek to identify and explain the cross-cultural differences in mathematical development between East Asian and Western children, and also another group of studies that addressed the development of mathematical cognition in the context of everyday practices. Finally, in order to advance the study of young children’s mathematical development through the use of sociocultural perspective, I proposed a number of future directions for research on this topic.

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