A subject didactical analysis of the development of the spatial knowledge of young children through a problem-centred approach to mathematics teaching and learning
Van Niekerk, Helena Margaretha
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A subject didactic analysis of the development of the spatial knowledge of young children through a problem-centred approach to mathematics teaching and learning Researchers and educators are in agreement that it is very important that the spatial knowledge of the young child should be developed from the first years of school. In order to develop these skills the appropriate materials and activities need to be designed. This can only be realised through proper research methods that not only acknowledge the cognitive abilities of the young child, but also the social and cultural backgrounds of the children. This implies that due attention should be given to language, beliefs, cognitive skills, socio-economic background, schooling and teaching systems. The immediate worlds of the children should be used in developing the spatial skills of these children. The work that is described in this document is an effort to describe the complexity of such a research endeavour. The development of the spatial skills of young children were investigated through three different instructional/executional media namely language, drawing/writing and physical constructions. The three major variables that were described as influencing the spatial development in the different media were the task that was given to the children, the objects that the children worked with and the dimension and viewpoints of the objects and situations. It was clear from the research that in the development of the spatial skills of children, attention should. be given to: the real-world of the children, hands-on-experiences of the children, the cultural background, the language of instruction, the socio-economic background the classroom culture, the media of instruction and the cognitive skills of the children.
- Education