Early childhood teachers' content and pedagogical knowledge of geometry
AuthorMaxedon, Sandra Jo
AdvisorLarson, Carol F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study investigated early childhood teachers' knowledge of the following four components of the professional knowledge base: goals of geometry, child development and geometry, geometry curriculum and curriculum content, and geometric concepts. Eight experienced early childhood teachers in grades kindergarten through two participated in interviews on each of the four knowledge components. Their responses to interview questions and geometric concept activities were electronically recorded and transcribed for analysis of patterns, trends, or themes which emerged for the group. The teachers knew how geometry would benefit students and could elucidate their own goals when teaching geometry. They were more familiar with their district's curriculum and performance objectives for geometry than they were with state or national goals. They had ideas about what constitutes developmentally appropriate practice, both generally and in geometry education. Child development as it relates to geometry was an elusive concept. Their expertise in this area was primarily based on their experiences as teachers and their faith in the district's curriculum. They were somewhat familiar with pedagogical aspects of their grade level curricula, including expectations, materials, and resources, with shape names being their primary focus. They were less familiar with subject matter issues such as the scope and content of the geometry curricula in the grades preceding and following theirs, important geometric concepts for primary students, and the role of spatial visualization in children's development of geometry. When solving geometric problems, they tended to be anxious and uncertain but overall were persistent problem solvers who willingly communicated their thinking. Their problem solving was marked by doubt, self-talk, hand movements, and ambiguity. In general there was evidence of difficulty with class inclusion, deductive reasoning, and conceptual verbalization.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching and Teacher Education