Monash University
monash131023Exploring four year old Indigenous students' ability to pattern.pdf (262.43 kB)

Exploring four year old Indigenous students' ability to pattern

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-11-07, 23:07 authored by Warren, Elizabeth, Miller, Jodie
The gap between young Indigenous and non-Indigenous students' capability within mathematics is widely acknowledged. This gap is conjectured to exist at all levels of schooling, including pre-school, and widens as students mature. Most of these findings are based on research relating to students' understanding of number and space. Little is known about what knowledge Indigenous students bring to early years' settings with regard to patterning, an area that is widely acknowledged as fundamental to the development of concepts, process and knowledge of mathematics. One on one interviews were conducted with 35 Indigenous students (average age 4 years and 4 months) as they entered kindergarten. The results indicate that these students enter these settings with some intuitive understanding of repeating pattern, and that this knowledge is at odds with the hypothesised learning trajectory (Sarama and Clements, 2009) for repeating patterns. The results also begin to delineate the types of activities within these settings that have a significant impact on young Indigenous students' ability to pattern.

International Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 42-56