Sharpening the Focus on Numbers and Counting: Preschool Educators Differentiating Aspects of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching

Camilla Björklund, Maria Alkhede


This article reports a study of educators differentiating aspects of mathematical knowledge for teaching in preschool as part of a further-education programme. Eight Swedish preschool educators participated in focus group discussions about documentations from their own practice during a school year, to enhance their awareness of their mathematics education practice. The object of learning for the participants is more specifically how numbers and counting are made content for learning in preschool practice. The educators’ authentic documentations are reflected upon in focus group meetings and further analysed by the researchers to find out what aspects the educators differentiate during the programme. Results show that educators’ learning about content for children’s learning in preschool is a complex process. This process involves several aspects necessary to discern for a professional development to occur, but the collaborative approach seems prosperous in that new aspects are brought to the fore, influencing their reflective practice.


mathematical knowledge for teaching; numbers and counting; preschool educators; professional development; variation theory

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