Teaching Mathematics-Learning Pedagogy at Foundational Stage (3-8 Years Kids)
Mathematics learning goals can be categorised into higher goals such as mathematization of a child’s thought processes (e.g., ability to handle abstract thinking, problem-solving, visualisation, representation, reasoning, and making connections of mathematics concepts with other domains) and content-specific goals (those related to different concepts in mathematics (e.g., understanding numbers, shapes, pattern).(Page 117) -National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
Children bring various mathematical skills from their surroundings and culture into the classroom, which must be the basis of learning mathematics.
Children achieve content-specific goals once they are mathematically proficient in it. So, teaching and learning in the early years must emphasise achieving both higher goals and content-specific
goals as both goals are interdependent and interconnected.
Learning mathematical skills
Learning mathematical skills must follow the simple to the complex path. It means that in the initial years, children learn mathematical vocabulary (e.g., matching, sorting, pairing, ordering, pattern, classification, one-to-one correspondence) and mathematical concepts related to numbers, shapes, space, and measures. These skills gradually move to more complex and higher skills (e.g., quantity, shapes and space, measurement) at later ages. In the mathematics teaching-learning process, those mathematical skills which are more focused on applying mathematical skills in a real-life situation to understand, solve, reason, communicate, and make decisions need emphasis.
Higher and content- specific goals
There are various mathematical processes which help children achieve both higher and content- specific goals. These are problem-solving i.e., solving mathematical problems both realistic
and ‘pure;’ reasoning i.e., justifying and reasoning about solutions and processes; connection- making i.e., connections between one concept and another; representation i.e., using concrete,
visual diagrams to represent mathematical concepts and ideas; communication i.e., explaining and communicating mathematical ideas; and estimation i.e., using approximation to
quantify and solve.
Incorporating these processes in the classroom helps children to get a comprehensive mathematical experience and achieve mathematical proficiency as part of conceptual understanding,
procedural understanding, application, adaptive reasoning, and a positive attitude towards mathematics.