Preschool Children’s Learning Difficulties about Mathematical Concepts

Ömer Şahin, Halil İbrahim Korkmaz

Abstract


The purpose of this study is to determine preschool children's learning difficulties about mathematical concepts in terms of teachers' opinions. The other purpose of this study is to determine the reasons for these difficulties and teachers' strategies to overcome these difficulties. Six preschool teachers working in 6 different preschool educational institutions participated in this study. The convenience sampling method was preferred in the determination of participants. First of all, a checklist was applied to the teachers to determine which difficulties about mathematical concepts children had. This checklist was developed by the researchers, taking into account the mathematical concepts that are included in the Preschool Curriculum for 36-72-month-old children and are expected to be acquired by children in this period. Then, a structured interview form developed by the researchers was used to determine the reasons for these misconceptions and teachers' strategies to overcome these misconceptions. The data obtained by means of the data collection tools were subjected to the content analysis. As a result of the study, the learning difficulties that children had were determined as concept confusion, deficient learning of the concept, mislearning the concept, rejecting and over-generalizing the concept. Furthermore, it appeared that the factors arising from the student, pedagogical elements, the nature of the concept and family were effective in learning difficulties of preschool children. In addition to these, it was also observed that teachers usually preferred educational games, visualization, drama and to establish a relationship with daily life in the elimination of preschool children's learning difficulties.

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