The learning of geometry on first school age through playful learning environments (Master thesis)

Χαραλαμπίδου, Ελπίδα/ Charalampidou, Elpida

This study aims to show the contribution of play to Geometry learning in the first grade of Primary School and it attempts to highlight the manipulations of geometric shapes by the pupils when they engage in playful activities. It also explores whether these manipulations are affected and depend on the type of the playful activity and the way the pupils engage in it. The playful activity was selected to be applied in the field of Geometry as it appears to produce positive results (Uttal, 2003: 97), and it was combined with the first grade geometry because it seems to be more effective at the first school age (Jeanetta & Jones , 2010: 146-149). An attempt was made to ensure that the selected playful activities have a structure and are the framework of approach to geometric concepts, so that the involved pupils can be led to mathematical content processing and in particular to that of geometric shapes. The sample of the research was 16 pupils from two groups of the first grade of a Primary School in a suburban area of Thrace. It can be considered as a sample of convenience and an attempt was made to maintain the sex ratio. The pupils were observed during their math playful activities and, through observation and clinical interviews, their way of thinking was explained. The results were obtained from analyses concerned with the overall picture of an activity as well as each pupil’s involvement in it. The data were analyzed using the methods of Content Analysis and Grounded Theory. The first results highlight the pupils’ need of this age to rely on intuition and experience to explain their thinking while dealing with geometric shapes. Pupils associate the geometric shapes with moments, images, experiences and objects of their everyday life. Thereby they attempt to present their existing ideas about the geometric shapes which are treated both holistically (the geometric shape as an entity) and analytically (with reference to their constituent parts)
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Δημοκρίτειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θράκης. Σχολή Επιστημών Αγωγής. Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Δημοτικής Εκπαίδευσης
Subject classification: Games in mathematics education
Keywords: Μαθηματικά,Παιχνίδι,Γεωμετρική σκέψη,Mathematics,Playful activity,Geometric thought

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