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Children Count

Exploring What is Possible in a Classroom with Mathematics and Children

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Mary M. Stordy

Children Count is an interpretive exploration into the teaching of mathematics to children. Through the use of narratives to make meaning of particular pedagogic events, the book explores the possibilities that exist for children and for teachers if mathematics is allowed to thrive in schools as a living human enterprise. Such a re-conceptualized view of mathematics challenges the status quo and results in a different image of schooling. Children Count gives the reader a picture of what a classroom could look like when it includes creativity, inquiry-based learning, empowerment of children and teachers, academic rigor, holism, and integrated and generative curricula. The text captures the mistakes, choices, the actions, and the decision-making process of a teacher who reflects and learns from her students as she realizes she must listen to them because what they have to say counts.
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Chapter 1. Beginnings

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BEGINNINGS

Out in the Hallway

“I didn’t know it was going to be so hard,” the young child said, standing outside of the classroom. Her arms were crossed, her brow furrowed, and her bottom lip jutted out. Her dark eyes met mine. Then she looked away.

“What?” I asked, not sure where we were headed.

“School. If I had known it was going to be like this, I never would have come out.” I bent down and squatted next to her, carefully adjusting my skirt in the process. I placed my hand gently on her back and tried to meet her eyes.

“Come out? You mean come to school?”

“No! I never would have come out of my mom if I knew it was going to be so hard!”

Before me stood a six-year-old girl whom I was just getting to know. For almost two months we had been in each other’s company, and she seemed like she was a bright girl so the schoolwork couldn’t have been ‘hard,’ as she put it. What could she mean?

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