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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 7. Things Are Not Always as They Seem: Entering the Classroom

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THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM: ENTERING THE CLASSROOM

The work of the children and teachers at the public school in rural western Canada where I was teaching meant that my work as a teacher was often in the public sphere, as was the work of the children. When I began teaching grade one, I did not really understand how public it would become, but such a stage forced me to re-think (a) what I was doing on a regular basis and (b) why I was doing it; almost certainly someone would ask these questions. Prior to teaching at the school, the only time I had another adult in my classroom was when a principal was evaluating my teaching. However, from day one at this western Canadian school, doors were open to parents/guardians and to any of the many visitors to the school from other parts of the province, the country, and the world. Guests made their way from as far away as Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States, and Australia. Visitors were educators, policy makers, and politicians as well as people interested in technology, educational reform, innovation, and educational research. Many visitors were parents of school-age children who were planning on moving to the area; in some cases families were moving so their children could attend the school, as the profile of the institution had become more recognized. The work of the children and teachers began to appear in the...

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