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Children Count

Exploring What is Possible in a Classroom with Mathematics and Children


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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Shirley R. Steinberg

I have told this story before, and sure I will tell it again … because it needs retelling.

Sometime in the mid-90s, I was teaching my undergraduate course in Language and Literacy at Penn State. I was also kid-sitting for Henry Giroux and had his three boys hanging with me for the day. In the Chambers Education Building, there was a very cool hall, which stretched to another building, very sunny due to the windows, and mostly unused. At the end of the hall, by my classroom, was a pile of old furniture and, well, just cool stuff. The boys walked with me to class and spotted the furniture and the hallway. They started to feverishly build a fort; I left them there and told them I would meet them after class. As my students filed in, some of them stopped and spoke to the boys; I heard laughter and conversation outside the room.

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