The aim of the study was to at examine the extent to which
early childhood teacher education Mathematics programmes prepare early childhood
teachers for teaching subitizing to young children in Early Childhood Educations
centers in Lusaka urban in Zambia. Using both qualitative and quantitative approach
a description study was conducted. Semi-structured Key Informant Interviews (KIIs),
Focus Group Discussion (FGD) meetings, questionnaires and documents and records
analysis were designed and used to collect data.
The findings from the study revealed that the Zambia National
Curriculum Framework and the National Numeracy Framework in Zambia do not state
the topic or term subitizing. These national documents start with topic number and
notation. Under this topic counting is covered first. All text books and reference
materials used at teacher educational level and ECE teachers in ECE centers do not
mention the term subitizing. The understanding of the concept of subitizing was
found to be poor, insufficient in coverage and inadequate in content. The Key Informant
Interviews revealed that both lecturers and ECE teachers thought subitizing and
counting were one and the same thing. The questionnaires, focus group discussion
meeting and document analysis revealed that the topic was not planned for and had
no time allocation.
In order for all colleges of education to improve the performance
of ECE students in teaching subitizing in ECE centers, it is recommended that the
content of the mathematics curriculum, all text books, reference materials and the
National Numeracy Framework should include and start with the concept of subitizing.
Subitizing, early childhood teachers, curriculum, mathematics programme, colleges
of education, early childhood center.
Aunola, K., Leskinen, E., Lerkkanen, M.-K.,
& Nurmi, J.-E. (2004). Developmental dynamics of mathematics performance from
pre-school to Grade 2. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 96(4), 699-713.
Baroody, A. J. (2000). Does Mathematics for
Three and Four Year Old Children Really Make Sense? Young Children, 55(4), 61-67.
Baroody, A. J. Lai, M. L. and Mix, K. S. (2006).
The development of young children’s early number and operation sense and its implications
for early childhood education. In Handbook of Research on the Education of Young
Children 2, edited by B. Spodek, and O. N. Saracho, 187–221. London: Routledge.
Berch, D. B. (2005). Making sense of number
sense: Implication for children with mathematics disability. Journal of learning disabilities vol. 38 issue
Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic
analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research
in Psychology, 3: 77-101.
Canfield, R.L, and Smith, E.G. (1996). Number-based
expectations and sequential enumeration by 5-month-old infants. Developmental psychology, 32 (2), 269-279.
Carper, D. V. (1942). Seeing Numbers as Groups
in Primary-Grade Arithmetic. Elementary School
Clements, Douglas H., and Sarama, J. (1999).
Building Blocks—Foundations for Mathematics Thinking, Pre-Kindergarten to Grade
2: Research-Based Materials Development. Buffalo, N.Y.: State University of New
York at Buffalo, (National Science Foundation, grant number ESI-9730804.)
Duncan, G. J., Dowsett, C. J., Claessens, A.,
Magnuson, K., Huston, A. C., Klebanov, P., Pagani, L. S., Feinstein, L., Engel,
M., Brooks-Gunn, J., Sexton, H., Duckworth, K., Japel, C. (2007). School readiness
and later achievement. Developmental Psychology
Nov; 43 (6): 1428-1446.
. Fitzhugh, J. I. (1978). The role of subitizing and counting in the development
of the young children's conception of small numbers. PhD dissertation.
. Freeman, F. N. (1912). Grouped objects as a concrete basis for the number
idea. The Elementary School Teacher, 12(7),
. Geist, H. (2006). Dynamic causal patterns of desertification. Bio-science. Vol. 54 issue 9, 817-829.
. Gelman, R., Gallistel, C. R. (1978). The child’s understanding of number.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1978.
H. P. (2006). Mathematical play and playful mathematics: A guide for early education.
In D. G. Singer, R. M. Golinkoff, & K. Hirsh-Pased (Eds.), Play = learning:
How play motivates and enhances children's cognitive and social-emotional growth
pp. 145-165). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
. Ginsburg, H. P., Klein, A., & Starkey, P. (1998). The development of
children’s mathematics knowledge: Connecting research with practice. In I. E. Sigel
& K. A. Renninger (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Child psychology
in practice (5th Ed., pp. 401–476). New York: Wiley & Sons.
. Gove, A. & Cvelich, P. (2010). Early reading: Igniting education for
all. A report by the Early Grade Learning Community of Practice. Washington, DC:
. Jordan, N. C., Hanich, L. B., & Uberti, H. Z. (2003). Mathematics thinking
and learning difficulties. In A. J. Baroody & A. Dowker (Eds.), Studies in mathematics
thinking and learning. The development of arithmetic concepts and skills: Constructing
adaptive expertise (pp. 359-383). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
. Klahr, D. and
Wallace, J. G. (1976). Cognitive development: An information processing view. Hillsdale,
NJ. Lawrence Erbaum Associates.
. Locuniak, M. N. and Jordan, N, C. (2008). Using kindergarten number sense
to predict calculations fluency in second grade. Journal of learning disability 41(%):451-9.
. Mazzocco, M. M. M., & Thompson, R E. (2005). Kindergarten predicators
of mathematics learning disability. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice.
. Ministry of Education (2010). Educational sector: National Implementation
Framework III. Lusaka: Government Printers.
. Ministry of Education. (1992). National Policy on Education – Focus on Learning,
Lusaka: Government Printers.
. Ministry of Education. (1996). National Policy on Education - Educating Our
Future, Lusaka: Government Printers.
. Ministry of
National Development Planning (2017). The Seventh National
Development Plan: 2017-2021. Lusaka: GRZ.
. Schaeffer, B., Eggleston, V. H., and Scott, J. L. (1974). Number development
in young children. Cognitive Psychology,
. Starkey, P. (1992). The early development of numerical reasoning. Cognitive. May, 43(2):93-126.
. Stevenson, H.W., Lee, S., Chen, C., Lummis, M., Stigler, J., Fan, L., &
Ge, F. (1990). Mathematics achievement of children in China and the United States.
Child Development, 61, 1053–1066.
. The Southern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) (2015). http://www.sacmeq.org.
. UNESCO (2006). EFA Global Monitoring report. Strong Foundations:
Early Childhood Care and Education. Paris, UNESCO
. Wynn, K. (1995). Origins of numerical knowledge. Mathematical Cognition. Vol. 1 pp35-60.
. Xu, F., Spelke, E.S., and Goddard, S. (2005). Number sense in human infants.
Developmental Science, 8, 88-101.