Teacher Education and the Teaching of Subitizing in Early Childhood Centers in Lusaka Urban, Zambia

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJAR.2014.05.02.Art007

Authors : Agnes Mando Banda


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.

Keywords: Subitizing, early childhood teachers, curriculum, mathematics programme, colleges of education, early childhood center.


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