Future early childhood teachers designing problem-solving activities

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Journal on Mathematics Education
This work aims to identify the criteria to design activities based on problem-solving tasks that emerge when future early childhood education teachers jointly plan their activities and reflect on them. The participants were 76 students from the Didactics of mathematics subject that was carried out in the 2nd year of the Early Childhood Education Degree of a Catalan public university. This is qualitative research in which the phases of the thematic analysis have been adapted: familiarizing with the data; systematically applying the categories to identify the student criteria emerged; triangulating the analysis with experts; reviewing and discussing the results. The Didactic Suitability Criteria (DSC), from the Ontosemiotic approach (OSA) framework to design tasks and their indicators, were used to categorise and analyse the tasks performed by future teachers. As a result, it was identified that when the future teachers adopt consensually design their activities, they are implicitly based on the Didactic Suitability Criteria (DSC). Still, not all their indicators emerge since their reflection is spontaneous and is not guided by an explicit guideline that serves them to show their didactic analysis in detail. The study concludes that it would be convenient to offer future teachers a tool, such as DSC, to have explicit criteria to guide the designs of their mathematical tasks. In this sense, a future line of research opens, much needed, to adapt the DSC to the singularities of this educational stage.
Sala-Sebastià, G., Breda, A., & Farsani, D. (2022). Future Early Childhood Teachers Designing Problem-Solving Activities. Journal on Mathematics Education (JME), 13(2), 239-256.