Research shows that attention to pattern and structure is fundamental to mathematical learning and attainment yet early mathematics curricula in England underplay the importance of patterning. In a critical realist notion of powerful knowledge, pattern teaching has the potential to empower children to notice patterns, mathematise their everyday experiences and engage in mathematical sense-making. This study investigated how to harness this potential. It reports on participatory research with ten teachers of three to five-year-old children in England as they developed pattern teaching in their classrooms. Findings indicate that teacher knowledge, pedagogic interactions and pattern-rich environments (all underpinned by an appropriate developmental progression and extended to form a setting-wide shared approach) support the development of patterning praxis in early childhood classrooms. These offer potential priorities for ECE teachers in developing their patterning praxis in order to support children’s mathematical learning.
Gripton, C. (2022). Developing mathematical patterning in ECE classrooms: participatory research with teachers of 3–5-year-olds. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293x.2022.2108097