Early Intervention of Malay Preschool Teachers in Promoting Children's Mathematics Learning (Mendaki Pilot Project)

Project Number
OER 01/08 SW

Project Duration
October 2008 - September 2010

Status
Completed

Abstract
The project is a mixed-methods Pilot Project that will focus on improving kindergarten teachers’ ability to nurture early numeracy development and learning in K2 children. This will lead to a larger research project that will adopt a pre-test and post-test design involving an experimental group and a control group of 10 teachers and 200 children. The teachers in the Pilot Project will become the experimental group teachers in the follow-up study. In the Pilot Project, these teachers will receive in-service training to assist them to understand pedagogical principles, practices and strategies to scaffold children’s development of numeracy skills, problem solving and reasoning. Teacher also will be provided with guidelines and mentorship on how to implement this knowledge in their classrooms, and will develop techniques to assist parents to support their children’s numeracy learning outside the classroom. Several data sources will be trialled over a four-month period to ascertain their suitability for the large-scale follow-up project: • a Teacher Observation Schedule (that focuses on environmental factors, teachers’ scaffolding techniques [including formative assessment of children’s mathematical knowledge acquisition] and parental guidelines to support children’s learning); • Documentation of Classroom contexts (including school, teacher and child artefacts); • Observations of Children (i.e., their learning and social processes in numeracy development); • Individual Interviews with Teachers (focusing on their goals and achievements in supporting children’s mathematical learning); • Focus Group Interviews with Teachers (to ascertain their perceptions of their successes, challenges, constraints and needs in relation to developing, implementing and evaluating their maths programmes); • Focus Group Interviews with Parents (to ascertain their level and type of participation in their children’s mathematical learning and their perceptions of their children’s progress throughout the four-month period); and • a Numeracy Concept Tasks assessment of children’s problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy knowledge and skills. In addition, data analysis techniques will be piloted, such as content analysis of qualitative data and the triangulation of these results with quantitative data sources. The development, trialling and analysis of these data sources will contribute to new knowledge on the important role of teachers’ and parents’ scaffolding practices in the nurturance of K2 children’s early numeracy development and learning. This new knowledge construction will inform the design of a large-scale intervention project that will allow comparisons to be made between Experimental and Control groups using regression analysis and MANOVA.

Funding Source
NIE

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