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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Early Mathematics Learning
Module Code EC302
School 77
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sandra O'Neill
Semester 2: Sandra O'Neill
Autumn: Sandra O'Neill
Module TeachersSandra O'Neill
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
As above, resubmit individual elements in written format as appropriate.

This module introduces students to key ideas about young children’s mathematical development and about learning and teaching early childhood mathematics from infancy. Students will develop a critical awareness of a range of historical and current national and international perspectives on policy on early mathematical development and learning. The mathematical potential in the everyday activity of infants, toddlers and young children both at home and in the preschool is emphasised. Students are encouraged to recognise the mathematics in children’s engagement with their world. Theory and research about the development of a range of concepts are studied are analysed. Recommendations regarding the provision of high quality mathematics education for 3-6 year old children, along with general pedagogical guidance provided in e.g. Aistear, provide a starting point for discussion of pedagogy. The roles of play, playful pedagogies and talk and discussion are identified as key supports for all children’s early mathematical development. Number sense and positive dispositions towards mathematics are presented as key foci.

Learning Outcomes

1. Evaluate the potential of both child-initiated and adult-initiated opportunities for mathematical learning and development in everyday activities in early education settings
2. Interpret children’s mathematical behaviours and thinking in relation to key theories and research findings
3. Identify key resources, including digital resources, for supporting early mathematics learning
4. Design, plan and implement a range of appropriate mathematical learning experiences for young children in early education settings
5. Conduct and analyse multi-modal mathematical conversations with young children
6. Explain the importance of talk and discussion for promoting and assessing mathematical learning and development

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Workshop24No Description
Assessment Feedback41No Description
Independent Study60No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

• Learning mathematics in early childhood: How? Why? What?

• The importance of developing all young children’s mathematical disposition

• Creative and playful approaches to engaging all young children in mathematical thinking and talking and in mathematizing their everyday experiences and activities.

• The progression of mathematical ideas in early childhood: Research on developmental progressions and how they might contribute to ideas about learning and teaching early mathematics

• The assessment of early mathematics

• Numbers: Counting, concepts, calculating and problem solving

• Recognising and promoting young children’s number sense

• Measure

• Patterns

• Shape and space

• Classifying, sorting , organising and presenting mathematical information

• Supporting the development of mathematical representation, abstract though and mathematical thinking and communication processes in early education settings

• Recommendations for high quality early childhood mathematics education

• Working with parents on issues related to early mathematical learning and development and how that can be supported in everyday activity in the home and the community.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayMathematics in the preschool60%Sem 2 End
Poster presentation Design a poster for parents exploring one aspect of early mathematics30%Week 26
ParticipationPresentations related to readings10%Every Week
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Juanita V. Copley: 2010, The Young Child and Mathematics, 2nd, NAEYC, Washington, 1928896685
  • Dunphy, E.: 0, Transition to school: Recognising and supporting children’s engagement in mathematical processes, IN PRESS
  • Montague-Smith, A. & Price, A.: 2012, Mathematics in early years education, Fulton, Abington, UK:, 0415674697
  • Atherton, F. & Nutbrown , C.: 2013, Understanding schemas and young children, 1st, Sage, London, 1446248941
  • Linda Pound: 1999, Supporting mathematical development in the early years, 1st, 6, Open University Press,, Buckingham ;, 0335198872
  • Julie Sarama and Douglas H. Clements: 2009, Early childhood mathematics education research, 1st, 14, Routledge, New York, 0805863095
  • Linda Pound: 2008, Thinking and learning about mathematics in the early years, 1st, 10, Routledge, ., London, 0415432367
  • Tucker, K.: 2014, Mathematics through play in the early years, 3rd, 9, Sage, London, 1446269779
Other Resources

39308, Podcast, Dunphy, E., 2014, Using Play in Preschool Settings to think and Talk about Measure Access, http://action.ncca.ie/resource/Aistear-themes-Exploring-and-Thinking/40, 39309, Podcast, Dunphy, E., 2014, Using Books in Preschool Settings to think and Talk about Measure Access, http://action.ncca.ie/resource/Aistear-themes-Exploring-and-Thinking/40, 0, Website, 0, Aistear, http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Early_Childhood_and_Primary_Education/Early_Childhood_Education/Aistear_Toolkit/Aistear_Toolkit.html, 39311, DVD, 2010, The young child and mathematics (2nd. ed.). Washington, DC: NAEYC/NCTM. Accompanying DVD: Mathematics in action: Teaching and learning. Section 4: Assessing young children’s development and learning of mathematics.,
Programme or List of Programmes
BECEBachelor of Early Childhood Education

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