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Abstract of the Working Seminar (7-9 years old)

The secrets of challenging activities for younger children.
Jan de Lange

Emeritus Professor Utrecht University
Founder Director Jonge Ouder Academie/Young Parents Academy

The hypothesis for the working group will be challenging:
The learning the mathematics should take place in the real world context of challenging activities, facilitating ample exploration, and used in applications. In this way executive functions will be developed.

This hypothesis is based on the following observations from research:

Importantly, executive functions may be developed in learning the mathematics in the context of challenging activities, not in “exercising” the mathematics once learned. (Doug Clements 2016)

Exploration is major stimilus for developing executive functions (Moyer 2014, Bryce 2014)

‘Challenging tasks’ is the best present for your brain (Erik Scherder 2018)

Curious Minds, serious play are the essential ingredients for scientific reasoning (Jan de Lange, since 2005)

During the workshop we will discuss four topics:
  • The validity of the hypothesis based on the opinions, experiences and knowledge of the participants.
  • The desirability of math education in this age range of the integration of arithmetic, mathematics and geometry.
  • The role of STE of STEM in M(athematics).
  • Design and Examples (bring your own!) of materials fitting the hypothesis.
We expect a very dynamic and positive workshop that will contribute to making further advances in math education for younger kids.

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