Mathematics as the trojan horse in Norwegian early childhood policy?

Fosse T., Lange T., Hope Lossius M., Meaney T.


The article investigates representations of mathematics teaching both in Norwegian policy documents (framework plans/strategy plans/reports to the Storting) for kindergartens and in policy documents for kindergartens from the OECD. The investigations aim to find out whether mathematics education serves as a covert way of introducing more teaching at the expense of play in Norwegian kindergartens. The research questions are: Are there similarities in how mathematics teaching is represented in kindergarten documents in the OECD and in Norway? What do representations of mathematics teaching indicate about schoolification trends in Norwegian policy documents related to kindergarten? 


The analyses indicate that there is a subtle shift in attitudes in public policy documents from play-based mathematics learning to mathematics learning that prepares children for school. The shift in attitude is so subtle that it can be difficult to detect. 


Public documents, both OECD policy documents for kindergartens and Norwegian policy documents relating to kindergartens, undergo a critical discourse analysis based on previous studies on the schoolification of kindergartens. 


Fosse, T., Lange, T., Hope Lossius, M. & Meaney, T. (2018). “Mathematics as the trojan horse in Norwegian early childhood policy?”. Research in Mathematics Education, 20(2):166–182. 

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