Förskolebarns strävanden att kommunicera matematik.

Lundström, M.
Göteborgs universitet, Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten.


The purpose of the dissertation is to describe how children use mathematics, and how they communicate mathematically with others in preschool settings


The dissertation finds five themes: language and communication, mediating tools, context, semiotics, and scaffolding. Overall, the study shows that the specific context and cultural framework of the preschool invite children to communicate mathematically in various ways. The study shows that children communicate mathematics through linguistic expressions, semiotics, linguistic tools and bodily expressions. Children communicate mathematically when they are making comparisons, when they are comparing changes, and when they are trying to describe the surrounding world. Finally, the study suggests that mathematical communication is stimulated by the daily routines, material support and activities at the preschool. When preschool teachers are supportive and engaged in children’s communication, the children’s mathematical knowledge is developed and deepened.


Based on an ethnographic research design, the author used participant observations, video footage, photographs and conversations to collect data from children and staff at a Swedish preschool. The preschool was selected partly for practical reasons and partly because the preschool has no pedagogical specialisation. The subject field of the study comprised 31 future school children. Data was collected over a period of 16 months in 2012-2013, and the data material consists of video sequences, field notes and photographs. Furthermore, a pilot study was conducted. During the data collection period, the author visited the preschool 2-4 days a week for 4-6 hours every time. Subsequently, the data was coded in several stages: First, the author prepared a list of all the informants in the study, and then codes the informants’ relationship with the preschool as well as their mathematical communication. Furthermore, the author coded mathematical categories and initiation of communication based on a set of general keywords. Mathematical activities and mathematical objects as well as general patterns were coded as well. Subsequently, the theoretical framework was used to divide the data material into categories on which the mathematical communication was based.


Lundström, M. (2015). Förskolebarns strävanden att kommunicera matematik. Göteborgs universitet, Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten.

Financed by

Not disclosed