A Strengths Approach to supporting early mathematics learning in family contexts

Angela Fenton
Amy MacDonald
Laura McFarland
Charles Sturt University

Early childhood professionals are increasingly being asked to work with children and families using strengths approaches1. However, what does this mean for working with families to support children’s mathematical development? Specifically, how can this approach support and engage families, including those who may disengage from their child’s mathematics education? This article aims to introduce a strengths framework for supporting children’s mathematics learning opportunities in family and community contexts. We apply a Strengths Approach (McCashen, 2005) to an example from an early childhood mathematics program called Let’s Count. Let’s Count was designed as a means of assisting families to help their young children (aged three to five years) play with, investigate and learn mathematical ideas (Perry & Gervasoni, 2012). Using examples of case studies from Let’s Count, we use McCashen’s (2005) five-column strengths framework to present ways in which early childhood professionals can support families to explore mathematics with their children, using the unique everyday resources and opportunities of each family.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 1 March 2016

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