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Playing Online as Preparation for Mathematics: The Cultural-Historical Approach as an Alternative...


Yulia Solovieva, Luis Quintanar, Valeriya A. Plotnikova



Background. While the traditional method of teaching consists of repetition and memorization, the constructivist theory proposes independent discovery and free play. The cultural-historical approach, on the other hand, does not insist on the early introduction of formal mathematics as implicit or explicit knowledge. According to this outlook, important psychological developmental is necessary for the child before he/she can learn mathematics in primary school.

Objective. To present a methodology for organizing the play activity of children of preschool age by introducing symbolic means on the materialized and perceptual levels as an essential aspect of preparation for learning mathematical concepts in primary school.

Design. The experiment consisted in pedagogical work in the online modality by the authors at a private college in the city of Puebla, Mexico. Eighteen children from three levels of preschool education (from three to six years old) participated in 45-minute sessions three times per week. There were six children from each preschool level.

Results. It was shown that playing with roles online allows children at least partially to include diferent symbolic means in their activity. !is allows the children not only to satisfy their curiosity and be positively engaged in the topic of the play, but also to develop symbolic functions as preparation for intellectual actions with numerical content in primary school.

Conclusion. The article shows a feasible way to organize preschool play with roles online and thus to sca"old the formation of children’s imagination and ability to use symbolic means, which is important for future learning. !e cultural-historical approach o"ers useful guidelines here, although more research is needed to support the development of children’s symbolic function within math-specific activity, based on activity theory applied to learning.


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