Exploring the teaching of geometric and spatial reasoning in early childhood education in selected primary schools in Shibuyunji district

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Chingala, Catherine
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The University of Zambia
The Ministry of General Education (MOGE, 2017) made Early Childhood Education (ECE) compulsory to all Primary Schools. Early Childhood Education (ECE) is the foundation of a child‘s school education and progress at a later stage in life. Early Childhood education encompasses areas such as numeracy, literacy, expressive arts, technology and social studies. Numeracy and later Mathematics is one of the areas that learners find challenging especially in later school life. Meanwhile the development of spatial sense and geometrical reasoning is an essential tool for mathematical thinking. The acquisition of spatial reasoning and geometrical reasoning by learners, however, is highly attributed to how teachers teach them. The study therefore explored the teaching of geometric and spatial reasoning at early childhood Education in selected primary schools of Shibuyunji district of Zambia. The van Hiele level theory and Piaget developmental stages were used. The approach was qualitative and used descriptive research design. The sample size was seven ECE teachers who were selected using purposive sampling. Data was collected using semi structured interview guides, lesson observation and document analysis. Data was analysed thematically according to emerging themes. The findings were that ECE teachers used a number of strategies such as exposing learners to real objects, practical activities and demonstrations, while discussion was not effective because of the age and the level of reasoning of the learners at ECE. In view of these findings, the study recommended that teachers should use suitable methods which should depend on the age and level of understanding of the learners. Seminars on the teaching of geometry for ECE teachers should be conducted in order to enhance the in depth knowledge on the topic to enable them teach it with confidence and use appropriate materials and methods. Keywords: Strategy, teaching, Spatial reasoning, Geometric, and materials.
Early childhood education--Spatial reasoning--Zambia , Early childhood education--Geometrical seasoning--Zambia , Early childhood education--Study and teaching--Zambia