Variability in the Acquisition of Number in Preschool Children: An Approach from the Cardinal Number and the Notation of Quantities

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Brehinert Martinez , Marlenny Guevara


This study followed a process-based approach, in which variability describe the changes that occurs moment-to-moment. The aim of this study is to explore the intra-individual trajectories of the joint use of the numerical cardinal and the notation of quantities. Twenty-three preschool children of 4-5 years old participated on the study. The children were attending public school in Cali-Colombia. Regarding the method, a microgenetic design and a task called “Give and Note a Number was used to capture the variability of the children’s performance. The task was an adaptation of the task “Give a Number” by Lecorre and Carey (2007). The results revealed three aspects of the intra-individual trajectories of the children’s performance: (1) five clusters for cardinality, (2) five clusters of notations, and (3) several joint profiles to “give” and “note” quantities. In conclusion, our findings suggest a dynamic process of the joint use of the cardinality and notations, showing the co-existence of different levels of complexity.


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