Author Archives: Paul Reimer

In Their Voices (Part 1)

In his pivotal work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire described the importance of the human voice in dialogue:

Human existence cannot be silent, nor can it be nourished by false words, but only by true words, with which men and women transform the world. To exist, humanly, is to name the world, to change it. Once named, the world in its turn reappears to the namers as a problem and requires of them a new naming. Human beings are not built in silence, but in word, in work, in action-reflection.

But while to say the true world–which is work, which is praxis–is to transform the world, saying that word is not the privilege of some few persons, but the right of everyone. Consequently, no one can say a true word alone–nor can she say it for another, in a prescriptive act which robs others of their words. (p. 88)

I wrote in previous blog posts about the importance of partnership and voice in our work around children’s mathematics with preschool teachers. As we partner with teachers and children, we are learning about the ways action and reflection play into teachers’ learning and–as Freire reminds us–how words transform the world. As Elena Aguilar phrases this idea, “Words create worlds.”

In order to further take up this idea, our early math team has invited our preschool teaching colleagues to reflect on their experiences and to share their perspectives. We’re introducing a new series of blog posts titled “In Their Voices.” In these posts, we will feature the voices of our preschool teaching colleagues as they consider mathematics teaching and learning in their classrooms. We hope their words will inspire, encourage, and transform.

Share

Voice

Last September, I wrote a blog entry about the importance of partnership in our work with teachers. I described how we understand that each teacher, teacher aide, director, and researcher brings a set of understandings and experiences to this work and that these can contribute to a rich, fruitful interaction. If you read the blog… Continue Reading

Play is Risk-Tolerant

I recently read the following claim in a piece from the creative folks at KQED Mindshift: “Up to 70 percent of the tasks in most jobs are on track to be automated, leaving only the most creative, empathetic, technically fluent, collaborative work for humans. Students need to find motivation and meaning, and take a playful… Continue Reading

Learning is Moving in New Ways

I recently attended the Psychology of Mathematics Education conference in Indianapolis. While at the conference, I participated in several sessions with a workgroup that is interested in exploring how the ways we move our bodies influence our cognition. This concept of embodied cognition theorizes how learning to move in new ways can form the basis… Continue Reading

Partnership

Our early math team is excited to be engaging with preschool teachers in thinking together about mathematics teaching and learning in preschool classrooms. One of the ways we have structured our work together is through the lens of partnership. Think for a moment about what it means to work as a partner. What comes to… Continue Reading

Teaching is Listening

Last week, our Early Math Team here at the AIMS Center partnered with Fresno EOC Head Start to spend a day devoted to children’s mathematics. I had the privilege of sharing a few thoughts at the beginning of the day to help shape our time and work together over the coming year. In this keynote,… Continue Reading

Idea Generators

I just returned from two weeks of study at Michigan State University as part of my PhD program in Education. My study related to qualitative research purposes and methodologies. I gained experience in writing field notes, conducting interviews, collecting data, and describing and analyzing observations. Although much of this work requires taking notes, this is… Continue Reading

Telling Stories

Our early math team has just finished up our work at several preschool sites for this school year and we’ve been reflecting on our experiences thus far. In conversations with teachers about what we’ve learned and how this experience has deepened our understanding of children’s mathematics, we’ve told lots of stories about particular children that… Continue Reading

Traveling Practices

Our work as learners, educators, and researchers takes us into spaces where we encounter new ideas, people, and experiences. We may enter schools, classrooms, faculty lounges, community centers, or other places of learning where we hope to better understand the patterns of interaction among individuals we meet. While our attention may be on what we… Continue Reading

Oh, the Possibilities

Our early math team continues to explore what might be possible for young children in the context of number development and play. We recently designed a linear board game called “Frog Splash” to help preschoolers begin to count the hops of a frog as it nears a swimming hole. After trying this game with children,… Continue Reading