International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1554-5210

Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2019, Vol. 15(5) 198-215

Effect of Inquiry-Based Mathematics Activities on Preschoolers’ Math Skills

Abdulhamit Karademir & Berrin Akman

pp. 198 - 215   |  DOI:   |  Manu. Number: MANU-1907-25-0004

Published online: October 16, 2019  |   Number of Views: 194  |  Number of Download: 521


Practice:  An Inquiry-Based Mathematics Activities Module (IBMAM) was developed in accordance with the developmental characteristics, interests, needs, and expectations of preschoolers. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of the IBMAM on preschoolers’ numbers and operations skills. A quasi-experimental method, which was a pretest-posttest design with control group, was used. The students of a kindergarten were randomly assigned to three groups: experimental, control, and placebo. Measurements were made on the three groups before and after the IBMAM. The study took place in the academic year of 2016-2017, and the sample consisted of 57 students (19 participants in each group) of a kindergarten in Sincan, Ankara, affiliated to the Ministry of National Education. Interviews were conducted with 18 kindergartens in the same district for the needs analysis. The kindergarten was the study field of choice due to its sufficient number of students and low socioeconomic status and to the students’ willingness to participate in the study. Math activities were performed in three classes with children 60–72 months of age. For 6 weeks, the experimental group performed the 30-activity IBMAM, the control group performed no activities, and the placebo group performed Turkish reading activities unrelated to mathematics (TRAUM). Data were collected using the Test of Early Mathematics Ability (TEMA-3). In the current study, 3x3 (three groups: experiment, control, placebo groups with 3 measurements:  pretest, posttest, follow up test) experimental mixed design (factorial-split-plot) ANOVA was performed to determine the effect of IBMAM on preschoolers’ math skills.

Research Findings: Results show that the IBMAM had a positive and lasting effect on preschoolers’ number and operations skills. IBMAM provided the experimental group participants with the opportunity to be engaged in small-group activities in which they were able to have math experiences and inquire about them. This process allowed them to enhance math concepts, learn new ones, and learned in meaningful ways in which they used their math skills. They structured the concepts and skills that they had learned by inquiring, researching, and experiencing, which promoted their curiosity and interest in learning.

Keywords: Preschool mathematics education, inquiry-based mathematics education, math skills, preschool period

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Karademir, A. & Akman, B. (2019). Effect of Inquiry-Based Mathematics Activities on Preschoolers’ Math Skills . International Journal of Progressive Education, 15(5), 198-215. doi: 10.29329/ijpe.2019.212.14

Karademir, A. and Akman, B. (2019). Effect of Inquiry-Based Mathematics Activities on Preschoolers’ Math Skills . International Journal of Progressive Education, 15(5), pp. 198-215.

Chicago 16th edition
Karademir, Abdulhamit and Berrin Akman (2019). "Effect of Inquiry-Based Mathematics Activities on Preschoolers’ Math Skills ". International Journal of Progressive Education 15 (5):198-215. doi:10.29329/ijpe.2019.212.14.

  1. Abbott, M. L. (2011). Understanding educational statistics using Microsoft Excel and SPSS. United States: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [Google Scholar]
  2. Abdelraheem, A.Y., & Asan, A. (2006). The effectiveness of inquiry-based technology enhanced collaborative learning environment. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 2(2), 65-87. [Google Scholar]
  3. Akman, B. (2002). Okul öncesi dönemde matematik. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 23(244-248). [Google Scholar]
  4. Akman, B.( 1995). Anaokuluna devam eden 40-69 aylık çocukların kavram gelişimlerinde, kavram eğitiminin etkisinin incelenmesi. Yayımlanmamış doktora tezi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi, Saglık Bilimleri Enstitüsü.  [Google Scholar]
  5. Aktaş- Arnas. Y. (2013). Okul öncesi dönemde matematik eğitimi. (2.Baskı). Ankara: Vize [Google Scholar]
  6. Alake-Tuenter, E., Biemans, H. J., Tobi, H., Wals, A. E., Oosterheert, I., & Mulder, M. (2012). Inquiry-based science education competencies of primary school teachers: A literature study and critical review of the American National Science Education Standards. International Journal of Science Education, 34(17), 2609-2640. [Google Scholar]
  7. Anders, Y., & Rossbach, H. G. (2015). Preschool teachers’ sensitivity to mathematics in children’s play: The Influence of math-related school experiences, emotional attitudes, and pedagogical beliefs. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 29(3), 305-322. [Google Scholar]
  8. Anders, Y., Rossbach, H.-G., Weinert, S., Ebert, S., Kuger, S., Lehrl, S., & von Maurice, J. (2012). Home and preschool learning environments and their relations to the development of early numeracy skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 231–244. [Google Scholar]
  9. Aslan, D., & Aktaş Arnas, Y. (2015). The immediate impacts of preschool attendance on Turkish children’s mathematics achievement. Educational Studies, 41(3), 231-243. [Google Scholar]
  10. Aunio, P., Ee, J., Lim, S. E. A., Hautamäki, J., & Van Luit, J. (2004). Young children's number sense in Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore. International Journal of Early Years Education, 12(3), 195-216. [Google Scholar]
  11. Austin, A. M. B., Blevins‐Knabe, B., Ota, C., Rowe, T., & Lindauer, S. L. K. (2011). Mediators of preschoolers’ early mathematics concepts. Early Child Development and Care, 181(9), 1181-1198. [Google Scholar]
  12. Baroody, A., X. Li, and M. Lai. 2008. Toddlers’ spontaneous attention to number. Mathematical Thinking and Learning 10 (3): 240–270. [Google Scholar]
  13. Biggs, K. (2011). To what extent can inquiry-based education in museums help children learn about national identities? (Doctoral dissertation), University College London. [Google Scholar]
  14. Bodovski, K., & Farkas, G. (2007). Mathematics growth in early elementary school: The roles of beginning knowledge, student engagement, and instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 108(2), 115-130. [Google Scholar]
  15. Boonen, A. J. H., Kolkman, M. E., and Kroesbergen, E. H. (2011). The relation between teachers' math talk and the acquisition of number sense within kindergarten classrooms. Journal of School Psychology, 49, 281–299. [Google Scholar]
  16. Bredekamp, S. (2004). Standards for preschool and kindergarten mathematics education. engaging young children in mathematics: Standards For Early Childhood Mathematics Education, 77-82. [Google Scholar]
  17. Büyüköztürk, Ş., Çakmak, E. K., Akgün, Ö. E., Karadeniz, Ş., & Demirel, F. (2012). Bilimsel araştırma yöntemleri. Pegem Yayıncılık. [Google Scholar]
  18. Choi, J. Y., & Dobbs-Oates, J. (2014). Childcare quality and preschoolers' math development. Early Child Development and Care, 184(6), 915-932. [Google Scholar]
  19. Clements, D. H. (2007). Curriculum research: Toward a framework for Research-Based Curricula. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 1, 35-70. [Google Scholar]
  20. Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2007). Effects of a preschool mathematics curriculum: Summative research on the Building Blocks project. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 38 (2),136-163. [Google Scholar]
  21. Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2011). Early childhood mathematics Intervention. Science, 333(6045), 968-970. [Google Scholar]
  22. Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2013). Rethinking early mathematics: What is Research-Based Curriculum for Young Children?. In Reconceptualizing early mathematics learning (pp. 121-147). Springer Netherlands. [Google Scholar]
  23. Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2014). Learning and teaching early math: The learning trajectories approach. Routledge. [Google Scholar]
  24. Clements, D. H., Copple, C., & Hyson, M. (2002). Early childhood mathematics: Promoting good beginnings. A joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). [Google Scholar]
  25. Clements, D. H., Sarama, J. H., & Liu, X. H. (2008). Development of a measure of early mathematics achievement using the Rasch model: the Research‐Based Early Maths Assessment. Educational Psychology, 28(4), 457-482. [Google Scholar]
  26. Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., & DiBiase, A. M. (2004). Engaging young children in mathematics: Standards for early childhood mathematics education. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. [Google Scholar]
  27. Çelen, F. K., Çelik, A., & Seferoğlu, S. S. (2011). Türk eğitim sistemi ve PISA sonuçları. Akademik bilişim, 9. [Google Scholar]
  28. Delacour, L. (2016). Mathematics and didactic contract in Swedish preschools. European early childhood education research journal, 24(2), 215-228. [Google Scholar]
  29. Diezman, C., & Yelland, N. (2000). Developing mathematical literacy in the early childhood years. Promoting meaningful learning. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. [Google Scholar]
  30. Dinç, B. (2013). Okul öncesi eğitimden ilköğretime geçiş ve okul olgunluğu [Transition from preschool to primary education and school readiness]. Fatma Alisinanoğlu. İlköğretime hazırlık ve ilköğretim programları, 90-114. [Google Scholar]
  31. Doruk, B. K., & Umay, A. (2011). Matematiği günlük yaşama transfer etmede matematiksel modellemenin etkisi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 41(41). [Google Scholar]
  32. Eraslan, A. (2009). Finlandiya'nın PISA'daki başarisinin nedenleri: türkiye için alinacak dersler. Necatibey Eğitim Fakültesi Elektronik Fen ve Matematik Eğitimi Dergisi, 3(2). [Google Scholar]
  33. Erdogan, S. (2006). Altı yaş grubu çocuklarında drama yöntemiyle verilen matematik eğitiminin matematik yeteneğine etkisinin incelenmesi, Ankara Üniversitesi Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Yayımlanmamış doktora tezi. [Google Scholar]
  34. Erdoğan, S. ve Baran, G. (2006). Test of Early Mathematics Ability TEMA-3 (TEMA-3)’ün 60-72 aylar arasında olan çocuklar için uyarlama çalışması. Çağdaş Eğitim, 332, 32- 38. [Google Scholar]
  35. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (and sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll) (Third edition). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. [Google Scholar]
  36. Fraenkel, J.R., Wallen, N.E., & Hyun, H.H. (2012). How to design and evaluate research in education. New York: McGraw Hill. [Google Scholar]
  37. Gifford, S. (2004). A new mathematics pedagogy for the early years: In search of principles for practice. International Journal of Early Years Education, 12(2), 99-115. [Google Scholar]
  38. Ginsburg, H. P., & Baroody, A. J. (2003). Test of Early Mathematics Ability-Third Edition. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. [Google Scholar]
  39. Ginsburg, H. P., & Golbeck, S. L. (2004). Thoughts on the future of research on mathematics and science learning and education. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 19(1), 190-200. [Google Scholar]
  40. Ginsburg, H. P., Lee, J. S., & Boyd, J. S. (2008). Mathematics education for young children: What it is and how to promote it. Society for Research in Child Development, 22 (1). 3-27. [Google Scholar]
  41. Gould, P. (2012). What number knowledge do children have when starting kindergarten in NSW? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(3), 105–110. [Google Scholar]
  42. Green, S. B. and Salkind, N. J. (2005). Using SPSS for windows and macintosh: Analyzing and understanding data (Fourth edition). United States: Pearson Prentice-Hall. [Google Scholar]
  43. Griffin, S. (2004a). Building number sense with number worlds: A mathematics program for young children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 237, 1–8 [Google Scholar]
  44. Griffin, S. (2004b). Teaching number sense: The cognitive sciences offer insights into how young students can best learn math. Educational Leadership, 61, 39–42. [Google Scholar]
  45. Harlen, W. (2013). Inquiry-based learning in science and mathematics. Review of science, mathematics and ICT education, 7(2), 9-33. [Google Scholar]
  46. Henningsen, M. (2013). Making sense of experience in preschool: Children's encounters with numeracy and literacy through inquiry. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 3(2), 41-55. [Google Scholar]
  47. Holloway, S.D., Rambaud, M.F., Fuller, B., & Eggers-Pierola, C. (1995). What is "appropriate practice" at home and in child care? Low-income mothers’ views on preparing their children for school. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 10, 451–473. [Google Scholar]
  48. Hope-Southcott, L. (2016). The use of play and inquiry in a kindergarten drama centre: A teacher’s critical reflection. Journal of Childhood Studies, 38(1), 39-46. [Google Scholar]
  49. Howitt, D. and Cramer, D. (2011). Introduction to SPSS statistics in psychology: For version 19 and earlier (Fifth edition). London: Pearson Education Limited. [Google Scholar]
  50. Jackman, L. H. (2005). Early education curriculum: A child’s connection to the world (3rd ed.). NY: ThomsonDelmar Learning. [Google Scholar]
  51. Jordan, N. C., Kaplan, D., Ramineni, C., & Locuniak, M. N. (2009). Early Math Matters: Kindergarten number competence and later mathematics outcomes. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), 850-867. [Google Scholar]
  52. Kamii, C. (2000). Young children reinvent arithmetic: Implications of Piaget's Theory. Early Childhood Education Series. Teachers College Press, PO Box 20, Williston, VT 05495-0020. [Google Scholar]
  53. Kirk, R. E. (2008). Statistics an introduction (Fifth edition). United States: Thomson Higher Education. [Google Scholar]
  54. Klein, A., Starkey, P., & Ramirez, A. B. (2002). Pre-K mathematics curriculum. Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman. [Google Scholar]
  55. Klein, A., Starkey, P., Clements, D., Sarama, J., & Iyer, R. (2008). Effects of a pre-kindergarten mathematics intervention: A randomized experiment. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 1(3), 155-178. [Google Scholar]
  56. Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı (2013). Okul Öncesi Eğitim Programı. Ankara. [Google Scholar]
  57. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. [Google Scholar]
  58. National Research Council. (2009). Mathematics learning in early childhood: Paths toward excellence and equity. Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics, C. T. Cross, T. A. Woods, & H. Schweingruber (Eds.). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. [Google Scholar]
  59. National Science Education Standarts, (2000b). Inquiry and the national science education standards: A Guide for teaching and learning. [Çevrim-içi:, Erişim Tarihi: 19 Mart 2016.] [Google Scholar]
  60. Perry, V. R., & Richardson, C. P. (2001). The New Mexico tech master of science teaching program: An exemplary model of inquiry-based learning. 31 st ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. Reno. [Google Scholar]
  61. Ryan, T.G., & St-Laurent, M. (2016). Inquiry-based learning: Observations and outcomes. Journal of Elementary Education, 26 (1), 1-22. [Google Scholar]
  62. Skwarchuk, S.-L., Sowinski, C., & LeFevre, J.-A. (2014). Formal and informal home learning activities in relation to children’s early numeracy and literacy skills: The development of a home numeracy model. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 121, 63–84. [Google Scholar]
  63. Sophian, C. (2004). Mathematics for the future: Developing a Head Start curriculum to support mathematics learning. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 19(1), 59-81. [Google Scholar]
  64. Starkey, P., & Klein, A. (2008). Sociocultural influences on young children’s mathematical knowledge. In O. N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives on mathematics in early childhood education (pp. 253–276). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. [Google Scholar]
  65. Starkey, P., Klein, A., Chang, I., Qi, D., Lijuan, P., & Yang, Z. (1999). Environmental supports for young children’s mathematical development in China and the United States. Albuquerque, NM: Society for Research in Child Development. [Google Scholar]
  66. Tabachnick, B. G. and Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (Sixth edition). United States: Pearson Education. [Google Scholar]
  67. Tan, Ş. (2016). SPSS ve Excel uygulamalı temel istatistik-1. Ankara: Pegem Akademi. [Google Scholar]
  68. Taşkın, N. (2013). Okul öncesi dönemde matematik ile dil arasindaki ilişki üzerine bir inceleme. (Doktora tezi). Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü. [Google Scholar]
  69. Trawick-Smith, J., Swaminathan, S., & Liu, X. (2016). The relationship of teacher–child play interactions to mathematics learning in preschool. Early Child Development and Care, 186(5), 716-733. [Google Scholar]
  70. Türk Eğitim Derneği. (2018). 2017 Eğitim Değerlendirme Raporu. Ankara.[Çevrim-içi:, Erişim Tarihi: 03 Mart 2018.] [Google Scholar]
  71. Umay, A., Akkuş, O. & Duatepe Paksu, A. (2006). Matematik dersi 1.-5.sınıf öğretim programlarının NCTM prensip ve standartlarına göre incelenmesi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi. 31(198-211). [Google Scholar]
  72. Unutkan, O. P. (2007). Okul oncesi donem cocuklarinin matematik becerileri acisindan ilkogretime hazir bulunuslugunun incelenmesi.  Hacettepe Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 32, 243-254. [Google Scholar]
  73. Uyanık, Ö. & Kandır, A. (2014). Kaufman Erken Akademik ve Dil Becerileri Araştırma Testi’nin 61-72 Aylık Türk Çocuklarına Uyarlanması. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 14(2), 669-692. [Google Scholar]
  74. Üstün, E. & Akman, B. (2003).Üç yas grubu çocuklarda kavram gelisimi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Egitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 24, 137-141. [Google Scholar]
  75. Van de Walle, J. A., Lovin, L. A. H., Karp, K. H., & Williams, J. M. B. (2013). Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics: Pearson New International Edition: Developmentally Appropriate Instruction for Grades Pre K-2 (Vol. 1). Pearson Higher Ed. [Google Scholar]
  76. Wu, S. C., & Lin, F. L. (2016). Inquiry-Based Mathematics Curriculum Design for Young Children-Teaching Experiment and Reflection. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(4), 843-860. [Google Scholar]
  77. Young-Loveridge, J. M. (2004). Effects on early numeracy of a program using number books and games. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 19(1), 82-98. [Google Scholar]