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The Impact of Using Stories in Pre-School Mathematics Teaching in the Saudi Arabian Context PDF Print E-mail
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By Dr.Abeer BinAli



This study aims to investigate the impact of using stories in pre-school mathematics teaching in Saudi Arabia. An intervention was designed to promote interactive teaching and learning in eight classrooms across three private schools. Integral to the intervention was a series of five stories especially written by the researcher based around the same central characters; reflecting the cultural setting familiar to the children, and with a problem-solving storyline. The stories include a range of mathematical facts, skills and concepts applicable to young learners. Additional resource materials to accompany the stories were also designed and provided for the participating teachers. The researcher adopted a qualitative, constructivist, technical action research approach and three data collection tools were used: a bibliographical questionnaire for the teachers; pre- and post-interventions semi-structured interview schedules, and classroom observations. A thematic analysis of the pre- and post-intervention data was undertaken in order to monitor the impact of using the stories in the pre-school classrooms. The study considers the findings from the data in relation to both the teachers’ and the children's’ experiences pre- and post-intervention. In particular, the impact of the intervention on teachers’ subject knowledge, attitudes, confidence and classroom practice is discussed along with the impact on children’s engagement and enjoyment of mathematics; their mathematical understanding and thinking skills. The study concludes that using stories to teach mathematics had a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning mathematics. Using the stories prompted a positive change in teacher’s and children’s attitudes and feelings towards mathematics; a greater understanding of key mathematical ideas; and an appreciation of the value and uses of mathematics in everyday life. The implications from the study highlight the importance of providing appropriate training for pre-school teachers (and elsewhere) and the pivotal role that using stories can play in ensuring high quality mathematics teaching and learning.


Keywords: Nature of Mathematics, The importance of child-centred approach in teaching mathematics, Teacher's subject knowledge, Pedagogy in teaching mathematics, Teachers'attitude, beliefs and confidence, Saudi Arabia, Pre-school, Childhood Studies.


Full Information: Brunel University