A Study of Mathematical Content Provided in Illustrated Children’s Books

Melek Merve YILMAZ GENC1 Aysegul AKINCI COSGUN2 Sengul PALA3
1Çukurova University, TURKEY.
2Aksaray University, TURKEY.
3Kırıkkale University, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2017.69.9


Purpose: Early childhood is of critical importance in terms of cognitive, affective and physical development. Undoubtedly, a substantially stimulating environment and opportunities offered to children, as well as appropriate educational materials, have an impact on their development. The object of this study is to investigate the mathematical content included in illustrated children’s books prepared for pre-school children.

Research Methods: The research was planned as a descriptive study, and criterion sampling method was used in creating the study group. One hundred seventy-four illustrated children’s books offered for sale by bookstores in Adana and Ankara provinces and included by academicians in their private libraries were surveyed. As a result of the survey, 52 illustrated children’s books that met the criteria constituted the research study group. A document analysis was conducted to collect research data. Thereunder, a “book review form” developed by the researchers was used to investigate the mathematical content of the books.

Implications for Research and Practice: As a result of the study, it was discovered that the books investigated most frequently contained the numbers and operations category, followed by geometry, measurement, algebra, data analysis and probability, respectively. Furthermore, the books were found not to contain specific categories or use of different methods and tools in calculations, distinction, algebraic symbols and mathematical models, quantitative changes, symmetry and translation movements, repeated measures, data collection, data organization, data visualization, data recognition, and understanding and applying basic probability concepts. Such results suggest that the illustrated children’s books published in our county fail to satisfy the mathematical standards recommended by nationally and internationally recognized programs as the standards to be taught during the pre-school period, and that efforts must be made to enhance the quality of books published for such purposes. For future studies, it is recommend that researchers examine in detail how mathematical categories provided in the books are dealt with, or if and how teachers include illustrated children’s books in mathematics activities performed in class.

Keywords: Early childhood, mathematics, NCTM, Picture story books.