Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Ann M. B. Austin


This study examined the mathematics talk that children engage in during free play in their non-parental, family child care environments. Audio tapes of children during free play were transcribed and coded for different types of mathematical references using a coding scheme. Types of math talk included: (a) classification, (b) magnitude, (c) enumeration, (d) patterns and shapes, (e) spatial reasons, and (f) part/whole. Results showed that children used spatial relations more than other types of mathematical references. Children‘s math talk was compared based on their gender and age. Results showed that, on average, children who were older than 40 months referenced mathematics more often than younger children. Also, males were more likely to reference math during free play than were females. Children‘s math talk was also analyzed in comparison to provider education and experience. It showed that when providers had CDA or 2-year degrees, children under their care referenced math more frequently. (78 pages)


Publication made available electronically January 24, 2012.

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