CMNetwork E-bulletin: December 2012

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

Welcome to your CM Network News page

Forthcoming new page: sharing research

Calling early years teachers, practitioners, students, lecturers, trainers, managers, headteachers, advisors and consultants! We are establishing a new area on this website, with short papers featuring your research.

This will offer:

  • An electronic space dedicated to the discussion of issues relating to early childhood mathematics, particularly (but not exclusively) relating to children's mathematical graphics. We also welcome research articles on play, drawing and children’s early writing

  • A place where those engaged in early childhood education in the UK and internationally, can engage in debate through feedback posted online.

Our aims:

  • To introduce a diverse range of research to practitioners, educators, students and researchers

  • To represent many perspectives on early childhood mathematics and related aspects

  • To advocate the importance of professional and educational research and debate

  • To encourage participation and collaboration

  • To disseminate findings and to raise the quality of children’s experiences, especially relating to early childhood mathematics, play and graphicacy.

Click here for further details on writing an article and submission

Gallery 6: Genres

Imaginary Stories

James ‘alien battle’ story

James (4 year 3 months) drew on both sides of large sheet to card as he recounted his story.

In his first ‘episode’ he used drew intersecting lines, circles and figurative drawing of figures, explaining: ‘The ducks built a snowman’ A man is drinking a milkshake – he’s scared of the ducks and the snowman! There’s a house and an aeroplane with things that go round (propellers). There’s grenades to fight the king who lives in the house – to fight everyone!’

James developed his story on the reverse of the card with the complex drawing shown here:

‘The man drinking the milkshake is hiding – he’s underneath and you can only see his eye (within the circle at the centre). He’s hiding from the aliens, he doesn’t want to die. The electrics are blowing up the aeroplane and it crashed – it’s wrecked. Some of the electrics are broken; some of the electrics are knotted up. The plane dropped grenades in the shark’s mouth and on the houses.’

James’s story appeared to have been influenced by the ‘robot fighting games’ – console games he played with his 10-year-old brother. His drawings seemed to have provided him with a safe space to explore images that may have troubled him.

Visual stories
This sort of visual narrative has been likened to films which move ‘in and out of an overall plot scheme but do [not] conform to the conventions of having a clear-cut beginning, middle and end. Instead it is similar to fantasy-based play on paper’ (Wright, 2010: 45). John Matthews has made detailed analysis of young children’s developing marks and drawings, terming their early marks as ‘generational structures’. In James’s drawings a number of these structures can be identified, including closed shapes, continuous lines angular attachments and ‘u’ shapes on a baseline’ (Matthews, 1999).

Wright, S. (2010) Understanding Creativity in Early Childhood. London: Sage Publications.
Matthews, J. (1999) The Art of Childhood and Adolescence: the Construction of Meaning. London: Falmer Press.

Taxonomy: Making meanings in pretence, imagination and role-play including drawing, maps and writing.

Gallery 6: Genres

New Members

From the South and South West of England, welcome to Annie Nicholson from Waterlooville, Hampshire.


Worthington, M. (2012) 'Pretend play and mathematics – informing the ‘school readiness’ debate'. TACTYC, Reflecting on Early Years Issues.

Carruthers, E. (2012) 'The pedagogy of children's mathematical graphics'. In M. McAteer (Ed.) Improving Primary Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Worthington, M. (2012) 'Children becoming expert symbol users'. In M. McAteer (Ed.) Improving Primary Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Courses and Conferences

Courses and Conferences: 2012-2013

National Education News

BBC Education News
Guardian Education News
Independent Education News
Times Education Supplement (TES)


November 2012

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