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Welcome to the international Children's Mathematics Network

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Our vision

Why children’s own mathematics, and the personal, graphical

signs (notations or inscriptions) they use to communicate their thinking,  are so very important.   


     We believe that young children should lead their play and have agency, be able to make personal choices and decisions - just as teachers and practitioners should also have agency in their settings. We share a vision of early childhood mathematics in which young children make, explore and communicate mathematical meanings in personal ways, in contexts that make genuine sense to them. These contexts will often be spontaneous, in open contexts and in free pretend play. 

      In the forword to one of our books (2006), John Matthews sums up this deep interest in young children's graphical signs and representations:


      Those of us who have devoted our lifetimes attempting to understand the origin

      and development of expressive representational and symbolic thought in infancy

      and childhood, and how best to support it, quickly came to realise that the beginnings

      of linguistic and mathematical thought are embedded in rather commonplace actions

      and drawings made by the infant and young child [...] developmentally, these

      beginnings are of the most profound importance. (p. xiii / xiv)


    From our own perspective we find young children's thinking and learning endlessly fascinating. Our aim is to share our research, understandings and excitement and to dispel some myths. Importantly, we want to help teachers and practitioners, students and researchers gain insights into the very significant strengths and understandings of young children’s mathematical thinking and graphical communications.


    Matthews, J. (2006). Forword. In Carruthers, E. & Worthington, M. Children's Mathematics: Making Marks, Making Meaning. Sage.