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Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, 2nd Grade: Implications of Piaget's Theory


reviewed by David Kuschner — 2004

coverTitle: Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, 2nd Grade: Implications of Piaget's Theory
Author(s): Constance Kamii with Linda Leslie Joseph
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807744034, Pages: 194, Year: 2004
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To fully understand the ideas expressed in this book by Constance Kamii and her colleague Linda Leslie Joseph, it is important to take note of the word reinvent in the title. The phrase, reinvent arithmetic, suggests that although there may be fixed products for arithmetic operations, e.g., 5 + 12 will always equal 17, the understanding of the operations is constructed anew by each individual child. This book, therefore, is not about the teaching of arithmetic to second graders.  Based on the Piagetian concept that children must construct knowledge and meaningful understanding of intellectual concepts for themselves, Kamii and Joseph suggest that the purpose of the arithmetic curriculum in second grade, and along with it the role of teacher, is to provide the right context for this construction and reinvention to take place. The ultimate goal for the curriculum, furthermore, is not the mastery of the multiplication tables or the ability to solve problems as quickly as possible but rather the development of children’s intellectual autonomy.   What is... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 5, 2004, p. 928-931
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11260, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 9:15:55 AM

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About the Author
  • David Kuschner
    University of Cincinnati
    E-mail Author
    DAVID KUSCHNER is an associate professor of early childhood education in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. His research interests include children’s play, constructivism, and the history of early childhood education. His most recent publications are “The dangerously radical concept of free play” which appeared in Volume 11 of Advances in Early Education and Day Care: Early Education and Care, and Reconceptualizing Play and “And the children played on” which appeared in Proteus: A Journal of Ideas. Professor Kuschner is currently working on a book manuscript that focuses on significant events in the history of early childhood education.
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