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Early Years teachers’ perspectives on their pedagogies of play and mathematics

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DR ELIZABETH CARRUTHERS, FORMER HEADTEACHER, UK This research was part of my doctoral thesis on the pedagogy of children’s mathematical graphics (Carruthers, 2022), funded by the Martin Hughes Memorial Trust, Bristol University. The overall aim of this section of the study was to capture teachers’ perspectives as they reflect on their pedagogies of mathematical play. I present a brief synopsis of the study. Introduction  Young children’s play is seen as a key vehicle to enhance children’s learning. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework (DfE, 2021) encourages play and states: ‘Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.’ (p. 16) However, there is much controversy surrounding play and there are different interpretations of play (Fisher, 2016). Wood (2023) believes that there is a crisis occurring in play, as children’s play worlds are diminishing in Early Years settings. In this study, play is defined fr

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