Carruthers, E. &
Worthington, M. (2006) Children’s
Mathematics: Making Marks, Making Meaning.
London: Sage. 2nd Edition.
This publication is used as a key text in
many university courses on early years
mathematics education, and on courses on
symbolic representation relating to literacy
"Once in a
while, a very long while, there emerges a
book about the education of young children
which has the power to transform how
teachers teach. The two which come to mind
are Margaret Donaldson’s ‘Children’s Minds’
and Liz Waterland’s ‘Read With Me’, both of
which changed my – and I’m sure countless
other teachers’ - thinking and practice.
Children’s Mathematics: Making Marks, Making
Meaning is such a book and it comes not
a moment too soon.
For far too
long educators have seriously
under-estimated the challenge posed to young
children by symbol systems. The authors
highlight the parallels between the
development of literacy and numeracy through
children’s graphicacy noting that the latter
is more difficult to chart. The development
of children’s early literacy has become
increasingly well documented over the past
thirty years yet the symbol system of
mathematics has been far less well explored.
The authors’ journey of discovery begins
exactly where it should, at the very
beginning, with an exploration of
graphicacy, the primary symbol system which
is all too often underdeveloped in practice
yet from which the other two must grow. At
long last this void in research has been
addressed and this book provides
practitioners with the wherewithal to
nurture young children’s introduction to
mathematics and ease the transition from
informal to formal mathematics in a way that
is consistent with how they learn." From
Early Years: An International Journal of
Research and Development.