Intuitive ideas about chance and probability in children from 4 to 6 years old

This study explores intuitive ideas about chance and probability in children aged 4 to 6. For this, we conducted an exploratory study of an instructional process with 23 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students who had not received prior instruction on the subject. The results show that students comprehensively use elementary probabilistic language and have a first informal knowledge about other notions such as sample space, possibility of occurrence and comparison of probabilities. We conclude that most of this knowledge (basic notions of probability) depends, to a great extent, on visual support in order to compare probability or possibility of occurrence. In other words, it is confirmed that students at these early ages need to start learning the first probabilistic notions in teaching contexts that let them visualise mathematical ideas in a concrete way, using both everyday objects and manipulative materials, and direct action on these objects. In future studies it will be necessary to continue exploring new data that contribute to the professional development of Early Childhood Education teachers, in order to refine the planning and management of mathematical practices whose purpose is the progressive acquisition of probabilistic literacy at early ages ​
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