• Kindergarten Students' Organization of Counting in Joint Counting Tasks and the Emergence of Cooperation

    Heide G. Wiegel
    The purpose of the study was to investigate and document possibilities for and manifestations of collaborative work with pairs of kindergarten students while they worked on tasks designed to promote early number development. Ten students, paired to be compatible with respect to their development of counting, were taught weekly for a period of 4 months. The students were addressed as pairs and provided with only one set of counting materials. The students generated 4 strategies to organize their counting: counting parts side by side, counting all at the same time, taking turns, and counting cooperatively. Cooperative counting was defined as a counting episode in which the counting acts of both students merged into a single activity with the partners working toward a common goal. Three themes emerged from the analysis of the cooperative solutions: (a) the relation between cooperation and the specific requirements of a counting task, (b) the relation between the ability to work cooperatively and the students' development of counting, and (c) the students' need to complement a cooperative venture with a solution of their own.