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Teaching mathematics
Teaching mathematics

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1 How children think and reason about geometric shapes

The study of geometry has its foundation in the learner’s experience of the environment in which they live. More than any other area of mathematics we learn about shape and space in an intuitive way through our experience. By the time children go to school, they have already learned much about shapes and have developed spatial perception in a natural way by interacting with their environment.

It would seem appropriate that any approach to learning about the geometry of shape must build on the intuitive understanding which is gleaned from our lived experience. Nevertheless, even though children come to school with an impressive understanding of shape and space pertaining to their environment, most encounter difficulties when learning about geometry.