Original Research

Pre-school children’s understanding of Mathematical patterns

Erica Hutchinson
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 1, No 2 | a87 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v1i2.87 | © 2011 Erica Hutchinson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2014 | Published: 31 December 2011

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Erica Hutchinson, Parkmore Nursery School

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This study explored the patterning abilities of eight children between the ages of four and five-and-a-half. Task-based interviews were conducted where children were required to produce their own repeat pattern, to copy and extend a given repeat pattern, and complete missing parts of a repeat pattern. The findings show that most children were able to copy and extend a pattern, but few could produce their own repeat pattern. While most children tended to focus on “what comes next”, some children paid attention to pattern structure, but were not able to isolate the pattern element.


mathematical patterns, repeat patterns, pattern element, early childhood


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