This qualitative survey study set out to investigate in-service and pre-service primary school teachers’ perceived barriers to and enablers for the integration of children’s literature in mathematics teaching and learning in an Australian educational context. While research over the past three decades have documented pedagogical benefits of teaching mathematics using children’s literature, research into teachers’ perceptions regarding the use of such resources is virtually non-existent. The study thus filled this research gap by drawing responses from open-ended survey questions of 94 in-service and 82 pre-service teachers in Australia. A thematic analysis revealed 13 perceived barriers classified under five themes with Lack of Pedagogical Knowledge and Confidence, and Time Constraint, representing 75% of all perceived barriers. Moreover, 14 perceived enablers were identified and classified under five themes with Pedagogical Benefits and Love of Stories representing around 70% of all perceived enablers. Findings also showed that most of the teachers in the study (around 75%) never or infrequently used children’s literature in their mathematics classrooms. The study highlights the role of professional learning and teacher training in ensuring that both in- and pre-service teachers have the necessary pedagogical knowledge, experience and confidence in using children’s literature to enrich their mathematics teaching.
- Children’s literature
- Mathematics learning and teaching
- Mathematics teacher education
- Story picture books
- Teachers’ perceptions