Mathematical Problem-Solving Visualised in Outdoor Activities

  • Magni Hope LossiusEmail author
  • Torbjørn Lundhaug


In this chapter, we discuss characteristics of problem-solving situations in outdoor activities considered as mathematical. Although kindergarten children often participate in outdoor activities, these activities are rarely considered as being mathematical. We use theories about instrumental and pedagogical situations in kindergarten to identify the kinds of problem-solving that is occurring and how mathematics comes to play in these situations. We analyse one spontaneous episode in an outdoor setting to gain a better understanding of mathematical problem-solving in outdoor activities. Our findings indicate that although the children only used mathematics implicitly as a tool to solve a practical task in the outdoor environment, the kindergarten teacher was able to support their understanding of the mathematical ideas. This indicates that the teacher had a pedagogical purpose when contributing to the interaction. We argue that awareness of the features of mathematical problem-solving could support kindergarten teachers to be able to support and develop mathematical problem- solving in the outdoor environment.


Mathematical problem-solving Outdoor environment Children-initiated activities Kindergarten teacher support Kindergarten 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Norway University of Applied SciencesBergenNorway

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