Examining Kindergarten Children’s Numerosity Estimation Skills

KAYHAN ALTAY M., Alkaş Ulusoy Ç., Özer A., Umay A.

Early Childhood Education Journal, vol.52, no.3, pp.503-513, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10643-023-01449-z
  • Journal Name: Early Childhood Education Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.503-513
  • Keywords: Early childhood, Estimation strategies, Mathematics education, Number referent estimation, Numerosity estimation, Open-ended estimation
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to examine kindergarten children’s performance and strategies when answering different types of numerosity estimation questions. To this end, interviews were conducted with 44 children (aged 61–80 months) in an online setting, during which they were asked nine estimation questions of three types. These questions (open-ended, number referent, and visual referent estimation questions) differ in the size of the set to be estimated and in providing reference points for the estimation. The data analysis was based on the content analysis method. The verbal expressions, mimics, and gestures used by the children during the interviews were coded in two stages. In the first stage, the children’s estimation performances on different types of questions were evaluated. In the second stage, the strategies used by children for the estimation questions were identified. The estimation performance of children participating in the research was better in number referent estimation questions than in open-ended estimation questions. Moreover, the type of the questions affected the children’s strategies. Reportedly, although children tend to use counting strategy in open-ended estimation questions, when a reference point is presented, they move away from these tendencies and turn to more perceptual strategies such as eyeball and benchmark comparison.