Oliver Thiel

God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world. -Paul Dirac

About Me

I am Associate Professor at Queen Maud's University College for Early Childhood Education in Trondheim, Norway. I am teaching early childhood mathematics and mathematics education in early childhood education teacher training. My research interests are in the field of teachers' beliefs about mathematics and mathematical knowledge.


Pre-service teacher training at the university level is first and foremost focussed on the development of professional knowledge. In the mathematical field, this is mathematical content knowledge, mathematical content knowledge for teaching, and mathematics pedagogical content knowledge, which are not independent of each other but have to be learnt interlaced. Mathematical content knowledge alone is not enough to be a good teacher, but it is an indispensable prerequisite for understanding how to teach mathematics.


My aim is to provide sound theoretical knowledge as well as opportunities for practical experience on how to work with mathematics in early childhood education. This includes that students both work independently with tasks, study learning content, communicate and collaborate with each other, present their learning trails to others and reflect on practice and results.


PLAY SHOP

Measuring

PLAY SHOP

Measuring


In the play shop, the children experience different types of measurment as well as money and numbers..

MIRROR CORNER

Symmetry

MIRROR CORNER

Symmetry


The mirrors can be rotated against each other. Thus, the children can explore different rotational symmetries.

SHAPES

Designing

SHAPES

Designing


The children experience 2D and 3D shapes during construction play.

Young children's play in the mathematics room



My colleagues and me developed a room where both young children can experience mathematics in a varied, creative and joyful way. It has been shown that ECEC institutions that provide a special room or place for mathematical experience have a significant impact on the development of children's mathematical competence (Thiel, 2010). The room offers possibilities for experiences in the six fundamental mathematical activities described by Bishop (1988). The conceptual framework is Dewey's (1934) theory about "having an experience" related to the ideas of "Room as a third pedagogue" (Ceppi & Zini, 1998) seen in a social constructivist perspective.

Children visit the room in groups and interact with the environment during free, guided and structured play. Even though, the children visit the room together with their teachers, joining the visit and participation in the activities is voluntary. The design of the room ensures that children cannot be harmed.
During the free play, the children are intrinsically interested in the materials in the room and start to experience their features. Scaffolding is needed to balance doing the activity and undergoing the mathematical ideas. In the guided and structured play the activities are focused around mathematical concepts, and the children's reflections are deeper.
Using the room helps ECEC professionals to work with mathematics in a more creative, varied, joyful and deeper way.

Curriculum Vitae

EMPLOYMENT HISTRORY

01.08.2011 until today

Associate Professor at Queen Maud's University College for Early Childhood Education in Trondheim, Norway

01.04.2010 until 31.072011

Substitute professor for Mathematics and Mathematics Education at Pedagogical University College Schwäbisch Gmünd

26.11.2005 until 31.03.2010

Assistant Professor at Humboldt-University of Berlin, Philosophical Faculty IV, Institute for Educational Science, Department for Primary School Pedagogy

16.12.2005

Dissertation at Humboldt-University of Berlin, Philosophical Faculty IV.

Subject: "Modellierung der Bildungsgangempfehlung in Berlin" (Modelling the teachers' recommendation for higher education in Berlin)

Degree: Dr. phil. (PhD)

Mark: Summa cum Laude

26.11.2003 until 25.11.2005

Probationary teacher at Walter-Gropius-School in Berlin, Germany

01.06.1998 until 25.11.2003

Doctoral Fellowship at Humboldt-University of Berlin, Philosophical Faculty IV, Institut for Educational Science, Department for Primary School Pedagogy

EDUCATION

26.11.2003 until 25.11.2005

Probationary teacher at

Walter-Gropius-School in Berlin, Germany,

Degree: 2nd State Examination as teacher

01.10.1995 until 05.12.1997

Teacher Training in Physics, Mathematics and German Language at

Humboldt-University of Berlin,

Degree: 1st State Examination as teacher

01.10.1987 until 14.03.1995

Studies in Physics at

Freien Universität Berlin, Germany,

Degree: Diplom Physiker

(advanced degree in physics)

01.09.1980 until 23.06.1987

Highschool and college:

Albrecht-Dürer-Oberschule (Gymnasium)

in Berlin, Germany,

Certificate of Maturity: Abitur

01.08.1974 until 31.07.1980

Primary school:

Schliemann-Grundschule

in Berlin, Germany


Opening Hours

Sunday
Closed
Monday - Thursday
09:00 - 16:00
Friday
09:00 - 15:00
Saturday
Closed

Contact Me