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This profile was last updated on 6/22/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Constance Kazuko Kamii

Wrong Dr. Constance Kazuko Kamii?

Professor of Early-Childhood Educ...

Phone: (205) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: c***@***.edu
University of Alabama
Webb 556 1530 3Rd Ave. South
Birmingham , Alabama 35249
United States

Company Description: Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is the...   more

Employment History

  • Professor of Early Childhood Education
    University of Alabama
  • Professor of Early Childhood Education
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Professor In the School of Education
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Professor
    Early ChildhoodEducation
  • Leading Student


  • Pomona College
  • Ph.D. , education and psychology
    University of Michigan
53 Total References
Web References
Truth in American Education, 22 June 2015 [cached]
That’s the argument of Constance Kamii, a longtime professor of early-childhood education at the University of Alabama. Kamii wrote the second DEY report, published last month, attacking several of the Common Core’s kindergarten math standards, including that students should be able to count to 100 by ones and 10s, as well as compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into 10 ones plus some further ones.
Kamii notes that the foundation of math is the ability to think abstractly about numbers â€" what five really means, beyond the numeral 5, or its place in a memorized sequence from one to 10 â€" as well as the logical relationships between numbers. “Not many 5- and 6-year-olds understand words like ‘forty’ and ‘fifty,’ â€� Kamii writes in the report. So, while kindergartners can memorize the numbers from 1 to 100 with enough repetition, Kamii says that’s, “like making them memorize nonsense syllables.â€�
(L-R) Dr. Douglas Clements,Dean Lora ..., 17 July 2009 [cached]
(L-R) Dr. Douglas Clements,Dean Lora Bailey, Dr. Constance Kamii
The early education symposium also featured Dr. Constance Kamii, a University of Alabama-Birmingham professional who has worked in early childhood classrooms in the United States and abroad for more than 30 years. She delivered the morning keynote address. Click here Kamii attracted worldwide attention in the 1990s with her assertion that traditional methods of teaching young children,the "Three R's", actually did more harm than good. She is professor of early childhood education at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Professional Development, 14 May 2012 [cached]
Dr. Constance Kamii
Thankyou to Constance Kamii, Ph.D.
The Attic Learning Community hosted Dr. Constance Kamii, Professor of Early ChildhoodEducation, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, for a evening lecture andall-day workshop on March9 & 10, 2011. The event drew over 175 attendees, who gave Dr. Kamii two standing ovations!
Constance Kazuko Kamii, Ph.D., is passionate about educating teachers, especially about educating them on ways to present mathematics so their students will "construct their own knowledge" rather than just memorize rules. Children learn math the same way they learn everything else, Dr. Kamii explains. They have to experiment with and think about numbers before they really understand how numbers work.
Dr. Kamii's pioneering methods in teacher education grew out of her 15-year association with renowned Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, whose lectures she attended as a student at the University of Geneva. "His books about his theory of thinking were dense, but when I heard him speak, he presented his ideas much more clearly," she recalls. "I knew I wanted to work under him. Dr. Kamii applied Piaget's approach to thinking to the field of mathematics education.
The Kyrene School District administration ..., 24 Aug 2007 [cached]
The Kyrene School District administration and 80 elementary teachers gathered Wednesday to hear Dr. Constance Kamii, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discuss her philosophy on the way children learn math.
Kamii inspired KSD elementary teachers by demonstrating strategies to present mathematics to their students so they will construct their own knowledge, rather than just memorizing rules.
Children learn math the same way they learn everything else, by experimenting and thinking about numbers before they really learn about and understand how they work, Kamii explained.
"By presenting videos, Constance showed KSD teachers these strategies are much of what they already see happening in their classrooms today," said Suzi Mast, KSD assistant director of curriculum and assessment.
Kamii taught that games not only promote thinking, they create communication because students are working with others.
Although these new techniques may be time-consuming, Kamii insisted it is all time well spent.
From The Schools Our Children Deserve, 31 May 2008 [cached]
This approach has been described in detail by Constance Kamii, a leading student of Piaget's, in a series of three books about how children in first, second, and third grade, respectively, can "reinvent arithmetic. Ultimately, of course, it matters whether students come up with the right answer, but if they're led to think that's all that matters, they're unlikely to understand what's going on. Thus, says Kamii, "if a child says that 8+5=12, a better reaction would be to refrain from correcting him and . . . ask the child, 'How did you get 12?' Children often correct themselves as they try to explain their reasoning to someone else."[23] Because that "someone else" can be a peer, it often makes sense for children to explain their reasoning to one another.
On a smaller and more informal scale, the constructivist theorist Constance Kamii has tested a few elementary classrooms in which children worked all problems on their own, without being given any algorithms. Consistent with the other studies, she discovered that two constructivist second-grade classes did about as well as two conventional classes on a standardized achievement test but performed better on measures of thinking.[47] A subsequent comparison of third graders also found that the "Constructivist Group used a variety of procedures, got more correct answers, and made more reasonable errors when they got incorrect answers. The Comparison Group by and large had only one way of approaching each problem - the conventional algorithm - and tended to get incorrect answers that revealed poor number sense."[48]
One last point, which is not so incidental: a teacher working with Kamii commented that after she adopted the nontraditional approach to instruction, her classes "displayed a love of math that I had not seen during my first decade of teaching."[49] While there are no hard data to confirm this impression (as there are with Whole Language), it certainly matches what the Purdue researchers witnessed in their experimental classrooms.
11. Kamii, 1994, pp. 36-40.
15. Kamii (e.g., 1994, pp.
18. Kamii, 1985b, p. 3. For examples of fortuitous events that can provide the opportunity for children in first grade, second grade, and third grade to think about numerical concepts, see Kamii, 1985b, pp. 123-35; 1989, pp. 91-97; and 1994, pp. 92-98. Like some other constructivists, Kamii also swears by the use of certain games -- such as those involving dice or play money -- for teaching purposes.
25. Kamii, 1985b, pp. 25, 36. Her constructivist premises have led Kamii to offer only a partial endorsement for the NCTM standards. She argues that, despite their emphasis on deeper understanding of mathematical truths, the standards still reflect an empirical view that those truths have a reality entirely independent of the knower. Further, while collaboration among students is recommended, Kamii believes the standards fail to reflect a constructivist appreciation for the necessity of understanding through resolving conflict among disparate ideas (see Kamii, 1989, pp. 59-62).
29. Not every math educator agrees that primary-grade children shouldn't be given algorithms at all, but Kamii makes a strong case for this position.
31. "Research has shown, however, that most children think that the 1 in 16 means one, until third or fourth grade" (Kamii, 1989, p. 15). "Even in fourth and fifth grades, only half the students interviewed demonstrated good understanding of the individual digits in two-digit numerals" (Ross, 1989, p. 50).
32. Vygotsky, 1978, p. 84.
33. Linda Joseph's account appears in Kamii, 1989, p. 156.
47. Kamii, 1989, pp. 158-78.
48. Kamii, 1994, p. 205.
49. Linda Joseph, quoted in Kamii, 1989, p. 155.
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