MathsArt #1 – Creatively Reimagine the Education of Mathematics through the Use of Visual Art at Primary Levels

The project is part of the Education Incubator. It is currently looking for primary schools (Year 5 groups (November 2020-January 2021) & Year 6 groups (January2021-March 2021)), to see how art can be adapted to fit various methods of learning and teaching Mathematics skills at Schools. Dr Houry Melkonian (Project Lead) and Amber Ellis (Student Project Assistant).

The process of learning is more often closely linked to the state of joy and satisfaction it entails, whether it happens through playful learning activities, animated teaching or visual art. Mathematics is one of the important subjects we teach at schools. It is common for young children to express a dislike for maths, maybe due to its abstract nature and the rigidity of the curriculum we employ. Art is another subject that is mostly popular and appealing to school children, which may be because of its joyous nature and the freedom it offers to the learners. However, both subjects are beautifully influenced by each other, that is almost inevitable to mention one in the absence of the other. Here we shall ask, how does the education of mathematics relate to the education of art? Or, how may art be used to re-imagine the way we teach maths at schools?

The aim of this project is to creatively rethink the primary level mathematical pedagogy through the use of art. It aims at combining art and maths for school children by developing artistic learning activities that teaches and communicates the maths skills for the targeted age groups. Creating more awareness of how art can contribute to maths educational experience, will encourage the incorporation of these creative learning activities into the maths curriculum at primary schools.

This project aims at enhancing the current curriculum used at teaching mathematics at primary school levels by engaging visual art and creativity into the class activities. The project is new and first of its kind, it primarily aims at constructively enhancing the mathematical pedagogy at Years 5 & 6 levels through the use of art. Activities aim to break down the mathematical tasks into its fundamental phases, replacing these seemingly simple steps with an artistic process. This is in order to provide a visual representation of the procedure required to complete the task. Approaching tasks in this manner aims to improve accessibility by visually walking through steps that some students may struggle to initially complete mentally. Providing a visual representation helps to solidify concepts in the student’s mind.  

If you have any questions or wish to take part, please email Project Lead or DM on twitter at @DrHMelkonian.

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The University of Exeter’s Education Incubator scheme. Promoting pedagogic innovation and collaboration with an aim to enhance learning across the University and beyond.

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