University of Aveiro, CIDMA, Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 1449-1457
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0452
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Art is felt in a very particular and distinct way by each one of us. Observing a painting or a sculpture can trigger strong emotional reactions, which can be fleeting or last for a long time. It can give rise to a chain of thoughts in search of a justification for the coherence or non-coherence of what we visualize and feel. That is, art stimulates critical thinking and expands our perspectives of interpretation and representation.
The impact of mathematics goes beyond its conventional use, as it has the potential to stimulate the creativity inherent in each individual. As a science that specializes in making connections, mathematics is uniquely positioned to reveal unexpected cultural connections. Art serves as a conduit for connecting people with their cultural and social identities, and through ethnomathematics, teachers can expose their students to a variety of mathematical practices and knowledge derived from diverse cultures and communities. This intersection of mathematics, art, and ethnomathematics highlights their shared characteristics and potential to cultivate cognitive, affective, and psychomotor competencies that are beneficial for a variety of subjects and life skills.
The fusion of mathematics, art and ethnomathematics was elected as the central focus of a professional development course for mathematics teachers, dynamized by the authors. The course was held at the University of Aveiro in 2022 and was attended by 16 teachers who teach grades 5 to 12. The course was divided into two parts. The first part involved exploring mathematical topics and their applications in art by both trainers and participants. During this part of the course the topics were presented both from a mathematical and an artistic point of view. In all cases the participants were asked to perform some mathematical tasks and examples of artworks were given. The second part required participants to create an individual project consisting of one or more artistic works based on a mathematical concept previously explored in the course.
This study aims to explore how an interdisciplinary approach that combines art and mathematics is perceived by a group of mathematics teachers and how it can be integrated into their pedagogical practices. The research question is focused on investigating if the integration of art in mathematics education can lead to a more solid understanding of mathematical concepts, the creation of interdisciplinary learning scenarios, collaborative teaching experiences, and a more positive attitude toward mathematics among students.
The methodology adopted for this study was a mixed case study design, which integrates both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze data. The techniques of inquiry, direct observation, and documental collection were applied, and the instruments used were a final questionnaire and field notes.
The results of the study are revealed in two perspectives. Firstly, through the artworks created by the teachers, a selection of which is presented. Secondly, through the analysis of the answers to the questionnaire.
The study allowed us to conclude that incorporating artistic contexts in an interdisciplinary approach can strengthen and reshape mathematical concepts. This approach creates connections to other fields of knowledge, encourages collaborative and engaging teaching and learning environments and promotes the creation of classroom activities that lead to a positive attitude toward mathematics.
Professional development, interdisciplinarity, mathematics and art, mathematics education.