LATERAL TRANSFER OF LEARNING FROM SOFTWARE OF AESTHETIC AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION TO MATHEMATICS
There are many types of software available for teaching and learning Mathematics, as for example Programming Languages, Dynamic Geometry Systems, pocket and graphical Calculators, but also Generic Software. The last category includes word processors, spreadsheets, databases, presentation Software as well as “types of painting software” with an emphasis on aesthetic and creative expression.
Revelation Natural Art is a well-known general-purpose dynamic graphics application software, for painting, drawing and colouring, especially for young users.
It is an Open Learning Environment that allows students to participate actively, to leave their stain, to interact and to construct new knowledge, according to the current constructivist and social-cultural theories.
Moreover, apart from the support and exploitation of students’ particular talents and drawing abilities, it constitutes not only a cognitive tool for creating interactive activities but also an educational area for developing learner-centered and collaborative environments, fostering cross-curricular (thematic) approaches and exploring visual representations.
Visualization, an important characteristic of ICT, generally encourages learning, since the pedagogic value of graphic representations is experimentally confirmed. Of course, the harmonious combination of picture and text provides learning benefits, even in positive sciences and Maths.
Maths is considered to be a difficult subject, due to little transfer of learning from other subjects. According to the American educational psychologist Gagne, “lateral transfer of learning" is useful in many ways, since, via this, students obtain learning advantages, applying and developing knowledge and ideas from a cognitive subject, to the benefit of some other.
In this case, within the environment of Revelation Natural Art, the subject of Art can be promoted to a "cognitive ally and blood donor" to a closed, isolated and entrenched Maths.
This project proposes a series of activities of pure mathematical content that can be created using the operations and tools of ostensibly unfitting and irrelevant, for the circumstance, software of creative expression.
A first development in Maths concerns the creation and identification of all geometric shapes. Afterwards, via the enormous library of pictures of software, sets, premath, spatial concepts, as well as conservations of quantities, ordinations, correspondences, classifications and groupings can be studied.
Furthermore, students can draw patterns, visualize arithmetic operations and impress statistical data.
Via exchange and grouping, numbers and the semantic rule of various number systems can be comprehended. Specifically, studying the binary system, through the process of pictures and in a playing way, students can study some "machines" for fast calculations that were devised by Napier.
Axial symmetry in regular polygons and circles can be examined. Via symmetry, there is the possibility of creating, in reverse course, perpendicular and parallel lines and also locating the (unknown) centre of a circle.
Fractions can be studied, via the library of flags of software. In addition, representations of fractions and the corresponding operations between them can be created.
Finally, the plaything which is innate and incorporated into the software of aesthetic expression, as well as its animations, help to bend the severity and introversion existing in Mathematics.