Toronto, December 6 - 9, 2019
Over my fourteen years as a mathematics teacher educator, I have worked to introduce my teacher candidate students (and their future secondary students) to the idea of transdisciplinary identities for themselves and their own students -- in other words, the idea that one does not have to view oneself as either 'a math person' or 'an arts person', but can bring mathematics and the arts together to create deeper mathematical understandings and aesthetically-interesting mathematical representations.
In this session, I will explore several successful design experiments supporting UBC teacher candidates in integrating mathematics and the fine and performing arts, including mathematics and dance, poetry, design and the plastic arts. I will describe the pedagogical design experiments, and use two short films and student responses to document the effects of introducing mathematics via the arts early on in our secondary mathematics teacher education program.
As humans, we are captivated by the aesthetic and drama of everyday phenomenon, from riding a tall escalator to watching a dancing flame. We have the potential to live curated lives: taking pleasure not only in life's final products but in creative processes themselves. The creation of art takes an individual on a journey of frustration and satisfaction, excitement and dissapointment, bluders, breakthroughs and ecstacy. The curation of our everyday experiences reveals life's underlying beauty and gives an added meaning to the interactions we may normally take for granted.
Mathematics takes us on this same journey. When we learn to view the world through a mathematical lens,
we come to understand the patterns and aesthetic hidden in the simplest of phenomenon. We make mistakes,
embrace them, and let them propel us in directions previously unexplored.