Mathematics expert Marcus du Sautoy explains why art is an ideal vehicle for teaching mathematics and introduces a simple lesson idea involving the cicada and its predators...
Mathematics is seen as a dry subject with a rigid structure; useful, important, but not much fun. At primary school, mathematics tends to be presented technically rather than creatively. But mathematics isn't just a useful science. It is itself a creative subject, and it can be taught just as playfully as the arts.
Mathematics is the language we use to navigate our physical environment in a scientific way. At its core, it is storytelling. The arts can be utilised to tell these stories, "rephysicalising" mathematics in the process. By exploring mathematical ideas through theatre, music and movement, children have a better chance of navigating the abstract side of the subject because they are able to visualise, play and make connections.
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