Dancing Math: Teaching and Learning in the Intersection of Aesthetic and Mathematical Literacy

Paul Moerman
Proceedings of Bridges 2016: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture (2016)
Pages 269–276 Regular Papers


This paper presents a teaching and learning program in mathematics drawing on the aesthetic expression of dance as the medium of seeking knowledge and meaning. Originally conceived as a joyful, effective and threshold lowering activity for learners apprehensive about the curriculum subject, including pre-service teachers, the program has been further developed to visualizing, in dancing, the learners’ previous subject knowledge as a base for further acquisition of proficiencies in the discipline. The program’s overall object is to create an effectual interactive space of learning with immediate interaction between teacher, peer learners and the math subject. Aesthetic literacy through dance and math numeracy are enhanced and interplay gainfully. Participants with varying cultural and language backgrounds, exchanging experiences and references, embark on joyful journeys through the field of knowledge. Data gathered from observations of lessons designed according to the program and dealing with a number of math curriculum items are presented and analysed. Conclusions are drawn for further investigation of the intersection of the proficiencies and literacies of aesthetics and mathematics.