Mathemart is a new approach to mathematics created by Maurizio Bertolini in 2011: it consists in teaching mathematics through Social Community Theatre (SCT) methodology .
Teachers are looking for new methodologies of teaching mathematics and Mathemart was conceived as a new way of approaching mathematics trying to bypass the fear of Mathematics.
Mathemart – mathematics and theatre
2004 – today
Mathemart is a new approach to mathematics created by Maurizio Bertolini in 2011: it consists in teaching mathematics through Social Community Theatre (SCT) methodology.
Teachers were looking for new methodologies of teaching mathematics and Mathemart was conceived as a new way of approaching mathematics trying to bypass the fear of Mathematics.
The SCT methodology is used to get immersed in the game of mathematics by means of an overall approach involving mind and body, inborn creativity and involvement. The theatrical setting conveys a creative, playful and trusting atmosphere enabling students to freely explore without judging what they are doing. It encourages learning from mistakes in a sequence of trial and error. If a student is scared of mathematics, he can not allow himself to make mistakes. His fear freezes his brain and logic skills and he cannot think straight. But it doesn’t mean that he is not really able to. A good theatrical setting can help students to forget that fear and to enjoy the possibility of learning by playing. In fact, within Mathemart training we do not talk about mathematics, we experience the subject by playing with mathematical relations and rules. Only after experiencing a concept we will formalize it.
Mathemart has undergone testing in primary and secondary schools in Italy since 2011. In particular it has been tested in 7 classes of secondary school, featuring about 150 students from 11 to 14 years old. Each class took part in 10 – 15 meetings (1 hour each). The most important results acknowledged by teachers are:
Mathemart has been useful to explain topics that students couldn’t understand during a standard lesson
new topics explained first through Mathemart method and, subsequently, in a standard lesson have been understood much more easily than usual:
- students with the fear of mathematics would feel comfortable during Mathemart workshop and were active and absorbed;
- all students showed a high degree of involvement and enjoyment;
- teachers involved were motivated to continue the mathemart experimentation.
In 2014 Mathemart project received funding by the European “Lifelong Learning Programme” to realize a ten-days international training featuring teachers from eight European countries. Mathemart was included in the COST (European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe) event “Bridging the gap between art and science” – Sirolo (AN) – Italy 12-14 May 2014.