Crafting Maths: Exploring Mathematics Learning through Crafts

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Sirpa Kokko Lasse Eronen Kari Sormunen


This article introduces a project in a Finnish secondary
school where mathematics education was combined with
crafts instruction. The idea was to provide the students
with an interdisciplinary real-world learning context in
which they worked collaboratively on an open-ended
design task. The approach was problem-based and
student-centred in a way that Neumann (2013) describes
to be in and with students. The teacher’s role was to allow
the students to self-generate their learning and to work in
partnership with them. The students were given a rather
open-ended, ill-defined design task that required them to
take risks, find information and collaborate. The student
interviews (N=17) after the project revealed that their
attitude to mathematics had become more positive. They
began to understand the connections between these
school subjects in an authentic learning environment. They
learned to solve problems and combine theoretical and
practical knowledge. Their understanding of the
importance of mathematics in real-world situations
increased. The project demonstrates how to arrange
teaching and learning in a more holistic way instead of in
a traditional subject-based approach. This kind of
interdisciplinary approach demands good cooperation
from both the students and the teachers. For
interdisciplinary education to be further developed,
support is needed for the teachers to collaborate and
learn new teaching approaches.

Article Details

How to Cite
KOKKO, Sirpa; ERONEN, Lasse; SORMUNEN, Kari. Crafting Maths: Exploring Mathematics Learning through Crafts. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 20, n. 2, june 2015. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 jan. 2022.
mathematics education, craft education, technology and design, interdisciplinary teaching, student-centred learning, problem-based learning