Reconsidering Teachers’ Roles (V). Peter Baptist: Towards New Teaching of Mathematics – What Do We Learn from SINUS?

Notes from the UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning VIII International Seminar: Teacher Training: Reconsidering Teachers’ Roles, held in Barcelona, Spain, on October 6-7, 2011. More notes on this event: eLChair11.

Peter Baptist, Mathematical Institute, Chair of Mathematics and Mathematics Education, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Towards New Teaching of Mathematics – What Do We Learn from SINUS?

The SINUS project for math teaching is based on collaboration and problem solving. Don’t preach facts, stimulate acts.

Students use study journals to sketch meaningful figures, describing observations, etc. And those journals they are handwritten, thus students are forced to reflect on what they are writing, instead of just collecting it and copying-and-pasting it on their journals. It is a way of thinking while using one’s hands, and using one’s hands while thinking.

(at this point Baptist speaks about the meaning of numbers supporting his speech with great geometric images, and how moderately sophisticated mathematics can be built form reality, and then see what is their connection to art or with nature. E.g. adding up hexagons in a grid and then turning it in a 3D image representing cubes. E.g. the relationship of the Fibonacci sequence with sunflowers.)

Maths and arts approach is an educational model that enables students from kindergarten to university, to explore numbers, to enjoy maths, to experience them in a productive way.


Emma Kiselyova: how scalable is this methodology? Baptist: totally. There are many ways to teach mathematics and the secret is that teachers share their materials and can experiment with all of them. Teachers are constantly creating new paintings, exercises, etc.

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UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning VIII International Seminar: Teacher Training: Reconsidering Teachers' Roles (2011)