“Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, or algorithms: it is about understanding.” William Thurston
Mathematics is a creative subject. Even though there is always one correct answer to a question, there are many possible ways of arriving at it. Integrating Art with Mathematics is an intrinsic approach to teaching, where students construct and demonstrate their knowledge using the medium of art.
Keeping art integration in teaching subjects across the classes, as a primary need of the present time, The Foundation School organised an online lesson for the integrated subjects of ‘Fine Arts and Mathematics’. This was held for class VIII, under the guidance and supervision of the respective subject department coordinators.
Mathematics is known to provide solutions to every problem, while art has played a historic role in conceptualising reality with varied perspective. The simultaneous combination of art with Mathematics has thus generated new perspectives for better learning by bringing in a visual and kinesthetic instructional approach.
The students observed an artistic approach to the subject, from the theory of the pie chart to an actual hands' on experience. To understand the theories of math, using the route of imagination is a novel and unconventional procedure. However, children during the class not only saw pie charts as a practical, conducted via art, but also comprehended the modifications in a tangible way by reflecting and evaluating the results of the activity.
The experiment was conducive, as the students made circles on coloured paper with the help of a compass, made different angles on them to cut and paste together. All this was an intrinsic part of understanding the steps and analysing how everything in a pie chart is evaluated. The earlier unseen parts of math, which had been only discussed in theories, suddenly became substantially visible to them, evoking a wide intellectual stimulation.
The students analysed different angles and their divisions within a given circle; they tried to find out the angle of another component within the same given pie chart. Comprehending how much of an area is being cut out from the original circle with each precisional cut, they also observed related things like the crops in the respected areas. Each colour of crop helped them to articulate the data separation and the production of each crop. This lead to an enhanced practical understanding of the constructed pie chart.
Students discovered how art and math, being two different subjects, can be correlated. They acknowledged the importance of interwoven curricular learning. The children promptly looked forward to the next such class!