Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by Editorial Team
Why is math a tricky subject for many students? It is because many math concepts are abstract and do not have any physical or concenter representation. This makes it difficult for students, especially young children, to understand these concepts because the ability to think abstractly develops gradually as one matures.
Art can play a vital role in teaching math to students as it makes abstract concepts concrete. It helps students visualize the things they are learning, allowing better comprehension of mathematical concepts. Integrating art and math is a great approach to attaining learning objectives in both subjects. As children love art in any form, it is wise to incorporate it into math lessons so they willingly participate and enjoy the learning process.
Integrating art and math: Does it really help?
Earlier, art was considered a non-academic and leisure activity. The education system did not consider it as significant as other subjects like math and language. But now, schools are realizing the power of art and how it can help students better understand core curriculum subjects. Research reveals that art is not a distraction but a powerful tool that can be used to teach math so students become successful learners.
A study was conducted to determine the positive effects of art integration with math lessons. The pedagogical experiment involved a group of fifth-grade students. The group was further divided into two subgroups. The students belonging to the control group were taught math in the traditional way. At the same time, teachers used art-integrated lesson plans to teach math to students in the experimental group.
A conclusion on the effectiveness of both teaching methods was determined by asking students to appear for a series of four assessments. The results of the evaluations revealed that art positively impacted math learning as the students in the experimental group performed better and secured higher marks than those in the control group.
This study and many more clearly establish the fact that learning math through art helps learners grasp the concepts better than standard teaching methods. And therefore, schools should use it for the benefit of students.
Benefits of math and art integration for students
1. It stimulates the mind, creates inspiration, and triggers creativity
Participating in the arts curriculum inspires students to try something new. For example, when students make their own DIY tangrams as a part of the curriculum, It promotes greater creativity in a student’s way of thinking, amplifies their problem-solving approach, and allows them to express themselves without restrictions.
2. It enhances brain functioning
A paper published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience states that both math and art activate the same area of the brain, i.e., the medial orbito-frontal cortex. So, strengthening one skill can positively impact the other and provoke the mind to think innovatively.
3. It improves comprehension
Art allows students to convert abstract mathematical concepts into something concrete, which they can see, touch, and feel. For example, making DIY algebra tiles to solve abstract algebraic equations. This provides students a context for complex topics, making them more meaningful and easier to understand. Plus, art can incorporate several resources for a multisensory learning experience, which results in better comprehension.
4. It promotes concept visualization and imagination
When math and art are integrated, students are required to think and create visual representations of mathematical concepts. This encourages them to engage their imagination, think creatively, and come up with new ways to make connections between math and real life.
5. It heightens engagement and focus
When art is combined with math, students look forward to math lessons because they become interesting. It keeps them engaged throughout the session and maintains their focus with fewer chances of getting distracted due to boredom.
6. It increases motivation and curiosity
Children have curious minds and are always looking to explore new things. But traditional teaching only supports their curiosity a little. On the other hand, art motivates students to learn math in new ways and fills their inquisitive minds with new thoughts and ideas.
7. It encourages critical thinking and other cognitive skills
Students participating in art-integrated math lessons often show rapid progress in the subject. This is possible because the approach fosters the development of cognitive skills. Students need to think critically, problem-solve by breaking down complex tasks into smaller pieces, and use logical reasoning to find a solution.
Math and art integration lesson plan
Math and art integration is a clever approach to help students attain the standard of learning in a fun and creative way. The unique learning experience allows students to see the real-world applications of math through different art forms such as visual arts, music, origami, etc.
Students who learn via art-enriched programs seem less exhausted and do not give up learning compared to those who are taught with a traditional approach. They are more engaged and willing to participate in the lesson because this is how they prefer to learn new things.
Our well-designed lesson plan combines math and art in a fun and exciting manner. Teachers can use it to expand their students’ knowledge and teach them how the two are interrelated. With time and consistent practice, the benefits of using art to teach math in the classroom will be clearly evident.
- Brezovnik, A. (2017). The Benefits of Fine Art Integration into Mathematics in Primary School. CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 5(3), 11–32. https://doi.org/10.26529/cepsj.125
- Zeki, S., Romaya, J. P., Benincasa, D. M., & Atiyah, M. F. (2014). The experience of mathematical beauty and its neural correlates. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00068
I am Priyanka Sonkushre, a writer and blogger. I am the person behind “One Loving Mama,” a mom blog. Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree along with an MBA, my healthcare background helps me deeply understand learning difficulties. I know how challenging it can be for parents to find the right resources to help their children excel in life. So, here I am to blend my healthcare expertise with my parenting experience to create valuable and helpful resources for parents and teachers supporting children with learning differences. If you wish, you can follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn.