Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica

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Jacoliene van Wijk

Mastering mathematics with origami

Promotor: Dr L.M Doorman (UU) en dagelijks begeleiders/co-promotoren: Dr. R.D. Bos (UU), Dr. A.Y. Shvarts (UU)

Daily practice in a mathematics class is dominated by students reproducing solution procedures with paper-and-pencil tasks from a textbook. An adaptation of mathematics lessons should be considered so that students experience the most important feature of mathematics: mathematical thinking. The art of origami is a promising approach for a creative and realistic form of mathematics education. Mathematical origami is a part of origami, and the emphasis is on doing and reflecting. Firstly, the focus is on the haptic process of (un)folding. Secondly, students will analyze crease lines and folded shapes in relation to the mathematical problem. We conjecture that via mathematical origami, students will come up with their own solutions to mathematical problems and thereby build their knowledge in an embodied way. In this study, we look at mathematical origami from three views: from embodied cognition (doing the folds), from instructive manipulatives (the paper that is folded and analyzed), and the conditions that follow from origami. In this research we focus on the possibilities to replace parts of the textbook with tasks using mathematical origami. With these tasks we want to explore how mathematical origami can be exploited to engage students in mathematical activities that go beyond reproducing written standard algorithms and can contribute to learning mathematics in an authentic classroom setting. We want to investigate the design characteristics informed by embodied approach for effective mathematics teaching and learning with mathematical origami.