Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Math-E-Motion: an embodied activity for improving spatial skills

Eloisa Neri de Oliveira, a visiting scholar from Brazil, will be presenting information about her research on July 19 from noon - 1 pm in room A236.

Researchers from around the world have made efforts to improve students’ performance in STEM disciplines. However, emerging countries like Brazil still occupy very low ranking positions in global exams such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). One of the explanations might be students’ substantial deficiency in spatial skills. In fact, the National Curricular Parameters, an official educational guideline issued by the Brazilian government, does not even mention spatial skills. In my master's thesis, I have designed an embodied cognition activity called Math-e-motion that aims to improve students’ spatial thinking. This activity is carried out on a tiled floor made with cheap material and involves reasoning about cartesian coordinates. Preliminary results have shown that Math-e-motion can improve perspective changing, which is an essential skill to several fields of STEM disciplines.