The Project

Theatre In Mathematics | TIM

Nowadays competence in mathematics is addressed as one of the most important issue for self-fulfilment at both social and personal level and numeracy skills are considered as one of the priorities for educational cooperation at EU level. It is a common pattern in classroom communication that teaching mathematics is characterized by the use of the textbook and by teachers dominating the conversation by asking the questions and evaluating the students. This makes students passive and afraid listeners. However, there is a great consensus that cooperation creates learning and that productive classrooms build on students’ participation and thinking.

The purpose of “TIM – Theatre in Mathematics” is to face the main obstacles in the way of teaching and learning mathematics at EU level. It aims to improve mathematics teaching and learning, in particular providing a new methodology – the TIM Methodology – to teach mathematics using  the theatre workshop and drama.

The project will be carried out by COREP – Social and Community Theatre Centre of the University of Turin (IT), Western Norway University of applied Science – HVL (NO), Technical University of Crete (GR), ASTA theatre company (PT) and DORS – Regional centre of documentation for health promotion (IT).

A New Methodology

The project will develop the TIM Methodology by deepening and combining two existing approaches: “Mathemart – Playing with mathematics in the theatre workshop” and “Process Drama – change of roles, perspectives, and role aspects in teaching mathematics”.

Mathemart is a new approach that consists in teaching mathematics through Social and Community Theatre (SCT) methodology of the University of Turin. Mathemart uses SCT to get students involved in the game of mathematics by means of theatrical games and activities: an overall approach that includes mind and body, inborn creativity and engagement. This theatrical setting conveys a creative, playful and trusting atmosphere, enabling students to freely explore without judging what they are doing, learning from mistakes in a sequence of trial and error.

Process Drama, developed by the HVL University of Bergen, aims at changing the teacher dominated pattern of communication by introducing and exploring roles and role aspects (the sceptic, the curious, the authority, the mediator) to create more student active learning processes, emphasizing the ability to change roles and perspectives in a learning process with arguments more than just answers.

The TIM Methodology will be built taking into account the 4 partner countries education systems in order to have a flexible and adaptable tool to each national and regional context. In the manual it will be described in his potential of adaptation to any context or level of literacy of the students within the range 8-14 years old.

Project Outputs

Besides the TIM Methodology manual, the project will produce other intellectual outputs: the e-learning platform, a series of theatrical conferences and scientific articles. On the TIM e-learning platform, users will be able to find in digital formats all the outputs of the project, to share and exchange digital learning resources related to the methodology. The theatrical conferences will deal with the theme “The fear of mathematics” and will be realized and shown to at least 600 stakeholders (teachers, insiders, etc.) by 4 actors (one per country) who will be trained to spread the conference in their own countries. Researchers involved in the project will work at the production of 4 scientific articles about the TIM Methodology and the outcomes of the activities, inquiries and explorations carried out during the project.

The Target

The main target group of the project will include teachers and student teachers. A specific TIM training of teachers will be developed: 20 experts, 5 per country, will be trained to train teachers and at least 400 teachers will be trained in TIM Methodology. The project will focus on the teachers training in order to reach, as secondary target, the largest number of students thanks to the multiplier effect of the trained teachers. It is foreseen that in the first year after the end of the project at least 16.000 students in Europe will benefit of the TIM methodology. After the project the group of 20 trainers will be able to continue the training of teachers in their own country with the support of the regional/national school offices already involved in the project. We expect, at the end of the project, to have resident trainings in TIM Methodology in the partners’ Universities and institutions.

Other secondary and long-term targets will be the institutions, existing projects and associations involved in teaching mathematics: from the Universities to local schools, from European projects and networks to the local ones.

The E-Learning Platform

The e-learning platform will be the virtual place where all these professionals can meet, exchange opinions, and materials using the repositories. It will be the place where it is possible to share knowledge about TIM. This will improve their way of teaching mathematics and will foster the creation of a community of professionals using TIM, exchanging knowledge and spreading the methodology and the tools among their networks. This virtuous cycle of professional knowledge sharing will bring tangible enhancements in the classrooms and, as the quality of the teaching improves, the students will indirectly benefit from the project.