Seeing parts to get the whole picture

Seeing parts to get the whole picture

Daniel Johansson is a special needs teacher at Sandgärdskolan, Sweden. His main interest is teaching of reading and writing skills for children with neuro psychiatric disabilities, but in his work he meets children with all kinds of special needs.

When asked about his experience of typical difficulties for children diagnosed with neuro psychiatric disabilities, Johansson argues that it is often hard for them to visualize texts. “It is often hard for them to understand what the persons in a novel feel and understands. To put yourself in somebody else’s position”. It also hard to see the parts in a messy picture, meaning seeing the structure in a composition.

From this point of view you could suspect that The Art of Maths project is actually counterproductive. It would be harder to understand mathematics if you first need to see what kind of mathematical operation that needs to be done. Johansson says that mathematical tasks consisting of texts and figures (denominated numbers) are typically harder than those tasks that are only figures.

When you think about it one step further though this could be the solution to something really important for children diagnosed with neuro psychiatric disabilities. Quite often these children like regular facts. Statistics. Time tables. It is typically hard to do a task in, say literature analysis, that asks for interpretation and understanding how an artist felt. “What do you think is the theme and message of this novel?” is not easy for any 14-year-old, but extra hard for one with special needs. Perhaps the tasks in Theama could help these children in seeing regularities and structures in messy art forms. Not only the Art of Maths, but also the Maths in Arts.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website and all its contents reflect the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
[Project number: 2018-1-SE01-KA201-039031]

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