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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Creative and Body-based Learning: Redesigning Pedagogies in Mathematics


Contemporary schooling produces unequal educational outcomes in Australia and across the globe. While mandated high-stakes tests supposedly place all students on a common scale, they can limit pedagogic practices and often fail to recognize the “abilities” or embodied knowledge of many children. In addressing these challenges, particularly as they relate to the teaching of mathematics, this article reports on a qualitative study that investigated an arts integrated professional learning model, Creative Body-based Learning (CBL), at two Australian primary schools. CBL uses active and creative strategies from a range of art forms to increase student engagement and expand pedagogic possibilities across the curriculum. In this pilot study, five teachers formed action research teams with four artists to integrate CBL into mathematics. Findings drawn from interviews with teachers include higher engagement and improvement of student dispositions in mathematics and, more significantly, a broadening of teachers’ pedagogical practices to engage students and provide them with multiple opportunities to present their learning.

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