We are delighted to announce the opening of our new blog for our Re-Crafting Education project team! Just recently, we received support from the National Science Foundation (#1420303) for our collaborative project titled, "Re-Crafting Mathematics Education: Designing Tangible Manipulatives Rooted in Traditional Female Crafts". This work is based on our prior work studying design, mathematics, and traditional female crafts, particularly when integrated with electronics in what we call "e-textiles."
part of this new project, we plan to extend this earlier work to better
understand how traditional female crafting practices can make
far-reaching improvements in a range of learning outcomes in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. These types
of investigations will help reveal key issues underlying the underrepresentation of women and girls in lifelong STEM learning.
part of our efforts, we will be conducting a series of ethnographies of
female crafting circles to better theorize the connections particularly
between mathematics and traditional women’s crafts.
In fact, we are coming to understand craft as a lived mathematical
practice -- that craft and mathematics are closely intertwined.
Following our initial ethnographic field work, we're planning to develop
and test a set of new hands-on classroom manipulatives for schools and
after-school programs (targeted at youth in grades 5-9).
been hard at work for the past few months, launching our fieldwork,
designing new large-scale surveys that we have piloted at the World Maker Faire in NYC, and joining new online communities (like Ravelry)
that can teach us a thing or two about how adult crafters engage in
mathematics both their in highly networked world and in their work settings.
As we start to analyze our data and reflect on what we’ve learned, we’d
like to share our work in progress in hopes that we might invite
engagement and formative feedback from a broader community of
researchers, designers, educators, and learners.
have a fantastic team of researchers who will be been engaged in a
diverse range of crafting, including knitting, quilting, crochet, and
more. This team includes renowned writer and celebrated TED Talk
speaker, Margaret Wertheim, who will be a key consultant on the project, as well as our excellent advisory board for the project, including Margaret Cagle, Michael Eisenberg, Rogers Hall, Paula Hooper, and Catherine McTamaney, whom collectively have expertise in mathematics education, ethnomathematics, crafting, and learning.
particularly exciting to us about this project is that it represents an
interdisciplinary collaboration between two learning scientists, one
that studies mathematics (Dr. Melissa Gresalfi, PI) and one that studies the arts and crafts (Dr. Kylie Peppler, PI), and includes a team of scholars who come from diverse backgrounds. We have a starting team from cognitive science (Kate Samson), education (Janis Watson), and learning sciences (Sophia Bender, Kate Chapman, and Panchompoo Wisittanawat).
Over the course of the coming year, we’ll be launching some new field
sites and have new team members joining the mix, so please stay
As we move forward in sharing our emerging
stories from the field, we'll be highlighting compelling examples and
notable figures from the field. We hope you enjoy these glimpses into
our fieldwork and emerging analysis as much as we’ve enjoyed engaging
with these communities of activated learners, crafters, and
Stay tuned for more updates on relevant happenings and early reports from the field!
Kylie and Melissa