Friday, 17 December 2010

knitting - a teaching aid for maths?

Today I was sent a link to a video that showed and discussed the use of knitting in the classroom as a teaching aid for maths. Below is a highlight of the video via You Tube. Click here for the full video on

The use of knitting being used in schools to aid learning interests me greatly, especially as part of the aim of my creative project is to use knitting as a form of accessible and tactile numerical communication.

This teaching took place in Shaftesbury Primary School in London. The maths teacher had a passion for knitting, and recognised how the use of numeracy within the knitting process could make maths both more accessible and easier to understand for those pupils who may ordinarily struggle with numbers and give them a chance to shine.

Children who excelled in knitting were teamed with children who were good at maths, and they were given several different tasks to complete that tackled many different areas of mathematical learning, from a timed knitting 'race', which combined the use of measurement, time, prediction and recording of data, to the adding and subtraction of stitches to form a certain shape, to the understanding and calculation of costing a garment.

The teacher felt that the important part of learning through knitting was that it took numeracy out of books and brought it to life. It inspired the children, put maths into a context and gave them a tangible and visible result for their efforts.

1 comment:

  1. when researching for my BA dissertation i touched on knitting as a teaching aid, like you said there is a lot of evidence to support it. I read a lot about arts based schools which teach knitting and woodwork before children learn how to read or count, although their progress is slower at the start by the end the children have a much higher level of education than mainstream children. very interesting.