Re-Crafting Mathematics Education: Designing Tangible Manipulatives Rooted in Traditional Female Crafts

The Re-Crafting Mathematics Education project is based on our prior work studying design, mathematics, and traditional female crafts, particularly when integrated with electronics in what we call "e-textiles." As 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.
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).
A collaborative effort between the Creativity Labs at Indiana University and Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Support for this project comes from the National Science Foundation.


Project Personnel


Dr. Kylie Peppler

Janis Watson

Sophia Bender

Kate Samson