Learning New Mathematics from Old

Euclid’s Art After Bath
  • Snezana Lawrence
Part of the ICME-13 Monographs book series (ICME13Mo)


This chapter presents a project for the learning of mathematics based on its relationship with art, conducted with secondary mathematics teachers in training. It aimed to use a reorientation process in order to reenergize students’ interest in mathematics by giving them a problem that puts a mathematical concept under a new light, thus showing them different ways of teaching. The initial images were chosen by the author (Rafael’s The School of Athens, and de’Barbari’s Luca Pacioli, both containing mathematical diagrams referring to Euclid’s Elements, book XIII) and their interpretations were investigated offering new insights related to the Elements. Students were then introduced to the project by putting mathematics in historical and cultural context through its relationship with art, and encouraged to seek new information in an area of mathematics they were already familiar with. The project’s results relate to both the historical analysis of these images, and the use of such research to create opportunities to engage with the study of mathematics.


Euclid’s Elements Rafael Pacioli de’Barbari Platonic solids Adelard of Bath Leonardo da Vinci 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health, Social Care and EducationAnglia Ruskin UniversityCambridgeUK

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