Mathematics in the informal setting of an art studio: students’ visuospatial thinking processes in a studio thinking-based environment

Kus M., Cakiroglu E.

Educational Studies in Mathematics, vol.110, no.3, pp.545-571, 2022 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 110 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10649-022-10142-8
  • Journal Name: Educational Studies in Mathematics
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), zbMATH
  • Page Numbers: pp.545-571
  • Keywords: Informal mathematics education, Learning through arts, Studio thinking, Visual arts and mathematics, Visuospatial thinking
  • TED University Affiliated: No


This study aimed to investigate seventh-grade students’ visuospatial thinking processes in an art studio environment, where students were engaged with geometrically rich artworks. The students were asked to observe minimalist artworks, then create and critique their own and others’ artworks based on the Studio Thinking Framework. Data were collected through interviews conducted with students, video recordings in the studio, and students’ documents (sketches, artworks, and notes). The data were analyzed based on previous studies on spatial thinking and emergent data. The study’s findings indicate that the Studio Thinking-based environment has the potential to elicit students’ visuospatial thinking processes, mainly in recognizing shapes, decomposing and composing shapes, patterning, and transforming shapes rigidly and non-rigidly (scaling). The present study, which includes accounts of three studio works, suggests an emergent framework for the characterization of visuospatial thinking within a particular art-math-related environment. The findings of the study shed light on other studies on visual arts and mathematics education and on mathematical thinking and learning in informal learning settings.