fractions at ramadan
An integral component to the Multimodal Mathematics Research Lab is the creative mentorship in areas of illustration, design and visual story development. Artists, Ghada Ali, Hissa Al-Khusaei and Shouq Rahim Poor, are VCUarts Qatar undergraduate and alumni students in Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Painting +and Printmaking. This collection of artwork titled, Fractions at Ramadan, was produced from Spring 2021 to Spring 2022.
A math concept is at the core of each visual and literary story grounded in Arab culture, values, beliefs, and everyday life. For example, this group of seven narratives revolves around family interactions, community gatherings and local traditions that occur during the month of Ramandan, including the festival of Garangao. The student artists worked with the project team to discuss ways to combine and constellate visual cues to signify cultural aspects, events, and artifacts. They experimented with how to balance the text-image relationship in multimodal storytelling, and how to best articulate the mathematical information within these parameters. Ali, Al-Khusaei and Rahim Poor acted as co-creators of this work that stems from their lived cultural experiences and knowledge.
The collection of artwork weaves math pedagogy, creative writing and visual storytelling; each having a distinct contribution to a transformative, interdisciplinary curriculum - one that is rooted in a social justice philosophy of education. This includes middle school students “seeing themselves” in the curriculum, as well as other students seeing their peers. This work is also part of a series of professional development workshops for local teachers to revisit mathematical concepts in new ways, and to envision implementing these understandings in their classrooms through hands-on activities.