Mr. Frog challenged by Fermat's last theorem

Maria Kirstine Østergaard, Anna Karlskov Skyggebjerg, Uffe Thomas Jankvist

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


    Is it possible to communicate abstract mathematical thinking to children? This is what the Danish picture book “Fermat’s last theorem” attempts to do. Our paper discusses the mathematics educational potential from both a literary and a didactical perspective, basing the latter on the Danish mathematics competencies framework and its characterization of mathematical overview and judgment. On the one side, the book serves an aesthetic purpose, with its colourful illustrations and form of a fairy tale, by combining conventional elements of a picture book with an unconventional mathematical content. On the other side, it contravenes with traditional children’s book standards by introducing a problem with no solution and rejecting magic. This unexpected turn invites the reader to mathematical and philosophical thinking, abstract reflection and dialogue, which may contribute to the development of the critical child. Without even mentioning Fermat’s last theorem, the book’s application of mathematical formulations, considerations and methods to a non-mathematical problem as well as the implicit example (Fermat) of the historical development of mathematics displays the nature and characteristics of mathematics as a discipline. Thereby the book has the potential of developing children’s mathematical overview and judgment. However, if the invitation to abstract thinking is to be met and exercised, the rather complex content requires facilitation from a qualified adult.
    StatusAfsendt - 2019
    BegivenhedMathematics and its Connection to the Arts and Sciences - McGill University, Montreal, Canada
    Varighed: 18 jun. 201921 jun. 2019
    Konferencens nummer: 2019


    KonferenceMathematics and its Connection to the Arts and Sciences
    LokationMcGill University


    • Læring, pædagogik og undervisning