The Poly-Universe in Teacher Training Education (PUNTE) project was launched in September 2020, supported by the European Commission Strategic Partnerships Framework. The aim of the project is to develop innovative, transdisciplinary pedagogical methods that are primarily related to a revolutionary educational tool, called Poly-Universe. With this PUNTE Methodological Handbook, the reader obtains a study volume that presents the possibilities of introducing and applying the Poly-Universe kit in teacher training, in the spirit of striving for completeness.
The birth of the Poly-Universe toolkit itself is the result of a fundamentally art-driven concept, which, however, in addition to aesthetic aspects, opened up new perspectives first in the teaching of mathematics and then in further disciplines. Today, we can declare that the Poly-Universe kit has become part of everyday life in many primary and secondary schools. The aim of this volume is to facilitate the incorporation of this everyday practice into teacher training higher education and the transfer of methodological foundations to teachers and teacher candidates.
The volume consists of four major and two minor chapters. In the first chapter, the reader can become acquainted with the teaching-learning strategies and theories that provide a solid foundation for the practical implementation of the Poly-Universe. From inquiry-based learning theory to the study of spatial abilities, from basic problem-solving theories to psychological principles related to the learning process, such as engagement and motivation, this chapter discusses various aspects of the required theoretical background.
Going back to the roots of art-based education and learning, the second chapter shows how an art-oriented approach to symmetry, dimension, and transformation can add an incredible plus to purely geometric, math-based education. To understand this, this chapter takes the reader back to the beginnings of the concrete and constructive art trends of the 20th century, but this section also discusses in detail the impact of this historical overview to present educational approaches, and the artistic power and possibilities that appear specifically in the use of the Poly-Universe.
The third chapter provides an insight into the methodological foundations. Cooperative learning strategies, different manifestations of creativity, or holistic approaches all present outstanding possibilities for the methodologically sound use of the Poly-Universe.
The remaining chapters provide an approach to the methodology of the Poly-Universe kit from the practical side. Here we get an answer to where, how and in what context we can and should use the tool in the teaching-learning process. Good practices extend beyond mathematics to other disciplines, further reinforcing the transdisciplinary nature of Poly-Universe-based teaching. Finally, in the sixth chapter – in line with the needs of the 21st century – we can read about the methodological and curricular aspects of the adaptation of the Poly-Universe tool to the electronic learning environment.
Overall, this volume presents us with a broad horizon of methodological and theoretical aspects of the Poly-Universe tool. The authors and the participants in the PUNTE project hope that the book will provide the reader with a solid theoretical basis and practical knowledge instantly applicable to teacher training education.