Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Anton Puvirajah

2nd Supervisor

Mina Sedaghatjou


Rowan University



According to Lakoff & Núñez (2000), the mind does not operate separately in the process of building mathematics concepts. Incorporating the human body and the material surroundings into mathematics learning may contribute to the development of students’ mathematical minds, which is consistent with the theory of embodied cognition asserting that cognition rests on the close interaction between the human body and mind, also coupled with the environment. To seek the possibility of applying this theory to mathematics education, this study examines non-STEM undergraduate students’ geometric cognition development as they took part in a geometry course that integrated the arts and the dance. The data comes from a previous study that was conducted at a university in New York, mainly including videos of non-STEM undergraduate students’ classroom interactions, and student submissions of select assignments. This study can inform educators of embodied approaches in further mathematics education by analyzing how students develop their geometric cognition through an embodied theoretical lens.

Summary for Lay Audience

Given that Mathematics is abstract and difficult for students to learn in class, we consider using embodied cognition to help them. The theory of embodied cognition assumes that the mind can work with the body and the environment. We examine an undergraduate class that combined Laban dance and Geometry for the purpose of illustrating the work of embodied cognition in developing students' geometric cognition. we summarize the findings and report them to inspire future mathematics education and research.