The Garden of Geometry
Wonderful places to discover and learn
Prof. Preiss’s Gardens of Geometry aim to spark children’s interest in mathematics and to enable children to experience numbers and geometric shapes holistically and interactively in a beautiful natural setting. Four Gardens of Geometry have so far been set up in Germany. They were designed by Prof. Gerhard Preiss, whose early childhood mathematics education programmes have been implemented at preschools across Germany and in other European countries.
Gardens of Geometry provide natural settings for discovering and learning about numbers and geometric shapes. In Gardens of Geometry, the connection between basic arithmetics and geometry can be easily understood, because concepts are presented physically and can be experienced first-hand. The architecture enables the dimensions of shapes (lengths, widths, and volumes) to be represented in a variety of ways. Children’s natural enthusiasm for learning can be further enhanced through games and riddles, and basic arithmetic and geometric problems can be solved.
The initial idea for a Garden of Geometry was developed in the framework of a project at a school for mentally handicapped children in Heitersheim, Germany. The first Garden of Geometry was created at the Max-Planck_Realschule (a secondary school) in Bad Krozingen, Germany in 2000. In the past two years, three additional Gardens of Geometry have been set up at German preschools: at the Protestant Preschool Glitzerfisch in Marl (2005), at the Preschool Tausendfühler in Freiburg (2006), and at the WIPA Preschool Pfiffikus in Essen (2006).
At these institutions, mathematics education activities now take place outside as well as inside!