Dr Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai’s ‘Maths Through Stories’ initiative has made it easier for teachers and parents worldwide to harness the power of storytelling to make maths learning more accessible and enjoyable to learners everywhere.

While research has shown that storytelling has significant potential to develop pupils’ mathematical ability, Dr Trakulphadetkrai’s research reveals that most primary school teachers are unaware of this connection.

Dr Trakulphadetkrai’s website MathsThroughStories.org sets out to address this problem by raising teachers’ awareness of the power of storytelling to make maths learning more accessible and enjoyable. Drawing from his research on the barriers that prevent teachers from using storytelling in maths teaching, Dr Trakulphadetkrai designed the website to try to eliminate those barriers. The site offers free on-line resources, including the world’s largest database of over 500 recommendations for mathematical stories, book reviews and lesson ideas.

Since its launch in 2017, the website has been viewed over 280,000 times by more than 54,000 teachers and parents from over 180 countries. Teachers are using Twitter to share the recommended mathematical stories and other free resources with colleagues globally. And a rapidly growing number of teachers inspired by Dr Trakulphadetkrai’s initiative have become on-line contributors, sharing lesson ideas with other teachers via the website.

Dr Trakulphadetkrai has also run free workshops at more than 30 universities in the UK and internationally, to model his Maths Through Stories training approach to teacher educators so they themselves can train the next generations of teachers.

Judges’ comment: “A refreshingly simple but effective approach that has the potential to change the way maths is taught to primary school children.”

Shortlisted for the University Research Engagement and Impact Awards 2019

First published: June 2019