Puppetry as a pedagogy of play in the Intermediate Phase mathematics classroom: A case study





Case study, Metacognition, Metacognitive awareness, Pedagogy of play, Puppetry


Research on puppets in Intermediate Phase mathematics is in its infancy. According to Vygotsky, play affords a playful element that can optimise learning opportunities. However, many mathematics teachers are unfamiliar with the integration of pedagogy of play (PoP) (in this case, puppetry). The aim of this paper is to report on one participant’s (an Intermediate Phase mathematics teacher [N=1]) lived experiences of teaching with puppets after a two-day intervention. A case study approach was followed and the participant constantly reflected on his experiences. Data were collected through (i) a semi-structured open-ended interview, (ii) reflective prompts and (iii) a reflective journal with prompts. The data revealed the participant’s experiences of puppetry, how his metacognitive awareness developed and how he transferred new knowledge to his Intermediate Phase mathematics classroom. The data were analysed using content analysis. The results show that, although learners often deem mathematics “mundane” and “unexciting”, puppetry allowed the participant’s learners (according to his reflections) to experience this subject as enjoyable and creative, encouraging participation and liveliness, as the puppet was considered a peer in teaching-learning. The Intermediate Phase mathematics classroom became a space where content became meaningful, accessible and understandable to all learners.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Potgieter, E., & van der Walt, M. (2021). Puppetry as a pedagogy of play in the Intermediate Phase mathematics classroom: A case study. Perspectives in Education, 39(3), 121-137. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v39.i3.10



Research articles