Her Blog: The Map is Not the Territory, by Malke Rosenfeld

Art can be manifested in many things, including mathematics. In her program "Math in Your Feet," Malke Rosenfeld turns percussive dance into the platform for a robust choreographic inquiry into mathematical thinking, practices and topics. I first met with Malke through ALT/space, an international online writing project of the Teaching Artist Journal. Besides serving as an editor for ALT/space in which she curates stories of practice from those working at the crossroads of art and learning in various disciplines and communities, Malke is a dynamic percussive dancer, teaching artist, and writer.

Malke Rosenfeld
Malke documents and shares her personal journey toward a deeper understanding of mathematics and how to teach it on her personal blog, The Map is Not the Territory. Interestingly, her inquiry often overlaps with the adventures Malke has with her seven-year-old daughter.

Love between daughter and mother, mathematics, dance and blogging all come together. Malke’s story of finding herself in blogging organically sprang from an interest in the idea of connecting – with art, people, teaching and learning.

Carol: When did you start writing online?  And how did you start? 

Malke: I started my blog The Map is Not the Territory in October 2012. I had just submitted my article, Percussive Dance and the Path to Math, to the Teaching Artist Journal. Feeling flush with success for finally finishing the piece (it had taken me years to get past the first 500 words) I all of a sudden felt like there was a lot more about my work I wanted to share. I was also hoping to connect with others who were, like me, working at the intersections of art, movement, and math education.

Carol: Why is it important to you?  How has the practice of writing online influenced you? 

Malke: It sometimes takes a while for me to process information and I often leave conversations unsatisfied with myself in terms of what I have been able to express. Having an opportunity to reflect on my work in a quiet (but ultimately public) environment has allowed me to flesh out my thoughts fully, share my ideas, and deepen my teaching practice all at the same time.

Carol: What do you aim to achieve through your own blog? 

Malke: My aim is three-fold: To have a place to reflect on the topic of teaching and learning mathematics in a hands-on, design environment; to be able to share my approach to both of those things with others; and to develop a network of colleagues.   

Carol: Any other blogs (particularly those by women) that have influenced you? 

Malke: I was recently invited to become a contributing writer to the Moebius Noodles blog, a fantastic resource full of adventurous, meaningful math experiences for young children and their adults. This is a great honor, considering that the combined work of Maria Drujkova and Yelena McManaman has already contributed so much to my math understanding.