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An innovative method to facilitate the learning of mathematics through sports play

The objective of the CLE program carried by Playlab is to facilitate the learning of fundamental knowledge (counting, reading, writing) through the development of an innovative method using sports games. The first part of this program concerns the learning of mathematics, in partnership with Plaisir Maths.

In short

Our objectives

PLAY International and Plaisir Maths have joined forces to develop an innovative method of learning mathematics through sports games.

Faced with the demotivation and disinterest of some students for this teaching and the difficulties encountered by them, PLAY International wishes to create new tools for school teachers. The idea is to fight against the academic failure of too many children in this discipline.
Indeed, 15% of young French children at the end of elementary school are in difficulty as soon as numbers are involved, according to the report on the teaching of mathematics submitted by Cédric Villani in February 2018. For several years now, student results in mathematics have been steadily deteriorating. The working group, which produced the Villani report, recommends improving teaching methods, combining the notions of fun and play to encourage students' willingness to learn.

It is in this context that the CLE research program is set. PLAY International is convinced that sports games can be relevant to the learning of basic knowledge. The playful and collective aspect of the game favours the participation of children facilitating the acquisition of new knowledge. The objective is therefore to develop a new method, different and complementary to the one(s) used in class. Through this method, children are confronted with the resolution of simple and concrete mathematical problems and learn to count through sports games!


Programme CLE média


Key figures


years of researd program


experimental phase


pilot elementary school

Counting through sports play?

Experimentation in Burundi (2016)

PLAY International conducted a first experiment in Burundi with the aim of reinforcing the learning of mathematics. This pilot activity allowed the development of a "counting" module with the creation of 6 games for young people of cycle 2 (6-8 years old). It came to validate the hypotheses of PLAY International. These contents can act at several levels: motivation (de-diabolizing mathematics), development (allowing children to practice what they have learned in class) and learning (teaching children to count through sports games).


The program cle today

The CLE program shifts the focus from the refinement of knowledge learned in the classroom to the actual learning of that knowledge.

By pooling Plaisir Maths' expertise in the didactics of mathematics and PLAY International's expertise in the pedagogy of sports games, the aim is to create and model a teaching method that can be disseminated and replicated. Sports sessions on a particular mathematical knowledge, starting with "number", will be co-created for students in CP class (cycle 2).

This project will follow several stages:

1 - Experimental phase

- design of experimental sessions

- experimentation of these sessions in 10 pilot schools

- External evaluation to refine the experimental sessions and improve their effects.

- modeling of the approach: construction of didactic engineering

2 - Acceleration and deployment phase

- creation of new content

- deployment in schools: training of school teachers




Action-research is a method that links actors in the field (associations, sports leaders and educators, school teachers, etc.) and the world of research (researchers in sociology, psychology, education, sport, etc.) in a collaborative approach at the service of the project carried out.

The close relationship that links different actors makes it possible to methodically study the entire project: the initial context, the implementation of the activities as well as their effects on the beneficiaries and their environment.
Action-research leads to the production of new knowledge and recommendations that allow for the creation of new models of action or the improvement of existing ones. The approach provides a response adapted to the specificities of each beneficiary group.

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