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Māori Mathematics: content or culture?

 
Notes for a presentation in class - EDUS 362 Te Tiriti Me Ōna Tikanga
 
Do you believe that mathematics is an international language of truth that is the same for any culture, or that mathematics is a cultural construction – different for every culture?
 
We have heard the idea put forward that mathematics is a cultural construct, and that teaching mathematics should address this by teaching the ethnomathematics of a culture to members of that culture.
 
We have also heard the idea put forward that content is not very important in overcoming cultural disadvantage in education, but that it is teaching style that counts.
 
We have begun to consider the possibility that there are factors not fully considered when looking at the content issue: when content is added in an arbitrary manner to a multi-cultural classroom, there is a ‘backlash’ effect that may be strong enough to counteract the benefits of the culture-specific content. On the other hand, when teaching style is improved all cultures in the classroom benefit – there is not backlash effect.
 
We are putting forward the idea that it is only when content is added in an authentic manner that benefits are seen and the ‘backlash’ effect avoided.
 
‘Authentic’ means
·         Relevant part of teaching the subject (not just part of the curriculum)
·         Teacher excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm

For bibliography see essay attached to this page.

Chris Hilder, 3 Aug 2009

Last edited by System Administrator , based on work by Chris .
Page last modified on Monday 23 of November, 2009 16:31:50 NZST.


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