P04
Multimathemacy: an anthropology of mathematical literacy

Convenors:
Hendrik Pinxten (Ghent University)
Discussant:
Karen Fran├žois
Format:
Panels
Location:
Sackler B
Start time:
9 June, 2012 at 14:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel will focus on an anthropology of formal thinking and its contribution to the curriculum reform of mathematics education in multi-cultural societies. Based on the findings from ethnomathematics and critical-mathematics-education we will argue for a curriculum of multimathemacy.

Long abstract:

Situated Learning (J. Lave, M. Cole) recognizes that learning styles and learning processes can differ over cultures, since learning is not only in the head, but happens in and through the interaction between an individual and his/her social, historical and cultural environment. The learning of mathematical skills and contents worked with a uniform curriculum for ages, also in developmental programs. This approach has come under fire. We propose to look at how anthropological and other social scientific research is contributing to the changes in mathematics education in the direction of multimathemacy. Multimathemacy (Pinxten & Fran├žois) recognizes that formal thinking and reasoning can take a variety of contents and of problem solution procedures. All of them have value and potential relevance. Empirical studies in this realm include ethnomathematics, but also street mathematics, radical mathematics and critical mathematics education. The diversity in social and cultural groups is recognized as a relevant dimension for the way a basic capability of formal thinking gets translated and enhanced in more sophisticated thinking which is called mathematics. Mathematics education would open up and break away from the uniform curriculum (emanating from Academic Mathematics) and seek to recognize the importance of a diversity of ways of formal thinking in the learning processes. We invite researchers in this field to apply for the panel. We welcome empirical studies (on Romany students, on immigrants, on workers, outside school learning, ...) and more theoretical approaches.