Ethnomathematics and Modern Globalized Currriculum

Ethnomathematics and Modern Globalized Currriculum

Omotayo Akintunde (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), Yetunde O. Akanle (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and Efe O. Ogbebor (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6158-3.ch009


The mathematical knowledge consumed in schools can and does influence culture and communities. There is a close connection between development of culture and idea of mathematics. Cultural thinking, practices, and products are mathematically intertwined. Cultural practices show mathematical thinking and operations and culture are better communicated through them. This goes on to confirm the practical fact that mathematics can be understood in cultural game, analysis of local arts, daily work procedures, and skills. Mathematical idea as a science of logical reasoning is better presented from natural/familiar base of culture of the people or else it will not be understood ultimately. Hence, development and human progress cannot be based on it. Mathematics will be useless to humanity. Thus, students need to develop abilities, such as creativity and a sound set of research habits, as they learn the required mathematics. This study focused on ethnomathematics and modern globalized curriculum.
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What Is Ethnomathematics?

In the current description of ethno-mathematics as given by the International Study Group on Ethno-mathematics (ISGE) the narrow (anthropological) meaning of ethno-mathematics as well as its broad (sociocultural) meaning are combined as follows.

[Ethno-mathematics] is sometimes used specifically for small-scale indigenous societies, but in its broadest sense the “ethno” prefix can refer to any group—national societies, labor communities, religious traditions, professional classes, and so on. Mathematical practices include symbolic systems, spatial designs, practical construction techniques, calculation methods, measurement in time and space, specific ways of reasoning and inferring, and other cognitive and material activities which can be translated to formal mathematical representation. Ethno-mathematics is the application of mathematical ideas and practices to problems that confronted people in the past or are encountered in present contemporary culture. Much of what we call modern mathematics came about as diverse cultural groups sought to resolve unique problems such as exploration, colonization, communications, and construction of railroads, census data, space travel, and other problems solving techniques that arose from specific communities. Simply put, culture affects the ways we acquire and use our own mathematical knowledge; it is possible to apply ethno-mathematical strategies in teaching and learning mathematics. These strategies include, but are not limited to: historical development of mathematics in different cultures (e.g. the Mayan numeration system), prominent people in different cultures that use mathematics (e.g. an African-American biologist, an Asian-American athlete).

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