# A STONE OR A SCULPTURE? IT IS ALL IN YOUR PERCEPTION

## ABSTRACT

Workplace mathematics, a subgroup of research on everyday mathematics and ethnomathematics documents the mathematical activities of both adults and children outside school settings. In this paper, I document the mental mathematical activities of a group of bus conductors in Chennai, India. I draw into the research areas of mental computation and everyday mathematics to report on bus conductors’ use of mental mathematics at work and highlight the role of context and context related parameters in their mental mathematical activities.

## KEY WORDS

ethnomathematics everyday mathematics mental computation workplace mathematics## Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

## References

- Ascher, M. (1991).
*Ethnomathematics: A multicultural view of mathematical ideas*. New York, NY: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar - Brenner, M. E. (1998). Development of mathematical communication in problem solving groups by language minority students.
*Bilingual Research Journal, 22*(2), 149–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Brenner, M. E. & Moschkovich, J. N. (Eds.). (2002).
*Everyday and academic mathematics in the classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph No. 11*. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar - Carraher, D. W. (1991). Mathematics in and out of school: A selective review of studies from Brazil. In M. Harris (Ed.),
*Schools, mathematics and work*(pp. 169–202). Bristol, PA: Falmer Press.Google Scholar - Carraher, T. N., Carraher, D. W. & Schliemann, A. D. (1987). Written and oral mathematics.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 18*, 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - D’Ambrosio, U. (1990). The role of mathematics education in building a democratic and just society.
*For the Learning of Mathematics, 10*(3), 20–23.Google Scholar - D’Ambrosio, U. (2007). Peace, Social Justice and Ethnomathematics. In B. Sriraman (Ed.), International Perspectives on Social Justice in Mathematics Education.
*The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, Monograph 1*(pp. 25-34). Retrieved from http://www.math.umt.edu/tmme/monograph1/d%27ambrosio_final_pp25_34.pdf - Eglash, R., Bennett, A., O’Donnell, C., Jennings, S. & Cintorino, M. (2006). Culturally situated designed tools: Ethnocomputing from field site to classroom.
*American Anthropologist, 108*(2), 347–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Gahamanyi, M., Andersson, I., & Bergsten, C. (2009). Using mathematics as a tool in Rwandan workplace settings: The case of taxi drivers.
*Proceedings of the Sixth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education*(CERME), Lyon, France. Retrieved from http://ife.ens-lyon.fr/publications/edition-electronique/cerme6/wg8-05-gahamanyi.pdf - Gerdes, P. (2010).
*Otthava: Making baskets and doing geometry in the Makhuwa culture in the northeast of Mozambique*. Morrisville, NC: Lúrio University, Nampula & Lulu.Google Scholar - Guberman, S. R. (1996). The development of everyday mathematics in Brazilian children with limited formal education.
*Child Development, 67*, 1609–1623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hoyles, C., & Noss, R. (2002). Problematising statistical meanings: A sociocultural perspective. In B. Phillips (Ed.),
*Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Teaching of Statistics*(pp. 1-6). Retrieved from http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/1/2e3_hoyl.pdf - Joseph, G. G. (1987). Foundations of Eurocentricism in mathematics.
*Race and Class, 28*(3), 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Jurdak, M. & Shahin, I. (1999). An ethnographic study of the computational strategies of a group of young street vendors in Beirut.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 40*(2), 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Lave, J. (1988).
*Cognition in practice: Mind, mathematics and culture in everyday life*. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991).
*Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation*. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Magajna, Z. & Monaghan, J. (2003). Advanced mathematical thinking in a technological workplace.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 52*(2), 101–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Masingila, J. O. (1994). Mathematics practice in carpet laying.
*Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 25*(4), 430–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Matos, J, F., & Santos, M. (2008). Activity, artefacts and power: Contribution of activity theory and situated learning to the analysis of artefacts in mathematical thinking in practice. In J.F. Matos, P. Valero, & K. Yasukawa (Eds.)
*Proceedings of the Fifth International Mathematics Education and Society Conference*(pp. 1-9). Retrieved from http://mes5.learning.aau.dk/Papers/Matos_Santos.pdf - Metropolitan Transport Corporation. (2013). Retrieved April 1, 2013, from http://www.mtcbus.org
- Millroy, W. L. (1992).
*An ethnographic study of the mathematical ideas of a group of carpenters. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph No. 5*. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar - Murphy, C. (2004). How do children come to use a taught mental calculation strategy?
*Education Studies in Mathematics, 56*, 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Naresh, N. (2008). Workplace Mathematics of Bus Conductors in Chennai, India. (Doctoral dissertation). Illinois State University. Available online at http://gradworks.umi.com/3353093.pdf
- Noss, R., Hoyles, C. & Pozzi, S. (2000). Working knowledge: Mathematics in use. In A. Bessot & J. Ridgway (Eds.),
*Education for mathematics in the workplace*(pp. 17–36). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar - Pozzi, S., Noss, R. & Hoyles, C. (1998). Tools in practice, mathematics in use.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 36*, 105–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Reys, B. J. & Barger, R. H. (1994). Mental computation: Issues from the United States perspective. In R. E. Reys & N. Nohda (Eds.),
*Computational alternatives for the twenty-first century*(pp. 31–47). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar - Reys, R. E., Reys, B. J., Rybolt, J. F. & Wyatt, J. W. (1982). Processes used by good computational estimators.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 13*, 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Saxe, G. (1991).
*Culture and cognitive development: Studies in mathematical understanding*. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar - Selin, H. (Ed.). (2000).
*Mathematics across cultures: The history of non-Western mathematics*. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar - Shimizu, K. & Ishida, J. (1994). The cognitive processes and use of strategies of good Japanese estimators. In R. E. Reys & N. Nohda (Eds.),
*Computational alternatives for the twenty-first century*(pp. 161–178). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar - Silver, E. A. (1994). Treating estimation and mental computation as situated mathematical processes. In R. E. Reys & N. Nohda (Eds.),
*Computational alternatives for the twenty-first century*(pp. 147–161). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar - Stake, R. E. (2000). Case Studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.),
*Handbook of Qualitative Research*(2nd ed., pp. 134–164). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar - Vergnaud, G. (2000).
*Introduction. In A. Bessot & J. Ridgway (Eds.), Education for mathematics in the workplace (pp. xvii-xxiv)*. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar - Vithal, R. & Skovsmose, O. (1997). The end of innocence: A critique of “ethnomathematics.”.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 34*, 134–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Zevenbergen, R. (2000). Research methods for mathematics at work. In A. Bessot & J. Ridgway (Eds.),
*Education for mathematics in the workplace*(pp. 181–188). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar

## Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2014