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Commentary on the Chapter by Graeme Were, “From the Known to the Unknown: Pattern, Mathematics and Learning in Papua New Guinea”

From the Known to the Unknown: What It Means to ‘Know’ Mathematics
  • Alan J. Bishop
Part of the Advances in Mathematics Education book series (AME)

Abstract

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is an anthropologist’s paradise—several hundred still existing languages, people still living in remote villages with memories of first contact with European civilisations, a country still trying to define itself in the context of the modern world, and many cultures still waiting to be documented and understood. Part of its push to modernisation relates to formal school education and Were’s chapter is situated in the context of a PNG Department of Education curriculum development concerning elementary mathematics education. The thrust which interests Were is the plan “to deliver a community-based mathematics education programme in the local vernacular that was sensitive to a child’s existing knowledge of local cultural traditions.” This was indeed a bold initiative, one which few developing countries have successfully realised due to an array of challenges.

Keywords

Mathematics Education Cultural Knowledge Remote Village Cultural Discourse Western Mathematic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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