Friday, September 16, 2005

Mindtangle

Interesting thing on culture here about a kid who understands a maths problem as a social comlplex. The teacher has assumed a numerical solution, but instead gets a cultural analysis.
Very nice.

7 comments:

Dr. Rob said...

It is very clear that mathematics is in fact saturated with cultural meaning. It is taught here in the West as a dominant discipline that was in fact ‘invented’ by the Greeks and that within the disipline there is only one possible approach, i.e. 2+2 is ALWAYS 4 any other answer is simply WRONG.

An American teacher was concerned that his African American pupils were constantly failing Maths, he knew they were not stupid so he wondered what was up. He started to teach a culturally relevant mathematics in his class, i.e. Maths was not simply a white mans thing Mathematics was being used by the Indians and the Eygyptians yonks before the white European man could count his fingers and toes, and once the maths had been ‘reclaimed’ his students started to excel.

I do have a paper wot I wrote and got published somewhere on this very subject!

Dr. Rob said...

In fact you can find the said paper here:

http://www.ex.ac.uk/~PErnest/pome/pompart2.htm

Joolz said...

DrRob you are amazing you know about everything. Thank you, I will look up your paper ... I ahd not thought about all this before, apart from there is a bit in a book by Roddy Doyle, where this kid who ended up in the IRA, when he was at school always asked 1 add 1 what? I.e. he needed to know what he was counting. I think this is relevant, but will check your paper to find out.

Dr. Rob said...

I think thats why I became a sociologist because in the algebra lessons I was always thinking if x +y = z WHY Why Why? I could never get it (still don't!) even though the maths master used to give us threepenny bits if we got something right, he was that desperate, and no, before anyone asks they wern't silver threepenny bits it wasn't that long ago! Really!

Joolz said...

I was too dim to even do algebra!! They didn't even bother teaching alebra to the bottom set. Cool.

Dr. Rob said...

hmm you link dude, the american teacher, didn't seem to like my comments (similar to the ones above) and deleted them, free speech alive and kicking in the good ole US of A!

Joolz said...

Ooh gosh how upsetting. Very strange; I wonder if there was a cultural misunderstanding (ironically enough) in anything you said.. it is really hard to tell sometimes.
It can sometimes be really difficult to work out what is going on socially, on the net.

(Btw these word verification things ate really like eye sight tests. harder everyday too.)

About Me

My photo
Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.