for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Lisa Lunney Borden - Vol. 31 Num. 3 (2011)
 The 'verbification' of mathematics: using the grammatical structures of Mi'kmaq to support student learning


As part of a larger project focused on transforming mathematics education for Aboriginal students in Atlantic Canada, this paper reports on the role of the Mi'kmaw language in mathematics teaching. Examining how mathematical concepts are described in Mi'kmaq gives insight into ways of thinking. Shifting classroom discussions to reflect Mi’kmaw verb-based grammar structures, referred to as 'verbification', is described through the example of a grade 3 lesson on prisms and pyramids. 'Verbification'shows tremendous promise as a way to support Mi'kmaw learners as they negotiate their space between school-based mathematics and their own cultural ways of knowing and doing mathematics.