for the learning of mathematics

Alexandre Pais - Vol. 33 Num. 3 (2013)
 Ethnomathematics and the limits of culture


Research in ethnomathematics has become predominantly focused on "local cultures" and non-scholarized forms of mathematics, thus becoming less a critical reflection on the sociopolitical roots of academic mathematics and the place it occupies in the popular imagination and in schooling, and more of a learning device. Such a development of ethnomathematics research is problematic and, in some instances, contradictory. In this article, I briefly point out some of the problems I see in the educational implications of ethnomathematics, and suggest a political reading of mathematics education that shows the limitations of culture when confronting the economic role of schooling.


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