The Role of Ethnomathematics Within Mathematics Education

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This paper considers the field of enquiry called ethnomathematics and its role within mathematics education. We elaborate on the shifted meaning of 'ethnomathematics'. This "enriched meaning" impacts on the philosophy of math education. Currently, the concept is no longer reserved for 'nonliterate' people, but also includes diverse mathematical practices within western classrooms. Consequently, maths teachers are challenged to handle people's diversity occurring within every classroom setting. Ethnomathematics has clearly gained a prominent role, within Western curricula, becoming meaningful in the exploration of various aspects of mathematical literacy. We discuss this enriched meaning of ethnomathematics as an alternative, implicit philosophy of school mathematical practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1526
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Mathematics Education and Society Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Ethnomathematics, Diversity, Politics


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