Urban boundaries project: mathematics and the struggle for survival

Mônica Mesquita, Alexandre Pais, Karen Francois, Sal Restivo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


The Urban Boundaries is an academic project supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia of Portugal and Lisbon University. It is constituted by a group of researchers from different backgrounds (among others, architects, biologists, philosophers, physicists, teachers, and mathematics educators) that decided to join efforts and built a project together with two 'out of school' communities, one situated in an agricultural context and the other in a fishing community, both placed in the outskirts of Lisbon--a place called Costa de Caparica. These communities are constituted by immigrant populations from other Portuguese-speaking countries, Gipsies, and Portuguese migrants. They have been experiencing throughout half a century diverse problems of inclusion, particularly concerning schooling and the need to have their voices heard. Through the development of a critical alphabetization, mathematical literacy, a multiple cartography and life-history portfolios we seek to address the educational needs in terms of foreground of knowledge of these populations in situ. With the notion of in situ we refer to the background of knowledge of these people, that is, people in the midst of their everyday lives where survival with dignity is often the first and foremost important daily struggle. Therefore, it is the everyday problems felted by these two communities that guide the organization of parameters that support an intercultural education curriculum based on the sociocultural and economic reality of these communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Workshop & Sharing Group 8, 8 July – 15 July, 2012, COEX, Seoul, Korea.
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event12th International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-12 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 8 Jul 201215 Jul 2012


Conference12th International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-12
CountryKorea, Republic of


  • Urban Boundaries
  • Mathematics education
  • foreground
  • background


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