How anthropology can contribute to mathematics education

Karen François, Rik Pinxten, Mônica Mesquita



This paper starts from two statements based on a literature review. The first one concerns the learning process and states that learning is situated and socioculturally contextualized. Learning happens in the space of the background and the foreground of the learner in his or her particular environment of experience. This statement is based on the Vygotsky and the Cultural psychology approach (Cole, 1996) and on the work of Vithal & Skovsmose (1997).

The second statement concerns the deficient theory of the learning process (instead of the deficiently of the learner). Based on the international comparative research on mathematical skills we claim that the drop out of school of many groups of children (OECD, 2010) has to do with the insufficient learning system at school that fail to fit with the daily background knowledge of the children.

In the final part of the paper we will present three different ethnomathematical cases based on the educational practices that the authors developed in recent years.


Este artigo começa a partir de duas afirmações com base em uma revisão de literatura. A primeira diz respeito ao processo de aprendizagem e afirma que a aprendizagem está situada e contextualizada socioculturalmente. A aprendizagem acontece no background e no foreground do aprendiz em seu ambiente particular de experiência. Esta afirmação baseia-se na abordagem de Vygotsky e a Psicologia Cultural (Cole, 1996) e no trabalho de Vithal e Skovsmose (1997).

A segunda afirmação diz respeito à teoria deficiente do processo de aprendizagem (em vez da deficiência do aluno). Com base em pesquisa comparativa internacional sobre as competências matemáticas reivindicamos que o abandono da escola por parte de muitos grupos de crianças (OECD, 2010) tem a ver com o sistema de aprendizagem insuficiente na escola que não se encaixa com o conhecimento do background diário das crianças.

Na parte final deste artigo apresentaremos três diferentes casos etnomatemáticos baseados nas práticas educativas que os autores desenvolveram nos últimos anos.

Palabras clave

Ethnomathematics; Multimathemacy; Situated Learning; Navajo Indians; Turkish Immigrants, Urban Boundaries Project; Etnomatemática; Multimatemacia; Aprendizagem Situada; Índios Navajos; Imigrantes Turcos; Projeto Fronteiras Urbanas

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Revista Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática: perspectivas socioculturales de la Educación Matemática
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