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The shanai, the pseudosphere and other imaginings: envisioning culturally contextualised mathematics education

Luitel, B.C., Taylor, P.C., Desautels, J. and Tobin, K. (2007) The shanai, the pseudosphere and other imaginings: envisioning culturally contextualised mathematics education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 2 (3). pp. 621-655.

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Adopting a self-conscious form of co-generative writing and employing a bricolage of visual images and literary genres we draw on a recent critical auto/ethnographic inquiry to engage our readers in pedagogical thoughtfulness about the problem of culturally decontextualised mathematics education in Nepal, a country rich in cultural and linguistic diversity. Combining transformative, critical mathematics and ethnomathematical perspectives we develop a critical cultural perspective on the need for a culturally contextualized mathematics education that enables Nepalese students to develop (rather than abandon) their cultural capital. We illustrate this perspective by means of an ethnodrama which portrays a pre-service teacher’s point of view of the universalist pedagogy of Dr. Euclid, a semi-fictive professor of undergraduate mathematics. We deconstruct the naivety of this conventional Western mathematics pedagogy arguing that it fails to incorporate salient aspects of Nepali culture. Subsequently we employ metaphorical imagining to envision a culturally inclusive mathematics education for enabling Nepalese teachers to (i) excavate multiple mathematical knowledge systems embedded in the daily practices of rural and remote villages across the country, and (ii) develop contextualized pedagogical perspectives to serve the diverse interests and aspirations of Nepali school children.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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