Participants of TSG35 addressed numerous themes related to ethnomathematics and its pedagogical action. In order for us to better understand the development of ethnomathematics as a program, members discussed both current and future perspectives of ethnomathematics. As well, its goals, objectives, and assumptions were analyzed in regards to the encouragement of an ethics of respect, solidarity, and cooperation across cultures. These topics were connected by themes of culturally relevant pedagogy, innovative approaches in ethnomathematics, and the role of this program in mathematics education.
In the ethnomathematics topic study group at ICME-13, there were 28 accepted papers written by 36 researchers from 19 countries: Australia, Belgium, Brasil, China, Costa Rica, Grece, India, Israel, Italy, Mozambique, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, and United States of America. From these papers, 24 were presented. Approximately, 30 researchers participated in the discussions conducted in each one of the 11 sessions available in the congress. The majority of the papers were presented by researchers from Brazil (7) and Nepal (3). Presentations made by the presenters recognize that the members of distinct cultural groups develop unique techniques, methods, and explanations that allow them for an alternative understanding, comprehension, new actions, and a transformation of societal norms. Presenters were from
It is evident from the discussion from TSG35 that the theoretical basis of an ethnomathematics program offers a valid alternative to traditional studies of history, philosophy, cognition, and pedagogical aspects of mathematics. Therefore, there is a growing sensitivity to the understanding and comprehension of mathematical ideas, procedures, and practices developed by the members of distinct cultural groups. This is due primarily to the expansion of studies related to culture, history, anthropology, linguistics and ethnomathematics.
Because ethnomathematics offers a broader view of mathematics, including its ideas, notions, procedures, processes, methods, and practices rooted in distinct and diverse cultural environments, this aspect leads to increased evidence of cognitive processes, learning capabilities, and attitudes that influence the learning processes occurring in classrooms. In addition, to reflecting on social and political dimensions of ethnomathematics, another important aspect of this program is the possibility for the development of innovative approaches for a dynamic and glocalized society as outlined by D’Ambrosio.
The results of the discussions addressed by the participants of the TSG35 show that it is important to understand that diverse sociocultural representations and concepts of ethno developed from distinct ideas, procedures, practices, and dimensions of space and time through the relationships between group members. This aspect shows that, currently, a more sensitive understanding of diverse mathematical ideas, procedures, and practices developed by members of diverse cultural groups has become increasingly available through the growth of the fields of ethnology, culture, history, anthropology, linguistics, and ethnomathematics.
The insights gleaned from our discussions demonstrated the possibility for sensitive internationalization of mathematical ideas, procedures, and practices expressed in distinct cultural contexts. This context shows that it is necessary to highlight the importance of the current agenda of the ethnomathematics program in order to continue its ongoing progressive trajectory that contributes to the achievement of social justice and peace with dignity for all.
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto
Cochair of TSG35