New edition of book «Ethnomathematics and Education in Africa», Paulus Gerdes

capaDear friends and colleagues,

Continuing the effort to make books, which were out-of-print for quite while, a new available, I have the pleasure to announce a new edition of my book «Ethnomathematics and Education in Africa«,  both in printed paperback format and as free downloadable eBook (

The book Ethnomathematics and Education in Africa was originally concluded in 1992 and published in January 1995 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) of the University of Stockholm (Sweden) within the framework of the institutional cooperation between the IEE and the Higher Pedagogical Institute / Pedagogical University in Mozambique.

The book contains a collection of papers presented at conferences in Brazil, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Norway, and Spain and/or published in international journals, such as «For the Learning of Mathematics» (FLM), «Educational Studies in Mathematics» (ESM) and «Historia Mathematica» (HM). The papers date from the period 1986-1992.

The original eleven chapters are: [1] Introduction; [2] Ethnomathematical research: preparing a response to a major challenge to mathematics education in Africa; [3] On the concept of Ethnomathematics; [4] How to recognize hidden geometrical thinking: a contribution to the development of an anthropology of mathematics (FLM, 1986); [5] On culture, geometrical thinking and mathematics education (ESM, 1988); [6] A widespread decorative motif and the Pythagorean theorem (FLM, 1988); [7] Pythagoras, similar triangles and the «elephants’-defence»-pattern of the (Ba)Kuba; [8] On possible uses of traditional Angolan sand drawings in the mathematics classroom (ESM, 1988); [9] Exploration of the mathematical potential of ‘sona’; [10] Technology, art, games and mathematics education: An example; [11] On the history of mathematics in Africa south of the Sahara (HM, 1994).

The new chapters are: [12] Conditions and strategies for emancipatory mathematics education in underdeveloped countries (FLM, 1985), and [13] African slave and calculating prodigy: Bicentenary of the death of Thomas Fuller (HM, 1990). Chapter [12] was also included in the book Mathematics Education: Major Themes in Education, Routledge, London, 2010, Volume 1, 179-189, edited by Alan J. Bishop from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Chapter [13] on Thomas Fuller (1710-1790) was written together with the late John Fauvel (1947-2001), and published in Historia Mathematica, New York, Vol. 17, 141-151 (1990).

The book has been out of print for many years. Many colleagues contacted me to know if the book was still available.

The realisation of the 5th International Conference on Ethnomathematics in Mozambique in July 2014 constitutes another motif for re-editing the book, that dates from the years of the emergence – in various continents – of ethnomathematics as a research field.

The new edition by the Mozambican Higher Institute for Technology and Management (ISTEG, Boane, Mozambique) is distributed by Lulu,

5th International Conference on Ethnomathematics: ICEM-5 Maputo, Mozambique, July 7-11, 2014

Best regards,

Paulus Gerdes

Vice-President for Southern Africa, African Academy of Sciences;
Former Chairman, African Mathematical Union Commission for the History of
Mathematics in Africa (1986-2013);
President, International Studygroup for Ethnomathematics;
Former Rector / President, Pedagogical University, Mozambique (1989-1996);
Senior Advisor for Research and Quality, ISTEG-University, Boane, Mozambique
Postal adress: C.P. 915, Maputo, Mozambique
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