Objects of Learning: An Anthropological Approach to Mathematics Education

Were, Graeme (2003) Objects of Learning: An Anthropological Approach to Mathematics Education. Journal of Material Culture, 8 1: 25-44. doi:10.1177/1359183503008001761

Author Were, Graeme
Title Objects of Learning: An Anthropological Approach to Mathematics Education
Journal name Journal of Material Culture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1359-1835
Publication date 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1359183503008001761
Volume 8
Issue 1
Start page 25
End page 44
Total pages 20
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Over the last two decades there has been a proliferation of studies in ethnomathematics dedicated towards shedding light on its importance in enhancing education (cf. Bishop, 1988; Gerdes, 1985). Many ethno mathematicians have utilized the object world as a tool in the learning of mathematical concepts, but little research to date has focused on the role of objects as agents that activate mathematical thought. In this article I argue that the material qualities of objects can mobilize mathematical thinking and act as vehicles for learning. I show that geometric patterns incised on traditional arts and crafts are effective tools in the mathematics classroom in cultures that tend towards visual forms of knowledge. Anthropology is ideally suited for this type of study and as I aim to show, an ethnographic approach can give valuable insights into education and knowledge technology.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 10 Feb 2011, 10:30:38 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts