Creating your own Symbols: Beginning Algebraic thinking with Indigenous Students
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Because mathematics education devalues Indigenous culture, Indigenous students continue to be the most mathematically disadvantaged group in Australia. Conventional wisdom with regard to Indigenous mathematics education is to utilise practical and visual teaching methods, yet the power of mathematics and the opportunities it brings for advancement lie in symbolic understanding. This paper reports on a Maths as Story Telling (MAST) teaching approach to assist Indigenous students understand algebra through creating and manipulating their own symbols for equations. It discusses effective Indigenous mathematics teaching, describes the MAST approach, analyses it in terms of Ernest's (2005) semiotic processes, discusses its applications, and draws implications for Indigenous mathematics learning.
Proceedings of the 31st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
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