Volume 6 Number 1
NCIM Directors Approve ISGEm for Affiliation
At its September meeting, the NCTM Board of Directors
approved ISGEm's application to be an affiliate of NCTM!
'ISGEm Business and Program Meeting In New Orleans
Plan to attend the ISGEm business and program meeting in
New Orleans in connection with the 69th Annual Meeting of
the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics of the
USA. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday. April 18,1991,
from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Please check your NCTM program
booklet for the room number. The program will include a
presentation by Lawrence Shirley of the University of
Maryland on "Video Games" in the USA and a report by
Beatriz D'Ambrosio of the University of Delaware on her
trip to Guidea-Bissau to develop curriculum for UNESCO.
ISGEm Advisory Board Meeting In New Orleans
The ISGEm Advisory Board will meet in New Orleans on
Wednesday, April 17,10 am. to noon, and again on Friday,
April 19, from 10 am. to noon. Additional details about
these meetings will be mailed.
ISGEm Research Pre-Session in New Orleans
Patrick Scott, editor of the ISGEm Newsletter, has
organized a Research Pre-Session in New Orleans. Arthur
Powell of Rutgers University and Marilyn Frankenstein of
the University of Massachusetts will introduce ideas on
how concepts and practices from Critical Fducation Theory,
attributable to Paolo Freire and others, connect with and
extend our conception of ethnomathematics.
Jerome Turner of St. Francis Xavier University will offer
suggestions on how Complimentarity, adapted from work in
physics by Neils Bohr, can serve as a theoretical
structure for work in ethnomathematics.
The session is scheduled as a work session on Tuesday,
April 16. Please check your program booklet for the exact
time and place.
ISGEm Talks In New Orleans on Ethnomathematics and Games
Children Play Around the World
Watch your NCTM program booklet for three talks sponsored
by ISGEm on Ethnomathematics and Games Children Play
Around the World. From 2 to 2:30p.m. on Wednesday, April
17, Jerome Turner will speak on Bhutanese Games. From 2 to
2:30 pm. on Friday, April 19, Claudia Zaslavsky will speak
on Three in a Row Games. On Saturday, from 9:30 to 10a.m.
Alverna Champion will speak on Games of African Childran.
Also look for the Friday session from 9:30 to 10a.m. at
which David Davison will speak on Manipulatives and
Critical Math Network Convenes at Cornell
by Paul Ernest
University of Exeter, United Kingdom
This was a small and friendly but high-level conference
at Cornell University, New York, organized by Marilyn
Frankenstein, Arthur Powell and John Volmink (with Marty
Hoffman). The conference brought together an international
collection of scholars from the occupied West Bank,
Australia, Tanzania, Great Britain, South Africa, Braitil
and the United States.
The format was deliberately informal and dialogical.
There were no formal papers, only brief presentations and
extensive discussion and debate. The conference considered
three broad themes which are repinted below with the
associated questions, because of their wider significance.
I. Epistemology and Philosophy of Critical Mathematics
Education: How do we see mathematics knowledge itself as
problematic? What are the origins of mathematical
knowledge? Whose knowledge is it and in whose interest?
What meaning does that have for people? For social change?
How do we deal with conflicts/contradictions in knowledge?
II. Mathematics In Its Cultural Context: How will we
reconceptualize mathematics to incorporate non-Eurocentric
viewed and include the historiography of how and why the
Eurocentric view became "standard?" How can we begin to
speak about mathematics that we cannot recognize through
Eurocentric Eyes? What are the effects of culture,
language and ideology on the mathematics people develop?
III. Political, Economic and Social Issues in
Mathematics Education: How is mathematics knowledge used
to understand or obscure political, economic and social
issues? What is the relationship between mathematics
knowledge and power? What is emancipatory mathematics
knowledge? What does it mean to empower students? What are
the differences between awareness and indoctrination?
From my perspective, a number of important issues arose
and were discussed at length.
(1) The philosophy of mathematics; the need for a
radical view of mathematics as a social phenomenon -- not
an absolutist body of incorrigible knowledge-- to provide
a foundation for a view of mathematics as created by
learners and indeed by all peoples.
(2) The nature of ethnomathematics -- is it the study of
the mathematical ideas of non-literate peoples, or does it
include all socially situated mathematical practices and
activities beyond the formal academic discipline of
mathematics? In my view, it is the latter, so as to be
fully consistent with (1).
(3) Cultural imperialism, Racism and Mathematics. Both
Eurocentric histories of mathematics, and the dominance of
white academic western mathematics (with the concomitant
invalidation of all else) is nothing but cultural
imperialism and racist. School practices, whether overt or
covert, which reproduce the disadvantages of ethrLic
minority students are also racist.
(4) Critical mathematics education. We discussed what
this is and practical means of implementing it (not
forgetting the powerful reactionary forces it will
arouse). Aspects include respect for the learner, aims of
intellectual and social empowerment, and critical
engagement with social issues and received structures of
knowledge and society.
(5) Support for critical math educators. We explored the
means of supporting each other personally, via networks,
and by the circulation of materials. We also explored the
means to further critical mathematics education by
publication, the dissemination of exemplary materials and
the development of its theoretical basis.
In my view, conference participants left feeling
recharged, and ready to do battle with the dragons of
reaction, once again.
A Multicultural Mathematics Curriculum
By Beatrice Lumpkin
Illinois has joined a growing number of states that have
mandated the inclusion of multicultural components
throughout the public school curriculum, including
mathematics. In response, the Bureau of Mathematics of the
Chicago Board of Education Curriculum Department has made
substantial additions to curriculum materials, beginning
with the systemwide objectives.
For each grade level K to 12, the state has grouped
specific objectives for mathematics achievement under
seven State Goals. Fach group of objectives is introduced
with a paragraph citing some multicultural contributions
to mathematics. The content varies with grade level and
subject. For example, "Measurement" objectives for Algebra
I are introduced by:
Students should be able to relate the origin of
measurement to real-life situations. For example, the
building of the African pyramids required extremely
accurate measurement to construct right angles in the base
so that any error would be less than one part in 27,000 or
1/ 27000. The unit of measure was the cubit, the length of
an early pharaoh's forearm. The idea of a 24-hour day-- 12
hours of day and 12 hours of night--originated in Egypt.
The Babylonians of Mesopotamia established the time
measures of 60 seconds to 1 minute and 60 minutes to 1
hour. They also created the angle measures of 60 seconds
to 1 minute and 60 minutes to 1 degree. Native Americans,
especially the Inca, Maya, and Aztec, developed a system
of measurement that was so accurate that they were able to
lay out miles of direct highways across high mountains and
rugged terrain. The Ashanti of Ghana used standard gold
weights to calibrate their scales with the accuracy
required by their extensive commerce.
For Algebra II (advanced algebra), the introduction to
the specific algebra objectives includes the work of
Students should know that the modern algebra developed
in Europe is based on the algebra that began in Africa and
Asia. Indeed, the word algebra is Arabic in origin; Europe
received algebra as a gift from Asia and Africa. Under the
influence of the African Moors, algebra spread through
Europe from Spain and Italy. Equations were first solved
in Africa 4,000 years ago by using proportions. Ancient
Egyptians introduced the concept of the unknown or
variable, which they called aha, the Egyptian word meaning
heap. They also used the first symbols for addition (feet
walked toward a number) and subtraction (feet walking
away). Africans were the first to use rectangular
coordinates for their Egyptian star-clocks and for their
construction plans for large temples. Babylonians
(Mesopotamians) developed algorithms to find square and
cube roots in the solution of equations. Geometric series,
which play an important role in calculus and science, were
first explored in Egypt 4,000 years ago. Hypatia, an
Egyptian woman, worked with conic sections and
indeterminate equations. The matrix method for the
solution of systems of equations was pioneered by the
Chinese 450 years before Cramer's rule was formulated in
England. Chinese mathematicians also used the so-called
Horner's method for the solution of higher degree
equations long before Horner was born in England.
In addition to Measurement and Algebra, areas covered by
the state objectives are Number Concepts, Quantitative
Relationships, Geometric Concepts, Data Analysis and
applications. The multicultural introduction for 10th
grade geometry includes some examples of ethnomathematics:
Students should examine the contributions to geometry
made by people all over the world. For example, African
mathematicians in ancient Egypt developed formulas for the
area of a triangle, a rectangle, a trapezoid, and a
circle. Their study of geometry was stimulated by the need
to resurvey the fields after the annual Nile River flood
had wiped out all farm boundaries. The Ancient Egyptians
were also the first to develop the concepts of congruency
and similarity of geometric figures. The right triangle
theorem was used by the Babylonians 1500 years before
Pythagoras was born. Therefore, the Pythagorean theorem is
a misnomer. The Egyptian formula for the area of a circle
used a value of pi that very closely approximated the
known value of pi today. The Egyptian value was 3.16 which
was almost equal to the correct value of 3. 14...The first
known use of trigonometry was in the application of the
cotangent in the construction of pyramids in Africa 4,800
Today people throughout the world apply geometry to
everyday needs. Eskimos build their dome-topped igloos
along the lines of an inverted catenary for greater
strength. On Mount Kenya, families lay out the circular
base of their homes by using a string attached to a
centerpole as the radius. Mozambicans build rectangular
houses by using equal- length ropes as the diagonals.
A different challenge was met for the new Algebra
Framework now in preparation. Here the challenge was to
integrate multicultural materials in the form of real-life
examples which could relate to the student's world.
Actually, many of the famous problems from the history of
mathematics in Africa, Asia and Latin America proved to be
quite suitable for 9th grade algebra. The material is now
in the process of field testing and initial reactions have
For January 1, 1991 through December 31, 1991
Dues should be paid by January 1,1991 to enable
members to receive both 1991 newsletters from
the International Study Group on Ethnomathematics
Regular Member Dues: $5.00
Contributing Member Dues: $10.00 or more
Honorary Members: No Dues (see ISGEm
Constitution, Article III, Section 2-C)
Contributions are welcome to
fund memberships for those Interested in
ISGEm goals but who are limited by funds.
Proposed Constitution and By-Laws of the ISGEm
The Advisory Board of ISGEm developed the Constitution and
By-Laws which appear below. The membership should cut out
and mail the absentee ballot on page 7 to Luis
Ortiz-Franco by September 1, 1991. Direct all inquiries to
Luis Ortiz-Franco, whose address is listed on page 7.
Article I. Name. The name of this organization shall be
the Intemational Study Group on Ethnomathematics ([SGEm).
Article II. Purpose. The purpose of the organization
shall be to encourage and maintain interest in the
teaching and learning of mathematics in cultural contexts
and to promote professional growth, fellow- ship and
communication among its members.
Article III. Membership.
Section 1. Membership shall be open to all persons
interested in ethnomathematics.
Section 2. (A) Members shall pay regular dues and be
entitled to all privileges of the organization. (B) The
dues shall be set by the Executive Board subject to
approval of the membership. (C) At the discretion of the
Executive Board, any person shall be granted an honorary
membership upon request without payment of dues.
Section 3. The membership period coincides with the
calendar year from January 1 to December31.
Section 4. All members shall indicate the region to
which they belong. The regions shall be: A. Africa; B.
Asia (including the Middle East); C. South Pacific
(including Australia and New Zealand); D. Europe; E. The
Americas (North, Central, South, and the Caribbean).
Article IV. Executive Board.
Section 1. The Executive Board shall consist of the
officers and members-at-large, the NCTM representative,
the editor of the newsletter, the immediate
Past-President, the President-Elect, the Program Assistant
and the Assistant Editor.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall attend to any
business of the organization that may require attention in
the interval between business meetings.
Article V. Officers. The officers of the organization
shall be President, First Vice-President, Second
Vice-President, Third Vice President, Recording Secretary,
Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer.
Article VI. Duties and Election of Officers.
Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings
of the organization and shall be chairman, ex-officio, of
the Executive Board, and shall appoint an NCTM
representative, the editor of the newsletter and the
Section 2. The First Vice-President shall perform the
duties of the President in the absence of the President
and shall act as program chairman. The First
Vice-President shall appoint as necessary a program
committee and a Program Assistant or specity program
representatives to promote presentations on
Etnno-Mathematics at relevant professional meetings.
Section 3. The Second Vice-President shall perform the
duties of the President in the absence of the President
and the First Vice-President and shall act as membership
Section 4. The Third Vice-President shall perform the
duties of the President in the absence of the President,
the First Vice-President and the Second Vice-President and
shall act as coordinator of the Special Interest Groups
(SIGs) in ISGEm and communicate with members-at- large
concerning conferences relevant to ISGEm in their
Section 5. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the
business meetings and shall pass these along to the newly
elected secretary as a permanent record of the actions of
Section 6. The Treasurer shall receive and account for
all monies of the organization, disburse all sums on order
of the President, and render a financial report at the
last meeting of the year. A yearly audit must be conducted
by two members appointed by the Executive Board.
Article VII. Meetings. At least one business meeting
shall be held during each calendar year. The time and
place of these meetings shall be set by the Executive
Board. All meetings are open to amy member of the Group.
ArtIcle VIII. Rules of Order. The organization shall be
governed by Robert's Rules of Order except in matters
otherwise provided for by the Constitution.
Article IX. Amendments. This Constitution may be amended
at any meeting of the Group by a two-thirds majority vote
of the members present and voting, provided notice of the
proposed amendment has been given at the previous meeting.
Article X. Dissolution. If at any time the International
Study Group on Etunomathematics (ISGEm) shall cease to
carry out the purposes herein stated, all assets held by
it in trust or otherwise, shall, after the payment of its
liabilities, be paid over to an organization selected by
the final Executive Board of the International Study Group
on Ethnomathematics which has similar purposes and has
established its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as now enacted or
hereafter amended, and such assets shall be applied
exclusively for such charitable, scientific, and
Article I - Executive Board.
Section 1. Two of the members-at-large shall be elected
from South Pacific, three from Africa, three from Europe,
three from Asia (including the Middle East), and three
from the Americas (North, Central, South, and Caribbean).
Section 2. Additional members of the Executive Board
shall include the Immediate Past-President, the
President-Elect, the NCTM Representative, the Editor of
the newsletter, the Assistant Editor, the Program
Assistant, and the officers.
Article H - Election of Officers and Members-At-Large.
Section 1. The terms of office for all officers and
members-at-large shall be four years with half the
members-at-large elected every two years.
Section 2. All elections shall be held by ballot prior
to the end of each even-numbered calendar year and shall
be carried by a plurality vote of the ballots returned.
Nominations for the officers and members- at-large shall
be made by a Nominating Committee of five members,
appointed by the President and approved by the Executive
Board. The Nominating Cornmittee shall recommend at least
one candidate for each office to be filled. Other
nominations shall be received as write-ins on the election
ballot at the time of the election. The consent of each
candidate, other than write-ins, must be obtained before
the name is placed in nomination.
Section 3. Officers shall be elected in years divisible
Section 4. Officers shall begin to serve two years after
Section 5. Members-at-large shall begin to serve on
January 1 of the odd-numbered year immediately following
Section 6. Officers shall be elected by the entire
Section 7. Members-at-large shall be elected by the
members from their region.
Section 8. All officers and members-at-large can be
Article III - Amendments.
These by-laws maybe amended by written ballot by a
majority vote of the ballots returned, provided notice of
the proposed amendment has been given at the previous
World Cultures in the Mathematics Class
HIMED Conference, Leicester, UK
April 7-9, 1990
By Claudia Zaslavsky
The mathematics eduction community in the United States
is embarking upon a program to reach all students. As
stated in the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for
School Mathematics (NCTM): "It is crucial that conscious
efforts be made to encourage all students, especially
young women and minorities, to pursue mathematics." (p.68)
Recognition is given to the varied backgrounds and
interests of the students: "Students should have numerous
and varied experiences related to the cultural, historical
and scientific evolution of mathematics. (p. 5) Students'
cultural backgrounds should be integrated into the
learning experiences. (p.68)
"The ethnic groups that have lived longest in the
Americas -- and who have been most oppressed -- are the
Native peoples and the Africans who were brought to the
New World in chains, to serve as slaves to European
plantation owners. Now their descendants are determined to
reassert their cultural heritage."
It is not only children of "minority" groups who benefit
from the inclusion of topics relating to their heritage.
Students in our "global village" must learn to respect and
appreciate the contributions of peoples in all parts of
the world. Educators are beginning to recognize the value
of infusing mathematics with the achievements of world
cultures, to "multiculturalize the curriculum." (Bishop,
In this presentation I shall describe some of the
mathematical practices of African peoples and of the
indigenous peoples of the Americas, suitable for
incorporation in the curriculum at the primary and middle
All peoples have developed numeration systems to the
extent of their needs. The English language system of
numeration and most European systems are based on grouping
by tens and powers of ten. Why is ten commonly used as a
base? Is it because we have ten fingers (digits)? The
peoples of West Africa and Middle America, as well as the
Inuit of the far northern group by twenties. In some
languages, such as Mende of Sierra leeone, the word for
twenty means "a whole person" -- all the fingers and toes.
Children can learn about numeration systems by examining
the construction of larger numbers. In the Yoruba
(Nigeria) language, for example, the name for 65 means
"take five and ten from four twenties," using the
operations of multiplication and subtraction, rather than
multiplication and addition, as in most European
languages. These are different solutions to the same
problem, one just as good as the other. (Zaslavsky. Africa
Finger gestures to express numbers are commonly used by
people who do not speak each other's languages. These
gestures may be related to the number words, or, again,
they may be quite different. When the indigenous peoples
of North America were pushed westward by European
settlers, tribes speaking different languages were thrown
together. Of necessity, they developed systems of finger
signs, including signs for numbers. (Zaslavsky, "It's OK")
The peoples of Middle America developed their own
systems of written numerals, dating back at least two
thousand years in the case of the Maya. The systems were
based on twenty and powers of twenty, and included the use
of zero,positional notation, addition, and the repetition
Another aspect of number is the ability to do mental
arithmetic. The year 1990 marks the 200th anniversary of
the death of the slave Thomas Fuller, known as the African
Calculator. Shipped to North America in 1724 at the age of
fourteen, he developed remarkable powers of calculation,
although he was forbidden access to any kind of schooling,
as were all slaves, and he could neither read nor write.
Late in his life he was used by anti-slavery advocates to
demonstrate the mental capacity of Black people. (Fauvel &
Conclusion: The introduction of multicultural,
interdisciplinary perspectives into the mathematics
curriculum has many points in its favor:
(1) Students become aware of the role of mathematics in
all societies. They realize that mathematical practices
arose out of a people's real needs and interests.
(2) Students learn to appreciate the contributions of
cultures different from their own, and to take pride in
their own heritage.
(3) By linking the study of mathematics with history,
language arts, fine arts and other subjects, all the
disciplines take on more meaning.
(4) The infusion into the curriculum of the cultural
heritage of people of color builds their self-esteem and
encourages them to become more interested in mathematics.
As one eleven-year-old boy wrote in his evaluation of a
classroom activity based on African culture, "As you
probably don't know I feel very strongly and am in deep
thurst (sic) with my black people, and the math has made
me feel better." There is little to be added to this
Bishop. A.J. Mathematical Enculturation (Dordrecht
D'Ambrosio, Ubiratan, "A research program and a course
in the history of mathematics: Ethnomathematics," Historia
Mathernatica 16 (1989), 285-6.
Fauvel, John & Gerdes, Paulus, "African slave and
calculating prodigy: Bicentenary of the death of Thomas
Fuller," Historia Mathematica 17 (1990) (to appear)
Gerdes, Paulus, "On culture, geometrical thinking and
mathematics education," Educational Studies in Mathematics
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Curriculum
and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (Reston,
Zaslavsky, Claudia, Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in
African Culture (Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books, 1979).
Zaslavsky, Claudia, "It's OK to count on your fingers,"
Teacher 96 (1979) 54-56.
Important Directions for Completion
of Your Proxy Vote
Mark "X" in ink in appropriate box.
Sign and date your proxy as requested.
'Carefully detach proxy and return by April 1,1991, to Professor
Luis Ortiz-Franco, Dept. of Mathematics, Chapman College,
Orange, CA 92666 USA.
Please write suggested amendments on a separate sheet.
Detach here and mail
I Accept the Proposed ISGEm Constitution
I Reject the Proposed ISGEm Constitution
I Accept the Proposed ISGEm By-Laws
I Reject the Proposed ISGEm By-Laws
Letters From Our Readers
Addressed to Dr. Gloria Gilmer:
I am concerned about my students' perceptions of
mathematics and of themselves as learners of mathematics.
My students are rarely in the mainstream of mathematics. I
have met them in many different educational settings: the
evening division of a state university, an experimental
"free" alternative high school, a special developmental
program in a two-year public college, an eighth grade
equivalency program at a military base in Germany, college
courses inside the walls of the Attica Correctional
Facility, and now at a private four-year comprehensive
Many of these students have come to believe that the
mathematics classroom is not the place for their own
ideas, their own insights, or their own questions. They
have found, however, that when they reject their own
ideas, they must learn to reproduce the ideas of others in
a language that is also not their own. Their learning
often becomes rote and without meaning. They feel
powerless in this situation, choose to be passive in the
mathematics classroom, and to leave the study of
mathematics at their earliest opportunity
These views of mathematics and mathematics learning are
not ones I hold. In fact, if I saw mathematics and
mathematics learning as these students tell me that they
see it, I would reject the study of mathematics as they
do. Mathematics learning requires learners to use their
own ideas, insights, thoughts, questions, and strategies
as part of the learning process.
The focus of my present work is to help students to
learn to listen to their own ideas, to accept them, to
share them, to develop them, and to test them within the
framework of the mathematical situation on which they are
working at a given time. Early in this process I ask
students, in a classroom setting, to develop their own
metaphors for mathematics. These serve as a prelude to a
discussion of mathematics and mathematics learning in
which I discuss the important role of intuition in
mathematics. All of this is part of a project called, "To
Reclaim Intuition in Mathematics," funded by the Exxon
Education Foundation. As this project continues I come to
believe more strongly that the notion of intuition in
mathematics is key to helping students make the transition
to active, inquisitive learners.
Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
Ithaca, NY 14850
Dear Ms. Gilmer:
I liked and valued your "Ethnomath Approach to
Curriculum Development" presentation at Salt laake City.
When ISGEm's literature first came my way in the early
80's, I was glad to see the subject's emergence, but angry
that they stole my name for it.
I used the term Ethnomathematics as the title of a
speech in 1971. It was at MSU, working on my MA in
Mathematics and collaborating with Dr. Victor Low,then
Director of the African Studies Center. I spoke to
Africanists then, Spring 1971, defining Ethnomathematics
as the study of pre-Western and non-Westem Mathematics and
Logic. My qualifications to do so were years of teaching
Mathematics in Africa and then receiving an MA in Africa
Studies from UCLA in 1967. It was there and then that I
coined the term Ethncmathematics as the focus of a
personal quest to merge my two loves, Africa and
Resistance from the Mathematics community was at first
polite ridicule; this has waned. It remains for one of us
to write THE definitive test, ETHNOMATHEMATICS. It must
DEFINE the term with approaches from its many facets, at
length, deeply; and it must DESCRIBE EXAMPLES from across
time and space; and it must GENERALIZE.
The drift of some writers today is obviously motivated
by a political and sociological agenda. This concerns me,
as this is not how scholarship works.
I will be honored to correspond with you.
San Jose' City College
San Jose, California
Letters from our readers may be addressed to the editor,
Patrick Scott, whose mailing address appears on page 7 of
Assistant Newsletter Editors
If you are interested in joining the Editorial Board of
the ISGEm Newsletter please contact our editor, Patrick
Scott, whose address is listed on page 7 of this
Chair for Out-of-School SIG
As you may know, the Out-of-School SIG is one of four
special interest groups in ISGEm that allow for a research
focus in a ready-made focus group. We need a volunteer to
chair this SIG. Interested parties should contact Gloria
Gilmer whose address appears on page 7 of this newsletter.
Members for Membership Committee
David Davidson, our membership chair, wishes to launch a
membership drive. To do so, he needs a committee. If you
are interested in assisting in expanding our membership,
please contact David Davidson. His address appears on page
7 of this newsletter.
Members for Nominating Committee Members' Projects
The president, Gloria Gilmer, will appoint a five-member
Nominating Committee in preparation for elections slated
for 1992. This committee will nominate officers and
members-at-large. Responsibilities of members-at-large
include, but are not lirnited to, organizing a working
group for copying, translating and disseminating
newsletters in or near one's country, encouraging
presentations on ethnomathematics at professional meetings
(especially those in or near one's country) and recruiting
members in or near one's country. Please submit names of
nominees for this committee to Gloria Gilmer whose address
appears on page 7 of this newsletter.
On the ISGEm Membership Form we have asked people to
briefly describe any projects with which you are involved
that are related to Ethnomathematics. Below we have
reproduced a few of the responses with the name and
address of the person involved in order to encourage
communication among individuals with similar interests:
Ken Winograd received a three-year gift membership to
ISGEm from his professor Fredrick L. Silverman. Professor
Silverman reported that Ken did an excellent study of
problem posing and problem solving behaviors of 5th
Ken Winograd, 140114th Street, Greeley, CO 80631.
Claire Fenton is a K-12 mathematics consultant with the
State Department of Education in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Claire Fenton, Mathematics Education Consultant, State
Department of Education, Education Building, 300 Don
Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM
Lynn Hart is the co-principal investigator on the National
Science Foundation's Problem Solving and Thinking Project
at Georgia State University.
Marie Bryant is a doctoral student at the University of
Texas at Austin. Her address is 4021 Steck, #826, Austin,
Michael Smith is a candidate for a master's degree at
Curtin University of Western Australia. His thesis
concerns difficulties in teaching problem solving to
Michael Smith, Box 113, Alice Springs, N.T. 0871,
Australia 089 524108.
Tina Tau of Portland State University is interested in
family math and informal mathematics education especially
for underrepresented groups.
Christine W. Tau, 29300 NE Pendle Hill Rd., Newberg, OR
Pamela Harris is interested in the mathematics of
indigenous people who stlll speak their own language at
home, but have schooling in English, or in English and
their own language in a bilingual education program. "The
Northern Territory Department of Education has published
four small books I have written on the topics of
measurement, space, time and money in tribal aboriginal
communities. I plan to do research in 1991 on the
mathematical starting point of Pitjantjatjara children on
the northwest reserve of South Australia.
Pamela Harris,20 Carville Street, Annerley, Queensland,
Claudia Henrion is interested in women in math and the
history of math. She is currently writing a book on
contemporary women in math. She taught a class at
Middlebury College in Vermont on the history of
mathematics with a focus on the interaction between
mathematics and society, hence she has been drawn to
Claudia Herion, Box 203, E. Thetford, VT 05043.
Please note these references to Bishop's work in the
transcription of the paper by Gloria Gilmer (on page 4 of
the May 1990 issue of the ISGEm Newsletter) entitled "An
Ethnomath Approach to Curriculum Development. Alan Bishop.
Mathematics Education In its Cultural Contest, Educational
Studies in Mathematics. 19(1988)179-181 and Alan Bishop. A
Cultural Perspective on Mathematics Education. Kluwer
Academy 1988, Hingham, MA.
Have You Seen
"Have You Seen" is a feature of the ISGEm Newsletter in
which works related to Ethnomathematics can be reviewed.
We encourage all those interested to contribute to this
column. Claudia Zaslavsky prepared "Have You Seen" for
Cooney, Thomas J., ed. (1990). Teaching and Learning
Mathematics in the 1990s. National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics, Reston, VA 22091, USA.
The 1990 NCTM Yearbook includes a significant section on
"Cultural Factors in Teaching and Learning" ("p 130-173).
Articles by Lynn Steen, Walter Secada, Suzanne Damarin,
Lee Stiff, Gilbert Cuevas and Brian Donavan consider the
vital issues of"mathematics for all" and ways to increase
the participation of women, language minority students,
and people of color in the study of mathematics, as well
as the influence of cultural diversity on the mathematics
curriculum and on how mathematics is learned. Also
relevant is "Contextualization and Mathematics for All"
(pp 183-193), in which Claude Janvier maintains that the
ways in which folks apply mathematics depend upon the
context; in other words, the very essence of
ethnomathematics must be incorporated into the classroom!
Ernest, Paul, ed. (1989). Mathematics Teachings: The State
of the Art, Falmer Press, London UK.
Multicultural education has for some years been mandated
for teacher education in the United Kingdom. Two chapters
deal with this sensitive issue: Derek Woodrow's
"Multicultural and Anti-Racist Mathematics Teaching" and
Marilyn Nickson's "What Is Multicultural Mathematics?"
Nickson concludes that more thought must be given to the
social nature of mathematical knowledge and its
implications for the curriculum if we are to meet the
demands of the multicultural society in which we live.
Readers will find other chapters relevant to
etlinomathematics, particularly Paul Ernest's "Social and
Lave, Jean (1988). Cognition in Practice : Mind,
Mathematics and Culture in Evervday Life, Cambridge U.P.,
New York, NY USA.
Lave analyzes the successful application of mathematics
by adults in such everyday activities as grocery shopping
and the computation of dietary requirements, as compared
with their inadequate attempts to solve similar problems
in a school-like paper-and-pencil context.
Research Advisory Committee of the National Teachers of
Mathematics (July 1989). "The Mathematics Education of
Underserved and Underrepresented Groups: A Continuing
Challenge," Journal for Research in Mathematics Education:
A call to mathematics education researchers to consider
the learning of mathematics by women and underrepresented
minorities as an "area of high-priority research."
Zaslavsky, Claudia (September 1990). "Symmetry in American
Folk Art," Arithmetic Teacher: pp 6-12.
Activities appropriate to middle school students based
on symmetry in old American quilt and Navajo rug patterns,
integrating mathematics with social studies and art. Full
color illustrations include artwork by New York City
public school students.
Gloria Gilmer, ISGEm president, is newsletter editor
for this issue of the ISGEm Newsletter. Patrick Scott is
on leave in Honduras.
NCTM 69th Annual Meeting
New Orleans, April 17-20, 1991
Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m. - noon
Meeting of ISGEm Advisory Board and SIG Chairs
Thursday, April 18, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Open ISGEm Business/Program Meeting
Friday, April, 10 a.m. to noonMeeting of ISGEm Advisory Board and SIG Chairs.
Conference on Gender/Race/Class Equity
May 9-10, 1991, Toronto, Ontario
Glendon College, York University
For further information contact Marelen Richman,
Room 716, Atkinson College, York University,
4700 Keele St, North
York, Ontario M33 'P3
9th Interamerican Math Ed Conference
Miami, August 3-7, 1991
For further information, write to:
College of Education
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131 USA
7th International Congress on Math Education
Quebec, CANADA August 1992
For further information write to:
David Wheeler, Chair IPC for ICME-7
Department of Math & Statistics
Concordia University, Loyola Campus
Montreal, Quebec CANADA H4B 1R6
ISGEm Advisory Board
Gloria Gilmer, President
9155 North 70th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53223 USA
Ubiratan D'Ambrosio, First Vice President
Pro-Rector de Desenvolvimiento Univ.
Universidade Estadual de Carnpinas
Caixa Postal 6063
13081 Campinas, SP BRASIL
David Davison, Second Vice President
Dept of Cirruclum & Instruction
1500 N. 30th Street
Billings, MT 59101-0298 USA
Third Vice President
Department of Mathematics
Orange, CA 92666 USA
Claudia Zaslavsky, Secretary
45 Fairview Avenue #1 3-I
New York, NY 10040 USA
Anna Grosgalvis, Treasurer
Milwaukee Public Schools
3830 N. Humboldt Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53212 USA
Patrick (Rick) Scott, Editor
College of Education
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 78131 USA
Elisa Bonilla, Assistant Editor
Centro de Investigacion del IPN
Apartado Postal 14-740
Mexico, D.F., CP. 07000 MEXICO
Sau-Lin Tsang, Member-at-L&ge
Southwest Center for Educational Equity
310 Eighth Street #305A
Oakland, CA 94607 USA