Understanding relationships between different forms of mathematical knowledge

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Educational Research Group (ERG) Venue : RV Educational Consortium (RVEC) - RV Teachers College building, Jayanagar 2nd Block, Bangalore-11. Ph: 080-26568094 5th September 2013, 3.00pm- 5.00pm

Topic of Presentation “Understanding the relationships between different forms of mathematical knowledge (out of school) and school mathematical knowledge ”

Researcher: Bindu Thirumalai

Brief Note:
It is common knowledge that mathematics at the school level is feared. Failure rates are high, especially among socially and economically marginalised children and often, there is a complete disconnect between the mathematics being taught at school and a child's social reality. Much has been theorised about the relationship between culture, learning and cognition. “Social Justice” is a term used extensively in connection with mathematics education and seemingly, there is recognition at the theoretical level of the importance of making mathematics education equitable. Yet, based on my experience (particularly in Karnataka), the reality of what is being practiced in the classrooms and what one witnesses on the ground, is completely different. The significantly disproportionate numbers of marginalised students that continue to fail at standard measures of school mathematics are testimony to this. This study primarily seeks to understand the relationships between different forms of mathematical knowledge, out of school and in school; and the ways in which these forms mediate mathematical cognition at school. Additionally, it aims to discuss the above findings by juxtaposing the curriculum, some dominant theories of cognition, teaching and pedagogy towards understanding the obstructions and problems in achieving meaningful mathematics for all, that is, a socially just mathematics education