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Gender justice, human rights and measurement in the mathematics classroom. (English)
Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 36, No. 8, 827-841 (2005).
In line with international trends, the new South African mathematics curriculum implores mathematics educators to realize a pedagogy in their classrooms that is more practical, activity-oriented, and connected to their learners’ lives. Drawing on data from a larger study that explores theory-practice relations in mathematics education, the paper shows how such progressive practices, when interpreted with respect to the teaching of measurement which required learners to use different measuring instruments for measuring the school grounds in learning about length and perimeter, were found to be deeply gendered. In two different contexts of an ’African’ township school and a predominantly ’Indian’ suburban school, girls in a grade 6 mathematics classroom faced direct sexism as they struggled to take the opportunity to participate in the activity and learn how to measure - an important mathematical competence and everyday knowledge and skill. The article analyses the data with reference to the human rights imperatives of the new national curricula and approaches to addressing disadvantage and discrimination for girls in mathematics classrooms. (orig.)
Classification: C60 D30 A40
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