Ethnomathematics: a response to the changing role of mathematics in society. (English)

Philos. Math. Educ. J. 25, Special Issue: Critical Mathematics Education, 15 p., electronic only (2010).

From the introduction: The world civilization is anchored in mathematics. No one disagrees that mathematics is the dorsal spine of the modern world. But this leads to focus the concerns about the future on mathematics. Mathematics education is a rich research area. Its importance for education in general is unquestionable. As a research area, mathematics education is remarkably interdisciplinary. It relies on research in various disciplines, particularly in cultural studies and cognitive sciences. The main issues affecting society nowadays can be synthesized: the preservation of natural and cultural resources; national security; personal security; government/politics; economics ‒ social and environmental impact; relations among nations; relations among social classes; people’s welfare. It is also widely recognized that mathematics is the most universal mode of thought and that survival with dignity is the most universal problem facing mankind. It is expected that scientists, in particular mathematicians and math educators, be concerned with the most universal problem, that is, survival with dignity, and also have much familiarity with the most universal mode of thought, that is, mathematics. It is absolutely natural to expect that mathematicians and math educators look into the relations between these two universals, that is, into the role of mathematicians and math educators in the pursuit of a civilization with dignity for all, in which inequity, arrogance and bigotry have no place. This means, to achieve a world in peace.