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ERIC Number: ED354776
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
An Ethnomathematics Approach to Teaching Language Minority Students.
Davison, David M.
An ethnomathematics approach to the curriculum is advocated as a means of addressing the problems faced by limited English proficient (LEP) students who experience difficulties in learning mathematics. It is noted that the problems may have little to do with difficulties in processing mathematical ideas. When LEP students are from different cultures, speak languages other than English as their primary language, and have preferred differences in cognitive processing, the typical approach to organized mathematics instruction observed in current American classrooms is not appropriate. The fact that a language deficit will automatically lead to a mathematics deficit is acknowledged. Research conducted with American Indians, including reservation Crow, is cited that identified three areas in which those students have difficulty in learning mathematics: language, culture, and learning modality. For example, in the beginning grades, mastery of concepts in the Crow language could not be used to facilitate the learning of the same concepts in the English language, because the concepts were not developed in the native language. In addition, the problem was exacerbated by students seeing little or no use for mathematics learned in school and by being presented with instruction that includes few manipulatives and visuals. Further research should focus on determining how familiar situations and tactile and visual approaches, integrated with systematic language activities, can be used to help students improve their performance. Contains 11 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A