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ERIC Number: ED520955
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
Changing Our Perspective on Space: Place Mathematics as a Human Endeavour
Owens, Kay
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (33rd, Freemantle, Western Australia, Jul 3-7, 2010)
This paper collates some of the systematic ways that different cultural groups refer to space. In some cases, space is more strongly identified in terms of place than in school Indo-European mathematics approaches. The affinity to place does not reduce the efficient, abstract, mathematical system behind the reference but it does strengthen its connection to the real world of place. This review of research uses a critical approach to develop an ecocultural perspective on spatial referencing. It refers to studies on the Polynesian Wayfinders; the Garma project at Yirrakala in the Northern Territory of Australia identifying Yolgnu sense of position; original field data mainly from Papua New Guinea; and on the work of linguists who have recorded and analysed the ancient languages of the Pacific region. The paper provides the mathematics educator with a richer perspective on position and a way of understanding the thinking of students with language and cultural backgrounds other than English. The Indigenous languages of Australia form a basis for ways of thinking spatially for specific groups of Indigenous students. [For the complete proceedings, "Shaping the Future of Mathematics Education. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (33rd, Freemantle, Western Australia, Australia, July 3-7, 2010)," see ED520764.]
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. GPO Box 2747, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Papua New Guinea