Ethnomathematics in Australia banner

‘It should be noted that by removing words, concepts, and structures from their Aboriginal context and putting them into a European box called ‘mathematics’, I have inevitably lost much of the full significance of their meaning and have certainly not done justice to the intricacy and complexity of the Yolngu world.’

Michael Cooke, ‘Seeing Yolgnu, Seeing Mathematics’, Batchelor, N.T. 1990.

Beth Graham, 1984

Not Australian – but not dissimilar views:


Pais, 2011

All three of the above posts represent the understanding I have taken from the majority of the readings I have done so far. I have already posted elsewhere about this, so I’m hoping to read the remainder of the Graham text to learn HOW to produce culturally appropriate pedagogy and content.



Graham, B. (1984). Finding meaning in maths : an introductory program for Aboriginal children. AIATSIS Library, S 37/4, 24-38.

Pais, A. (2011). Criticisms and contradictions of ethnomathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 76(2), 209-230. doi: 10.1007/s10649-010-9289-7