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Developing Culturally Contextualised Mathematics Resource Materials: Capturing Local Practices of Tamang and Gopali Communities
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The main objective of this project was to develop culturally contextualized mathematics curriculum resource materials for the lower secondary schools of Nepal in order to foster a culturally pluralistic society. Specifically, the project focused on the practices of women and economically disadvantaged ethnic communities – Tamang and Gopali – of Hilly regions of Nepal. Aimed at preparing curriculum resource materials for students, teachers and awareness materials for parents,
the project set out to achieve the following general objectives:
• To build a knowledge base of the ethno-mathematical practices of the economically disadvantaged ethnic communities of Nepal.
• To develop culturally contextualized curriculum resource materials to supplement the existing lower secondary mathematics curriculum.
• To make local stakeholders aware of the cultural contextualization of mathematics education.
• To enable lower secondary school teachers to develop a culture-sensitive pedagogy based on principles of cultural inclusiveness, gender equity and student-centered teaching and assessment.
• To improve student achievement and participation in mathematics at the lower secondary level.
In order to achieve the main objective, the project adopted a two-phase procedural strategy in order to develop the culturally contextualized materials for teachers and students and support materials for parents. The development phase comprised the activities of conceptualizing the project, carrying out the fieldwork, processing the fieldwork data and preparing draft curriculum resource materials. Conceptualizing the project involved activities that were essential to set out goals procedures for the project. Planning the fieldwork involved identifying fieldwork sites, selecting and orienting field researchers and field supervisors, and preparing methods and modes of data collection and reporting. Considering accessibility, time frame and the available budget, Vajrayogini and Chitlang Village Development Committees were selected as the fieldwork sites. The field researchers and field supervisors visited two Tamang and Gopali communities for a period of 4 weeks. Informal interview, observation, and field notes were the main data collection tools applied in this study. This data was supplemented by use of cameras to record still photographs and videos. On the recording of data focused on capturing cultural practices that have a direct relationship with mathematical concepts in the lower secondary school mathematics curriculum of Nepal. The fieldwork data were classified and tabulated on the basis of mathematical concepts included in the lower secondary mathematics curriculum of Nepal.
The first step in preparing draft curriculum resource materials was to develop a unique conceptual model linking pedagogical strategies with the nature of mathematics. This model was used to orient the curriculum writers’ group (comprising field supervisors and three field researchers) to developing curriculum materials that promote culturally contextualized mathematics education via progressive pedagogical approaches.
#CulturallyContextualizedMathematics #MathematicsCurriculumResource #EthnoMathematicalPractices #MathematicsEducation #LowerSecondaryMathematics
KU, UNESCO ,   (2008 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 UNESCO : Educational, Scientific and Cultural
16.06.00  -  Mathematics
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