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Mathematics Education and Torres Strait Islander Blocklaying Students: The Power of Vocational Context and Structural Understanding

Cooper, Thomas J., Baturo, Annette R., Ewing, Bronwyn F., Duus, Elizabeth, & Moore, Kaitlin M. (2007) Mathematics Education and Torres Strait Islander Blocklaying Students: The Power of Vocational Context and Structural Understanding. In Woo, J. H., Lew, H. C., Park, K. S., & Seo, D. Y. (Eds.) 31st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 8-13 July 2007, Seoul, South Korea: Seoul National University.

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Abstract

Torres Strait Islanders (TSIs) are Australian Indigenous people whose lands comprise the Islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea. As a consequence of past government policies, they share with Aborigines social disadvantages (Fitzgerald, 2001) that lead to mathematics underperformance and limit education, employment and life chances. This paper reports on an action-research collaboration between our research team and a vocational teacher to enable mathematically-underachieving TSI adult students to meet the requirements of a blocklaying course. It discusses Indigenous vocational mathematics, describes the theories behind our VET Project and the findings of the blocklaying collaboration, and reinforces the importance of vocational contexts and structural understanding (Sfard, 1991) when teaching vocational mathematics.

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ID Code: 14363
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: This paper can be freely accessed online via the URL provided (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Learning, vocational mathematics, mathematics in blocklaying, contextualised mathematics learning, action research, Indigenous mathematics teaching and learning
ISSN: 0771-100X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Technical Further and Workplace Education (130108)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME)
Deposited On: 11 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:35

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