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Incorporating Indigenous perspectives into maths education

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Incorporating Indigenous perspectives into maths education

iMaths 21/5/21


Are you looking for meaningful ways to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into your classroom? Your maths lessons are a great place to start.

Although maths is often referred to as a ‘universal language’, culture has a strong influence on the different ways people approach maths and interpret meaning.

We’ve worked with Professor Chris Matthews to create a suite of professional learning videos designed to help teachers incorporate Indigenous perspectives into their maths lessons.

Professor Chris Matthews (from the Quandamooka people of Minjerribah) is a mathematician and chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA). As well as being an advocate for incorporating Indigenous perspectives into maths education, Chris, together with ATSIMA, is dedicated to ensuring all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners will be successful in mathematics.

In these two videos, Chris defines what culture means to him and explains why it’s important to embrace different cultural perspectives in maths education.

As Chris explains, when you teach from different cultural perspectives, it allows you to ‘open up the classroom’ and encourage students to consider how their own cultural lenses affect how they approach mathematics. He also demonstrates the knock-on effects cultural influences can have on maths education.

In this third video, Chris explains how understanding the role cultural bias plays within mathematics gives you an opportunity to teach maths differently. The aim is to help you incorporate the diverse strengths and learning styles of your students to make maths more relevant, which is ultimately what creates an effective maths classroom.

If you’re interested in learning more about ATSIMA, head to the website:

The filming of these videos took place at the Firefly Education campus, which is located on Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi Country. Professor Chris Matthews is from the Quandamooka people of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island). We acknowledge the interconnected networks that have existed between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from these Countries for tens of thousands of years. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present and emerging.

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