Revista latinoamericana de investigación en matemática educativa
Print version ISSN 1665-2436
Primary school teachers often struggle to connect the mathematics they teach to meaningful real world experiences. This may be because, most of the time, classroom teachers who teach mathematics and professionals who use mathematics are members of different ethnomathematic communities of practice. Each community of practice uses different algorithms and vocabularies to explore similar mathematical ideas. A literature review of this subject and a research report of a related professional development initiative comprise this paper. Six teachers participated in a week-long professional development project that exposed them to mathematical ideas and contexts that related to, but were different from, classroom mathematics. At the end of the week, all teachers articulated wider and deeper connections between their classroom practices and mathematics outside the school. This work suggests that teachers need encouragement and support to explore the edges between classroom and professional uses of mathematics. By doing so, teachers will be better able to help their own students recognize meaning for and of mathematics outside the classroom.
Keywords : Ethnomathematics; communities of practice; primary school mathematics; teacher education (mathematics).