Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Culturally based Activities in South African Mathematics Classrooms

Jayaluxmi Naidoo
2021 African Journal of Teacher Education  
Culturally based activities embedded within indigenous knowledge, in general, may be used to support the teaching of mathematics in multicultural classes. The article reflects on research that has been conducted with twenty-five post-graduate students studying Mathematics Education at one university in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. These post-graduate students were also practicing mathematics teachers at schools. The study explored the use of indigenous knowledge and culturally based activities
more » ... y post-graduate students in schools while teaching mathematical concepts. The theory of Realistic Mathematics Education framed this qualitative, interpretive study which used a questionnaire, lesson observations and semi-structured interviews to generate data. Qualitative data were analysed inductively and thematically. The findings reveal that the participants needed to understand indigenous knowledge to integrate culturally based activities in mathematics lessons. Secondly, culturally based activities established on indigenous knowledge scaffolded mathematics lessons and promoted the understanding of mathematical concepts to make learning more meaningful and relevant. Thirdly, this study provides examples of good practice to support teachers in integrating classroom activities and activities outside the classroom, ensuring that mathematical concepts learned in classrooms are not done in isolation but take into account learners' authentic experiences in various settings. Finally, by integrating indigenous knowledge and culturally based activities in the mathematics curriculum, learners interacted and engaged more freely within the educational context. Similar studies could be conducted at universities internationally. Implications for mathematics teachers, mathematics teacher educators and mathematics curriculum developers globally are discussed.
doi:10.21083/ajote.v10i2.6686 fatcat:dilm67bakngfhp4aluogocldhy