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Origami as a Teaching Tool for Indigenous Mathematics Education

  • Michael AssisEmail author
  • Michael Donovan
Conference paper
  • 52 Downloads
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 313)

Abstract

How to engage Indigenous students in their education particularly to mathematics is a question being regularly discussed within schools and academic forums. This paper proposes embracing the Indigenous methodology of narrative and combining it with existing origami narrative methodologies to engage Indigenous students to mathematics principles at many different cognitive stages. Origami, the art of folding paper or other materials, is an ancient art form that has occurred across multiple societies including Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations where the folding of paper or fabrics has presented cultural knowledge from within that society. This paper reviews the connections between origami and mathematics education as well as their use in an Indigenous setting by incorporating Indigenous narrative aspects into the origami art form. We present theory in support of the use of storigami as an educational tool in Indigenous mathematics classrooms, and we provide original examples of the adaptation of origami techniques for representing and engaging with Australian Indigenous art and culture while simultaneously engaging the students mathematically.

Notes

Acknowledgements

M. D. gratefully acknowledges Walanga Muru at Macquarie University and the Wollotuka Institute at the University of Newcastle and the Aboriginal students and communities who have shared their stories and histories in the development the author’s Aboriginal pedagogical theories. M. A. gratefully acknowledges origami artist Benjamin DiLeonardo-Parker for his help finding suitable origami tessellations and the use of his photographs, as well as Daniel Cohen for his help in finding the relevant page in [86].

      We gratefully acknowledge the life of Jonathan M. Borwein who founded the CARMA research centre at the University of Newcastle, and in whose honour CARMA organized the Jonathan M. Borwein Commemorative Conference Satellite Meeting, Mathematics and Education: Spirit, Culture and Community which brought these two authors into collaboration. We also thank Judy-anne Heather Osborn as an organizer of the conference and for suggesting the writing of this joint paper.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Academic Director Indigenous Learning and Teaching, Walanga MuruMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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