Maths and Storytelling

I came across this article on ABC News today and thought it was relevant to this unit given how we have discussed the ways in which Aboriginal languages have not traditionally contained words for many mathematical concepts and numbers.

While the lack of vocabulary for mathematical concepts demonstrates that mathematics just isn’t an important facet of Aboriginal cultures, not having the vocabulary must make it challenging to learn and understand mathematics in the early years.

Because of that, I believe that this initiative is an innovative way to harness the strength of storytelling and dance within Aboriginal cultures in order to help Aboriginal children who are struggling with mathematics.

I think perhaps the concluding quote sums up how language and culture interact to help or hinder the way in which children learn:

“We all carry our own cultural understandings and I think if you allow kids to be creative within that they can actually bring that to the table.”

Cassandra Winter

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