Mathematics funds of knowledge: Sotmaute and Sermaute fish in a Torres Strait Islander community

Author/s: Bronwyn Ewing

Edition: Volume 52, Number 1, April 2012

Summary: The purpose of this article is to describe a project with one Torres Strait Islander Community. It provides some insights into parents’ funds of knowledge that are mathematical in nature, such as sorting shells and giving fish. The idea of funds of knowledge is based on the premise that people are competent and have knowledge that has been historically and culturally accumulated into a body of knowledge and skills essential for their functioning and well-being. This knowledge is then practised throughout their lives and passed onto the next generation of children. Through adopting a community research approach, funds of knowledge that can be used to validate the community’s identities as knowledgeable people, can also be used as foundations for future learning for teachers, parents and children in the early years of school. They can be the bridge that joins a community’s funds of knowledge with schools validating that knowledge.

Keywords: Torres Strait Islander, knowledge, mathematics

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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 52_1. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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