Changing Our Perspective on Measurement: A Cultural Case Study

Kay Owens, Wilfred Kaleva

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Papua New Guinea has hundreds of languages and cultures and each group measures indifferent ways. This report discusses the informal measurement and contexts for measuring by a range of cultural groups as obtained from a survey. Intuitive approaches traditionally used in villages indicate an interesting use of length for deciding areas. People seem to visualise the areas and rely on lengths for comparing or counting to compare these areas. The use of informal measurement has implications for schooling in that it is a valuable place to begin measurement education rather than smaller formal units. Concepts, such as area, and the structure of measurement units, such as placing length units end to end, can be ascertained and established from these informal measures as a transition to more formal school measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMERGA 30
Subtitle of host publicationMathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice
Place of PublicationAdelaide, Australia
PublisherMathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781920846145
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventMathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2007 - Hobart, TAS, Australia
Duration: 02 Jul 200706 Jul 2007


ConferenceMathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2007


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