Learning from our neighbours: The value of knowing their number history

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


Recent research has supported and extended earlier research on how and for how long Indigenous people of Australasia have been counting. This history values the long history of Indigenous knowledge and re-writes the limited and sometimes false history that many Australian teachers accept and teach about number systems. The current views on the spread and innovation of number systems are critiqued in terms of how oral cultures used and represented large numbers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication40 years on: we are still learning!
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 40th annual conference of the mathematics education research group of Australasia
EditorsAnn Downton, Sharyn Livy, Jennifer Hall
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781920846305
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event40th Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2017 - Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 02 Jul 201706 Jul 2017
https://merga.net.au/Public/Publications/Annual_Conference_Proceedings/2017_MERGA_annual_conference_proceedings.aspx (Conference proceedings)
https://web.archive.org/web/20170220170741/https://www.merga.net.au/conferences.html (Conference website)


Conference40th Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2017
Abbreviated title40 years on: We are still learning!
OtherMERGA 40 will be held in Melbourne, at Monash University’s Clayton campus—the site of the first MERGA conference. The conference will be coordinated by Ann Gervasoni, Helen Forgasz and colleagues from Monash University, under the theme of ’40 years on: We are still learning’. This theme is both timely and apt, since the conference will be celebratory, reflective and forward thinking as we attempt to build upon the work of some of the world’s most influential mathematics education researchers and practitioners.

This special anniversary conference will include a number of participants from MERGA 1, as well as many colleagues coming to MERGA for the first time. The MERGA conference is renowned for being encouraging and welcoming. Within this highly supportive environment, the conference provides participants with the opportunity to engage in a range of professionally stimulating activities.
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