The role of culture and ecology in visuospatial reasoning: The power of ethnomathematics

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Reasoning is critical in mathematics but research has shown that people reason not only with numbers and algebra but also visuospatially (also called spatial thinking and visual reasoning). This kind of reasoning occurs with representations but also in everyday living. In other words, ecology and culture impact on mathematical reasoning and learning. To investigate this premise, Papua New Guinean Indigenous cultures and their mathematical activities were appropriate as they are rich in visuospatial reasoning . There is evidence of the strength of this reasoning and that it may or may not be associated with words. The challenge is how to enlist this cultural strength in schools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthnomathematics and its diverse approaches for mathematics education
EditorsMilton Rosa, Lawrence Shirley, Maria Elena Gavarrete, Wilfredo V. Alangui
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
ISBN (Electronic)9783319592206
ISBN (Print)9783319592190
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event13th International Congress on Mathematical Education: ICME-13 - University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 24 Jul 201631 Jul 2016 (Conference program) (Conference website)

Publication series

NameICME-13 Monographs
ISSN (Electronic)2520-8322


Conference13th International Congress on Mathematical Education
OtherThe Society of Didactics of Mathematics (Gesellschaft für Didaktik der
Mathematik – GDM) has the pleasure of hosting ICME-13 in 2016 in Germany.
The Society of Didactics of Mathematics represents the German speaking
community of didactics of mathematics, bringing together mathematics education
groups from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Supported by the German
Mathematical Society, the German Educational Research Association and the German Association for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education we are eager to welcome ICME-13 participants to Germany. The congress is hosted by the University of Hamburg supporting ICME-13 strongly since the very beginning.
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of culture and ecology in visuospatial reasoning: The power of ethnomathematics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this