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How and why SA should decolonise mathematics (and other curricula)

Maths Education Professor Karin Brodie has argued that it is both possible and necessary to decolonise mathematics and other curricula.

Prof Brodie explains that decolonisation of the education curriculum can be understood in three parts:

  • the content that is taught
  • the teaching process itself
  • how educators orientate students into various disciplines

Brodie advises that changes are needed in all three categories across all teaching disciplines.

She explains that a disciplines such as maths and science should belong to everyone, as seen through their history.

While she does not deny the body of knowledge that is maths, Brodie says that every discipline continues to evolve with debate and unproven theorems.

According to Brodie, decolonisation is not simply stripping out the influence of European scholars.

Instead, it is the ability to critique all influences and finding ways to advance knowledge by making the curriculum relatable.

We need to help our students see themselves in the knowledge their learning... What student's are asking for is showing more scholarly contributions from other places.

Karin Brodie, Professor of Education and Mathematics Education at Wits

Listen to Prof Karin Brodie's full argument here:


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