South African Journal of Education
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
For many years, education in South Africa has been based mainly on western values. This has contributed to the fact that many learners from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot see the connection between the education they receive at school and their everyday experiences. This may well have contributed to the high failure rate amongst mathematics learners as well as the perceived difficulty of mathematics. It is believed that indigenous knowledge, in general, can be used to promote the teaching of mathematics in multicultural classes. We report on an enquiry into the use of the indigenous game of morabaraba in the mathematics class. Various mathematical concepts have been identified from the game. It was found that learners enjoy playing the game, and that it can be used in the mathematics classroom to promote the learning of mathematics. It was also found that the use of this game promotes spontaneous interaction amongst learners as they communicate their activities to fellow participants. The enjoyment of the game was found not to be restricted to a specific cultural group, which suggests that it can be used in a multicultural setting.
Keywords : culture and mathematics; ethnomathematics; Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS); mathematics education; traditional mathematics.