Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

Publication Date



The present research paper comprises of two parts. Part I discusses the difference between the epistemic basis of everyday practices of Ngoni/Tumbuka children and the school mathematics practices in Zambia and the embedded nature of everyday and school mathematics concepts in the respective discursive practices. The second part looks at the mathematics pedagogy of Grade I and VI. The analyses show that the teachers in Grade I brought in a lot of everyday examples, materials and ideas to teach the young children the number concept, place value, concept of zero etc. In contrast, the teachers in Grade VI used very few examples of everyday experiences for children in the mathematics class. They emphasise the use of routines, templates and the procedures for teaching mathematics in school. Most children excepting a few in Grade VI had not developed any theoretical understanding well. They could, sometimes, solve the problems because the teacher presented the problems in familiar templates but not because they understood the problem. Some teachers tried to link everyday experiences to the school mathematics concepts like ratios and factors. Yet, they failed to exhibit any understanding of how to help these children shift from everyday discourse to school mathematics discourse. Most of the teachers in Government schools emphasised specific use of mathematical signs, symbols and registers, standards of accuracy, language etc. without working sufficiently on how to help these children mathematize everyday experiences using this representational and semiotic system of school mathematics. The paper concludes with some suggested activities to bridge this gap.

Included in

Psychology Commons