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The Balobedu Cultural Activities and Plays Pertinent to Primary School Mathematics Learning

Author(s): Benjamin Tatira | Lillias Mutambara | Conilius J. Chagwiza

Journal: International Education Studies
ISSN 1913-9020

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

For many years, mathematics has been conceived as abstract, a product of western values and divorced from people's everyday lives. This has contributed to the fact that rural and economically disadvantaged communities fail to see the link between school mathematics and their real world experiences. Nonetheless, it goes without question that children tirelessly engage in plays and games at the least available opportunity, and rural communities have well-knitted and immortal cultural activities which possess intricate and diverse mathematical concepts. Herein we report on some of the cultural activities and plays for the Balobedu people of South Africa and their implications for mathematics teaching and learning at primary school level. The researchers have seen the interplay of culture and the development of mathematical concepts worthy studying, as a way of bringing a turnaround in the performance of mathematics in the South African primary schools. Mathematics performance currently is trailing all other subjects of the curriculum, yet it is a key area of knowledge whose competence is necessary for individual and economic development in this modern high-tech world we are living in. Incorporating cultural issues in the methods of teaching in rural areas help learners to perceive that mathematical concepts are not done in isolation, but have a strong connection to their everyday life and therefore worthwhile learning. 

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