ISJ April 2013: Describing the dynamic nature of mathematics as a cultural product
M Sencer Corlu
The purpose of this ethnographic study is to describe the formal mathematical enculturation (Bishop, 1988) of middle school students at an international school. Specifically, I shall examine the ongoing creation of a mathematical culture within the classroom and show how class members define, maintain, and share the unique mathematical culture of the classroom, understood in terms of ideas, norms, and values.
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB), a five-year program for students aged between 11 and 16, is used by a large number of international schools (IB, 2010). Although this program is flexible in the sense that the course of study is determined by the school, all versions of the MYP foster a common understanding of the fundamental IB concepts: holistic learning (integration of mathematics into other disciplines); intercultural awareness (how cultural forces help foster developments in mathematics); and communication (how to effectively use the language of mathematics) (IB, 2000; 2002a; 2002b; 2005; 2007).