LITERACY, MATHERACY AND TECHNORACY FOR JUSTICE AND EQUITY Pradip Baksi 1.

A desired reconstruction of social and political economy as a science of the 24 hour totality of human social life needs time use data on a world scale [Baksi 2011]. The collection of such data may become possible in the course of attainment of universal or near-universal literacy, matheracy and technoracy [D¶Ambrosio 1998]. Women and children constitute more than half of the world population. They perform most of the unpaid work of the world. If all the women and children of the world do not get motivated about recording and providing their own time use data, then the measurement of gender-based and inter-generational inequities will remain beyond the grasp of all the social sciences, beginning with social and political economy. Search for justice and equity are very strong motivations for learning. These motivations may be harnessed for attaining universal literacy, matheracy and technoracy. Many technical devices, such as the evolving I-Slates [Palem and others 2009], may be used to promote the required literacy and matheracy on a world scale.

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3. The collected time use data are so far being analyzed with the help of predictive analytics related softwares, like the SPSS and/or STATISTICA, which use some dominant understanding of statistics and probability theory. 4. People need to use these products of the presently globally dominant and sacralized Mediterranean Basin Ethnomathematical Culture, just as the prairie Amerindians needed to use the guns [D¶Ambrosio and Rosa 2008: 103-04]. However, some desacralization and demystification of these concrete ethnomathematical products may facilitate attainment of universal literacy, matheracy and technoracy. 5. To desacralize and demystify these ethnomathematical products, let us invert the entire presently dominant Mediterranean Basin approach to elementary mathematics-statistics instruction. The dominant practice of this instruction first introduces determinate constant numbers 1«9; then determinate unknown quantities; then indeterminate quantities x, y etc., which assume successive values, for instance, 1«9; then algebraic functions involving such quantities; then in the Cartesian application of algebra to geometry the unknown quantities x, y etc., turn into variables and the known quantities into constants [Marx 1994: 172-177: On the Concept of Function], and, then, at some later level, a random variable is introduced as a variable resulting from variations due to chance. Let us reverse this entire course of instruction: let us at first introduce some concept of interdependent random variables as primary, with the help of many examples from the realms of nature, society and thought; then redefine ordinary variables as special cases of abstractions from these interdependent random variables; and, finally redefine constants as special cases of abstractions from these ordinary variables. This approach may make instruction of statistics-mathematics more compatible with our understanding of nature, society and thought as complex and non-linear living systems. It will be more truthful, more convincing and hence, more easily comprehensible. If, some people feel such a need, then the details of the proposed approach or, of other alternative desacralizing approaches to statistics-mathematics instruction may be worked out by them.

References Baksi, P. (2011). Is Capitalism the dominant mode of production even today? Available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/73800681/Is-Capitalism-the-Dominant-Mode-of-Production-Even-Today-1May-2011 D¶Ambrosio,U. (1998). Literacy, Matheracy and Technoracy ± The New Trivium for the Era of Technology. Paulo Freire Memorial Lecture delivered at the First Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Nottingham, UK, September 5-12, 1998. Available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/csme/meas/plenaries/ambrosio.html D¶Ambrosio, U. and Rosa, M. (2008). A dialogue with Ubiratan D¶Ambrosio: A Brazilian conversation about ethnomathematics. Revista Latinoamericana de Etnomatematica, 1(2): 88-110. Available at: http://www.etnomatematica.org/v1-n2-julio2008/DAmbrosio-Rosa.pdf Marx, K. (1994). Mathematical Manuscripts [together with a Special Supplement]. Calcutta/Kolkata: Viswakos Parisad. Palem, K. and others (2009).I-Slate, Ethnomathematics and Rural Education. Available at: http://www.cs.rice.edu/~lc6/visen/2009islate.pdf

Kolkata: 10 February 2012

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