Hughes, A., Laura, R.
The contribution of Aboriginal epistemologies to mathematics education in Australia: Exploring the silences
(2017) Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp. 1-11. Article in Press.
Epistemology is a conceptual template for how we think about the world, and the study of how we come to know the world around us. The world does not dictate unequivocally how to interpret it. This article will explore this position on the fluidity of epistemic constructs through two prominent philosophical perspectives, those being derived from the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michael Foucault, respectively. These insights will be used to more deeply unfold the current situation for Aboriginal students within dominant approaches to mathematics curriculum in Australia, and the subsequent approaches to the inclusion of Aboriginal knowledge and epistemologies. It is suggested that the epistemic constructs most valued and thus credited as conveyors of ‘truth’, and therefore positioned as powerful forms of knowledge within dominant curriculum and education policy, are those derived from Western, Eurocentric origins. This privileging of particular epistemological constructs over others is reinforced unconsciously through the articulation of educational goals deemed most appropriate, or ‘socially just’, for the Aboriginal student population. The place of Aboriginal knowledge within such constructs is therefore reflective of broader ideation around the role of education within society and its failure to challenge existing structures of power and injustice. © 2017 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
Aboriginal knowledge; educational goals; Epistemology; Foucault; mathematics curriculum; social justice; truth; Wittgenstein