In modern societies, inclusion requires provision of quality education for all. In contexts where poverty and language challenges are experienced, difficulties in learning mathematics are heightened. Children and non-expert adults have to cope with complex mathematical concepts (including ratios and equivalences and standard measures). Numbers and other written symbols and formulae, such as fractions, decimal numbers or percentages, seem obscure, a language for only a few - useful but separate from human aims and values. However, if the abstract, quantitative view of the environment typical of modern science and technology is linked to primordial, bodily experiences, to crafts and the arts and to ancient questions and beliefs that are part of our shared cultural heritage, it is possible to achieve meaningful engagement and understanding. It is urgent to reconstruct this “forgotten” link with the human roots of mathematics in oral experiences (repetition and rhythm, form and symmetry). We present a storybook developed to support the teaching and learning of fractions through measure by researchers committed to two contexts of high risk of exclusion due to poverty: Mexico and South Africa. The challenge of inclusion lead to an innovative approach to teaching through using a narrative form typical of children's literature. Through the story, the mathematics finds its way into human life, human words, and human works in a sphere which links practice, beauty, and dream.
millan gasca, a.m., Vale, P. (2021). Re-placing mathematics into cultural heritage: A path for educational and social inclusion. In A. Poce (a cura di), Promoting inclusion through heritage. Some results of the Inclusive memory project from Roma Tre University/Veicolare l’inclusione attraverso il patrimonio. Alcuni risultati del progetto Inclusive Memory dell’Università Roma Tre (pp. 195-232). Napoli : Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.