Geoffrey Saxe

“The Emergence, Reproduction and Change of Numerical Representations and Ideas: The study of Small Communities in New Guinea and the United States”

Presented By: Geoffrey Saxe, Professor in the Graduate School of Education
University of California, Berkeley
Monday, May 2, 2011 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Abstract: Abstract: Psychological studies of cognitive development are often conducted without regard for the interplay between the cognitive activities of individuals and the cultural histories of communities. In my talk, I illustrate a heuristic research framework that illuminates this interplay through studies drawn from two programs of work. The first illustration is drawn from my work with a remote Papua New Guinea group; I focus on the emergence, reproduction, and alteration of collective systems for number representation and systems for naming currency tokens in the community over an extended period of time. The second is drawn from work on mathematics in upper elementary classroom communities in the United States where the focus is on number line representations to support rich understandings of integers and fractions.
Geoffrey Saxe’s research with students and colleagues over the past 25 years has been concerned with cognition and culture – ideas that are deeply related. The research is interdisciplinary, and has been published in journals, books, and edited volumes concerned with issues in developmental psychology, education, and cultural anthropology.

Geoff Saxe_Sm