John Carlin is too quick to dismiss ethnomathematics as political correctness. The biggest threat to maths education today comes not from multiculturalists, but from those who would trade in algebra instruction for a calculator. Ironically, these people draw precisely on the arguments used by opponents of ethnomathematics. They observe that maths results can be demonstrated by logically foolproof methods, and thus are best left to a machine. The ultimate argument against this is to maintain that the process of calculation has a human dimension because it is embedded in one's cultural context. In that sense, ethnomathematics can be seen as the godsend of maths education.
University of Durham