Yonit Bousany '09


"I chose Peru because I wanted to study an indigenous language while living in a Spanish-speaking country, and the SIT program there offered the opportunity to study Quechua. The program jumped out at me for that reason. You can define ethnomathemetics as the study of the ways culture influences mathematical ideas. My focus has been on its application to intercultural education. The basic idea is to view math as a cultural practice and to understand the ways that different cultures' models for meaning construction are implicated in math. That is, different cultures will present different motivation for problem solving and different insights into constructing mathematical ideas."

"I think it's important to look into the potential that a child develops before coming into a classroom. Their assumptions and vision of the world are shaped by the culture they grow up in. By understanding this, and being able to work with this pre-developed potential, we can probe into deeper problems with young students and encourage them to use their intuitions to come to formal mathematical proofs. They can learn the universal language of math through the window of their specific culture's views."

"I'm not sure about future career choices, or how Peru might fit into my future plans, although I do think that my experience has made me a better teacher and opened my eyes to further complexities in regard to individual learning. I've also been introduced to all sorts of new models for what a lesson and classroom can look like. It's been a great experience and continues to be a journey, and I'm still assessing the impact and growing from the experience even as I'm back home."