Origami as a teaching tool for indigenous mathematics education

Michael Assis*, Michael Donovan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


How to engage Indigenous students in their education particularly to mathematics is a question being regularly discussed within schools and academic forums. This paper proposes embracing the Indigenous methodology of narrative and combining it with existing origami narrative methodologies to engage Indigenous students to mathematics principles at many different cognitive stages. Origami, the art of folding paper or other materials, is an ancient art form that has occurred across multiple societies including Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations where the folding of paper or fabrics has presented cultural knowledge from within that society. This paper reviews the connections between origami and mathematics education as well as their use in an Indigenous setting by incorporating Indigenous narrative aspects into the origami art form. We present theory in support of the use of storigami as an educational tool in Indigenous mathematics classrooms, and we provide original examples of the adaptation of origami techniques for representing and engaging with Australian Indigenous art and culture while simultaneously engaging the students mathematically.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom analysis to visualization
Subtitle of host publicationa celebration of the life and legacy of Jonathan M. Borwein, Callaghan, Australia, September 2017
EditorsDavid H. Bailey, Naomi Simone Borwein, Richard P. Brent, Regina S. Burachik, Judy-anne Heather Osborn, Brailey Sims, Qiji J. Zhu
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030365684
ISBN (Print)9783030365677
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventJonathan Borwein Commemorative Conference (2017) - Newcastle, Australia
Duration: 25 Sep 201729 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics
ISSN (Print)2194-1009
ISSN (Electronic)2194-1017


ConferenceJonathan Borwein Commemorative Conference (2017)
Abbreviated titleJBCC 2017


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