Using African Designs in Virtual Manipulatives for Geometrical Concept Development

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Philip Collett and Catherina Steyn: Using African Designs in Virtual Manipulatives for Geometrical Concept Development. In: Bridges 2017, Pages 455–458.



Promoting interest and engagement in Mathematics among learners in early High School grades is challenging in the South African educational scenario which is typified by traditional pedagogies, desolate classrooms, a lack of interesting resources and something of a rote learning culture. To enhance the attractiveness and the cultural congruence of learning materials for early High School grades we have used GeoGebra to design a set of virtual manipulatives, which incorporate Southern African indigenous art designs, for promoting concept formation in the area of Geometry. We explain the underlying pedagogy of the development and show examples of manipulatives in the design stage. Plans for incorporating the material into programs and researching the learning outcomes are also presented.

Extended Abstract


 author      = {Philip Collett and Catherina Steyn},
 title       = {Using African Designs in Virtual Manipulatives for Geometrical Concept Development},
 pages       = {455--458},
 booktitle   = {Proceedings of Bridges 2017: Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Education, Culture},
 year        = {2017},
 editor      = {David Swart, Carlo H. S\'equin, and Krist\'of Fenyvesi},
 isbn        = {978-1-938664-22-9},
 issn        = {1099-6702},
 publisher   = {Tessellations Publishing},
 address     = {Phoenix, Arizona},
 note        = {Available online at \url{}}

Used References

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[10] M. Mosimege, “Indigenous Mathematical Knowledge at South African Cultural Villages : Opportunities for Integration in Mathematics Classrooms,” in Proceedings of the 14 th Annual National Congress of AMESA, 2008, pp. 457–462.

[11] A. Gray and R. Sarhangi, “Study and Application of African Designs for Use in Secondary Education,” in Proceedings of the Bridges 2001 Conference, 2001, pp. 299–306.

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