THREE “ETHNOS”: ETHNOBIOLOGY, ETHNOMATHEMATICS, AND ETHNOGRAPHY LIVED IN TWO LOCAL COMMUNITIES FROM COSTA DE CAPARICA, PORTUGAL. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Lia Laporta1   Mônica Mesquita2 ,  

1University of Ghent, Belgium

2University of Lisbon, Portugal

Corresponding author:  mbmesquita@ie.ul.PT


The Urban Boundaries Project has the challenging work to develop an emancipatory educative policy through participant observation of knowledge inside two multicultural communities (the fishing community and the community of Terras da Costa) of the city of Costa de Caparica, Portugal. Through a Critical Ethnography approach, members of these two communities are actively participating in the construction of an autonomous management of their own knowledge. In this process, Ethnomathematics and Ethnobiology emerged as a broader and integrative  perspective over coastal/land/human resource management, embedded in both the Curriculum Trivium developed by Ubiratan D’Ambrosio (a new model of curriculum, based on literacy, materacy, and technoracy) and in the concepts of local, traditional/historical ecological knowledge (LEK,TEK) as defined by Fikret Berkes. The three “ethnos”, therefore, were not a choice. They were the real movement around this research, which has allowed the voices of all participants to appear in its construction. With this innovative background theoretical, we aim at (1) highlighting the knowledge of local communities pointing out and discussing eventual contradictions; (2) guaranteeing a global curriculum that maintains cultural diversity, and (3) bring to life expectations of minimizing inequities and violations of human dignity, as a first step towards social justice and an adaptive, ecosystem-based resource management.  This search and comprehension process, regarding intra and intercultural dimensions, is essential not only to clarify the educative processes developed inside the local communities, towards local necessities defined by their members, but also to the “symbolic” recognition of such communities by society as a whole – acknowledging them as being both an active and interactive part of the cultural diversity they represent and of the urban hegemony they are geographically included in.

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