Reflections on how critical mathematics education can offer a diverse and expanding arena to address several themes, without necessarily needing to synthesise it or blur its contours with respect to ethnomathematics. Using the perspective of “righting our world,” inspired by Freire’s sense of “writing the world,” the focus is on transforming and decolonising mathematical knowledge.
This paper offers a nuanced cross-cultural perspective on children's 'scaffolded' participation, within the 'spaces' of formal, informal and non-formal education. Contrasting children's agency in rural or urban, disadvantaged or privileged, modernising or collectivistic communities in India, it points to the tensions of 'participation' in school, work or public action, within a stratified education system which promotes 'technological' rather than 'social intelligence'. Scaffolded participation in the 'formal' school is detailed through two curricular models - the Gandhian Basic School for learning situated in productive processes, and the National Curriculum Framework 2005 for active participation in the construction of knowledge. The non-formal space of the literacy campaign is used to analyse the large-scale voluntary mobilisation of rural youth for transformative action.