Ethnomathematics and indigenous teacher education: Waka migrations


In order to assist Indigenous peoples to revive their language and culture, teachers need strategies to enhance both cultural and mathematical knowledge for students. This paper presents findings from a project in which pre-service teachers investigated ethnomathematical practices using the context of ancestral ocean voyages by canoes. This context was chosen because a primary identification marker for Māori are their ancestral canoes. The results indicated that these pre-service teachers did not generally associate these ancestral voyages with mathematical practices, indicating that more work is needed to increase their understandings of ethnomathematics. Their understandings about the knowledge and practices connected to traditional methods of navigation were disrupted by myths perpetuated by European colonists. Despite this, a renaissance in canoe building and interest in traditional navigation practices provided the pre-service teachers with valuable information.

Keywords: Traditional navigation. Ethnomathematics. Preservice teacher education. Cultural symmetry.


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International Perspectives on Ethnomathematics: from research to practices