Ethnomathematics in the Maldivian curriculum: trialling an implementation

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dc.contributor.advisor Barton, Bill en Adam, Aishath Shehenaz en 2007-08-04T06:27:53Z en 2007-08-04T06:27:53Z en 2004 en
dc.identifier THESIS 04-355 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Mathematics Education)--University of Auckland, 2004 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Ethnomathematics is the study of the way people from a particular culture have common systems for dealing with quantitative, relational and spatial aspects of their lives. As such, it provides insights both into the social role of mathematics and into the nature of mathematical thinking. Ethnomathematicians argue that these perspectives on mathematics can be valuable components of school mathematics curricula. There have been several descriptions of ethnomathematical initiatives in mathematics education, however research on implementing ethnomathematical principles in mathematics curricula and pedagogy are still in the very early stages. As a further contribution, this thesis develops an ethnomathematical curriculum model devised for Maldivian classrooms and investigates its implementation on a small scale. Following Lipka (1994), it is suggested that an ethnomathematical curriculum involves an integration of the mathematical concepts and practices originating in the learners' culture with those of conventional mathematics. This involves re-experiencing concepts and practices originating in the learners' culture from a mathematical point of view, and using these experiences to appreciate conventional mathematics, to understand its place in society, and to have a framework for its concepts. The understanding of conventional mathematics then feeds back into and contributes to a broader understanding of the culturally-based mathematical principles. This study investigates the implementation of an ethnomathematical unit of work in Grade 5 in the Maldives. The research was conducted at two primary schools and involved teaching an ethnomathematical unit of work on measurement. The unit was designed in conjunction with the teachers. The implementation included students going out on field trips, bringing home experiences to classroom, and explicitly designed classroom activities relating the real-world activities to formal mathematics. During the data collection, information was sought from teacher workshops, questionnaires, classroom observations, interviews, teacher resources, and a research journal. The data showed that despite the very traditional education of the Maldives, the ethnomathematical approach was appreciated and understood by teachers and students. Teachers and students were able to identify activities and experiences in the Maldivian culture exhibiting measurement systems, and were able to link this to the conventional mathematics that is part of the Grade 5 measurement syllabus. The data evidence showed that teachers and students were able to understand the idea behind the ethomathematical curriculum model. Teachers were motivated and had enthusiasm for professional development, but there is a need for ongoing leadership and guidance. The curriculum unit was clearly welcomed and appreciated by the school and the community. Therefore, it is concluded that in a culturally homogeneous context like the Maldives, the development of a more extensive ethnomathematical curriculum can be continued.As a result of the study the model has been changed and further detail has been added. The model has been redrawn to include the motivational aspect that emerged prominently in the data, and is also strong in the literature. A further development of the model is its provision of more detail of the nature of mathematical thinking and reasoning in this context. This includes formalisation and generalisation of conventional mathematics, and re-viewing cultural practices via mathematical thinking. The study points to the need for further research to investigate mathematical learning effects, assessment procedures, teacher professional development, and pedagogical procedures appropriate for a more comprehensive development of an ethnomathematical curriculum. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99123575114002091 en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Ethnomathematics in the Maldivian curriculum: trialling an implementation en
dc.type Thesis en Mathematics Education en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en

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