Quanti-native, ka helu kahiko : Hawaiian culture-based education in mathematics

Kukahiko, Eomailani K.
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative, adopted by forty-five states, including Hawaiʻi, has promoted universal mathematics and language arts standards that are "designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers." ("Common Core State Standards Initiative | Home," n.d.) While nationalized curricula aim to streamline and simplify classroom teaching, the Common Core may not be responsive to the needs of Hawaiian children who have the unfortunate distinction of being "disproportionately underrepresented" in math (Kaomea, 2011, p. 291; Hammond, Wilson, & Barros, 2012, p. 14). Hawaiian Culture-based Education (HCBE), an indigenous curricular approach, provides a framework for "teaching and learning that are grounded in a cultural worldview, from whose lens are taught the skills, knowledge, content, and values that students need in our modern, global society" (S. M. Kanaʻiaupuni & Kawaiʻaeʻa, 2008, p. 71). Given the preeminent position of mathematics in classroom curricula and the success of HCBE in engaging learners, is it possible to enhance learning of this seemingly universal content area by incorporating traditional cultural concepts and ways of knowing? Current literature indicates that the integration of culture and mathematics, "ethnomathematics," can increase student engagement in the classroom. Using a qualitative design, this research project explored archival texts alongside the experiences of classroom teachers working in Hawaiian educational settings across the state who successfully integrate HCBE and ethnomathematics into their classrooms. This research seeks to glean from the teachers' manaʻo for the creation of mathematics curricula that is culturally responsive and offer practical suggestions to other educators working in Hawaiian and other diverse communities.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Hawaiian Culture-Based Education, Ethnomathematics, Social Justice
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