Bringing ethnomathematics to elementary school teachers in Papua New Guinea: A design-based research project

Kay Owens, Chris Edmonds-Wathen, Vagi Bino

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    After 40 years of ethnomathematics research in Papua New Guinea and policies encouraging ethnomathematics in schools, it was time to look at professional learning for teachers so they could effectively implement the policies. Within a design-based research methodology, we designed a set of interlinked principles, tried them in several workshops for teachers, and revised the principles to take account of needs based on reflexivity and evaluations. We developed a manual to use in the workshops. We are continuing this research through several different phases, moving from direct delivery of the professional learning to teachers in various provinces and ecologies to delivery to trainers who then teach the teachers in three provinces, and finally by technology delivery. Early evaluation data suggest that the key principles showing the importance of culture, language and mathematical thinking in the teaching of early mathematics are sound. Workshops have been well received as teachers inquire into the mathematics of their own cultures. The need for a stronger understanding of early mathematics learning in general has been identified. The use of video of cultural practice and of young children learning to count and investigate has had a significant impact.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-52
    Number of pages21
    JournalLatin American Journal of Ethnomathematics: sociocultural perspective of mathematics education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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