Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate

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“As far as I know, no other academic program in ethnomathematics exists in the world. Its creation [at the University of Hawai‘i] opens new paths for research, where mathematics can be looked at from fresh and exciting standpoints. It will certainly promote international cooperation within different communities of researchers, from mathematics to anthropology through a long list of intertwined disciplines."

- International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) Former President Ferdinando Arzarello

Ethnomathematics is real-world problem-solving that empowers students to be locally-minded, global citizens through a sense of purpose and a sense of place.

The Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate is a cohorted 11-month program. Participants may extend the certificate to a master’s degree MEd Curriculum Studies, Math Education with the completion of additional coursework and requirements. In addition, participants already holding a license in the State of Hawai‘i may add-a-field of licensure in ethnomathematics through the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board (in process).

Ethnomathematics Overview

Program Learning Outcomes

Coursework and Dates

Master’s Degree and Add-a-Field Licensure Options

Program Brochure


World's first ethnomathematics program offered at UH

Ethnomathematics Overview

Ethnomathematics is a vehicle to explore sociocultural, cognitive, conceptual, educational, epistemological, historical, and political dimensions through real-world problem solving via place-based, project-based experiences (Bishop, 1988; D’Ambrosio, 2001; Kyselka, 1987). Specifically, the program prepares teachers as leaders through culturally-sustaining strategies that bridge Indigenous wisdom and 21st century skills to strengthen P-20 college, career, and community readiness (Barton, 2017; Furuto, 2016; Paris, 2012). This is done through the discovery of interdisciplinary pathways that foster multiple approaches to teaching and learning mathematics aligned with Mathematics Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Nā Hopena A‘o values-based frameworks.

By drawing on the assets and backgrounds of our students and communities, we acknowledge the importance of strengths-based approaches in accessing diverse funds of knowing and doing (Boaler, 2002; Greer, Mukhodpadhyay, Powell, & Nelson-Barber, 2009; Jaworski, Wood, & Dawson, 1999; Tuhiwai Smith, 1999). We invite you to voyage with us!

Program Learning Outcomes

We strive to create opportunities to develop teachers as leaders through the following program learning outcomes:

  • Increase knowledge of culturally-sustaining mathematics content aligned with K–12 federal and state standards and values-based frameworks such as Mathematics Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Nā Hopena A‘o (HIDOE, 2015);
  • Prepare teachers as leaders to provide instruction and professional development in ethnomathematics in their schools, districts, and communities; and
  • Strengthen sustainable campus-community networks leading to college, career, and community readiness.

Our foundation is built on respecting, celebrating, and sustaining all participants’ inventions, experiences, and applications of mathematics in a shared commitment to equity, empowerment, and dignity (Rosa, D’Ambrosio, Orey, Shirley, Alangui, Palhares, & Gavarrete, 2016).

Program partners over the years, including the University of Hawai‘i System, Hawai‘i State Department of Education, Hawai‘i P–20 Partnerships for Education, Pacific American Foundation, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, collectively model effective teaching practices and support strategies that encourage ourselves and our students to “identify kuleana and work hard to fulfill these responsibilities to families, ‘āina, community, and future and past generations” (Hawai‘i P–20 Partnerships for Education, 2013, p. 2).

Coursework and Dates

The Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate is online, except for a weeklong orientation during the first summer and a concluding weekend at the end of spring semester. Cohorts begin annually during Summer. Each cohort will span one academic year, plus the preceding summer (i.e., Summer, Fall, Spring).

Summer 2018 (1 week intensive in-person) - July 9-15, 2018

  • EDCS 654 Ethnomathematics (3 credits)

Fall 2018 (online) - Online classes once a week.

  • EDCS 622G Curriculum Leadership: K–14 (3 credits)
  • EDCS 653F Mathematics in the Schools: Integrated Math Content (3 credits)

Spring 2019 (online) - Online classes once a week. 
Spring 2019 (1 weekend in-person) - May 4-5, 2019

  • EDCS 606 Introduction to Research in Curriculum and Teaching (3 credits)
  • EDCS 642G Seminar in Diversity Issues: K–14 (1 credit)
  • EDCS 699 Directed Reading and/or Research (2 credits)

Master’s Degree and Add-a-Field Licensure Options

Completers of the 15-credit program receive a graduate certificate, which appears on their transcripts.

The program may be applied to the MEd Curriculum Studies, MEd Math Education, If applying for MEd Curriculum Studies, MEd Math Education, please see those programs’ web pages for additional prerequisites and requirements. To receive both the graduate certificate and MEd degree, you will need to file a Concurrent Graduate Certificate Program Application Form. Graduates of the 30-credit MEd are eligible to add the field, Ethnomathematics, to a Hawaiʻi teaching license (in process).
Type Name Updated
Brochure/Information Brochure - Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate Last Updated
February 2018
Type Name Updated
Brochure/Information Ethnomathematics References Last Updated
January 2018
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