MEd Curriculum Studies: Mathematics Education

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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 MEd Curriculum Studies, Math Education is a cohorted 17-month program that includes the Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate. 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 with additional requirements.

Ethnomathematics Overview

Program Learning Outcomes

Coursework and Delivery

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 Delivery

The MEd Curriculum Studies, Math Education and Ethnomathematics Graduate Certificate pathway 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 summer and three academic semesters (i.e., Summer, Fall, Spring, Fall). For specific dates, please refer to the program brochure.

Summer 1 (1 week intensive in-person)
EDCS 654 Ethnomathematics (3 credits) - (GCERT/MEd)

Fall 1 (online) - Online classes twice a week
EDCS 606 Introduction to Research in Curriculum and Teaching (3 credits) - (GCERT/MEd)
EDCS 622G Curriculum Leadership: K–14 (3 credits) - (GCERT/MEd)
EDCS 624 School Mathematics Curriculum (3 credits) - (MEd)

Spring 1 (online) - Online classes twice a week (1 weekend in-person  - end of semester)
EDCS 653F Mathematics in the Schools: Integrated Math Content (3 credits) - (MEd)
EDCS 632 Qualitative Research Methodology (3 credits) - (GCERT/MEd)
EDCS 667 Seminar in Curriculum (3 credits) - (GCERT/MEd)

Fall 2 (online) - Online classes twice a week.
EDCS 494 Problem Solving in Mathematics Education (3 credits) - (MEd)
EDCS 640H Seminar in Teaching Mathematics (3 credits) - (MEd)
EDCS 699 Directed Reading and/or Research (3 credits) - (MEd)

Add-a-Field Licensure Options

Graduates of the MEd Curriculum Studies, Math Education program are eligible to add the field, Ethnomathematics, to an existing State of Hawaiʻi teaching license (in process). Please refer to the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board for more information.

Type Name Updated
Brochure/Information Brochure - MEd CS Math Education Last Updated
November 2018
Type Name Updated
Brochure/Information Ethnomathematics References Last Updated
January 2018
Students sitting in class

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