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


  • Kay Owens Charles Sturt University
  • Cris Edmonds-Wathen Charles Darwin University
  • Vagi Bino University of Goroka

Palabras clave:

Cultural Mathematics, Inquiry, Professional Learning, Elementary Mathematics Education, Matemática Cultural, Inquérito, Aprendizagem Profissional, Educação Matemática Fundamental



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.


Após 40 anos de pesquisa etnomatemática em Papua Nova Guiné e políticas de fomento etnomatemática nas escolas, era hora de olhar para aprendizagem profissional para os professores, para que pudessem efetivamente implementar as políticas. Dentro de uma metodologia de pesquisa baseada em design, foi elaborado um conjunto de princípios interligados, tentou-los em diversas oficinas para professores, e revisto os princípios a ter em conta as necessidades com base na reflexividade e avaliações. Nós desenvolvemos um manual para uso nas oficinas. Nós estamos continuando esta pesquisa por várias fases diferentes, movendo-se a partir da entrega direta da aprendizagem profissional para professores em diversas províncias e ecologias, em seguida,de entrega para instrutores que ensinam os professores,  e, finalmente, pela entrega de tecnologia. Dados de avaliação iniciais sugerem que os princípios fundamentais que mostram a importância da cultura, linguagem e pensamento matemático no ensino da matemática fundamental são sadios. Oficinas foram bem recebidos como professores investigar a matemática de suas próprias culturas. A necessidade de uma maior compreensão sobre os primeiros aprendizagem da matemática em geral foi identificada. O uso de vídeo de prática cultural e as crianças aprendem a contar e investigar tem tido um impacto significativo.


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Biografía del autor/a

Kay Owens, Charles Sturt University

Lecturer, Charles Sturt University, Dubbo, Australia.

Cris Edmonds-Wathen, Charles Darwin University

Lecturer, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.

Vagi Bino, University of Goroka

Lecturer, University of Goroka, Goroka, Papua New Guinea.


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Cómo citar

Owens, K., Edmonds-Wathen, C., & Bino, V. (2015). Bringing ethnomathematics to elementary school teachers in Papua New Guinea: A design-based research project. Revista Latinoamericana De Etnomatemática Perspectivas Socioculturales De La Educación Matemática, 8(2), 32-52. Recuperado a partir de