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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Stakeholders’ receptiveness to an ethnomathematics curriculum foundation : the case of Cameroon Kang, Henry


The purpose of this study is to assess the curriculum stakeholders' receptiveness to a curriculum built on an ethnomathematics foundation. The stakeholders who participated in this study were secondary school students, secondary mathematics teachers, pedagogic personnel and teacher educator. The students and the teachers were from two secondary schools in Cameroon, one of which was public and the other private. Data collected for analysis include audiotaped interview transcripts, questionnaires and field notes from classroom observations of the teaching of an ethnomathematics unit. From an analysis and interpretation of the data, a picture emerged of the stakeholders' level of interests and concern about adopting an ethnomathematics curriculum foundation. Findings from this study indicate that the stakeholders are generally receptive to an ethnomathematics curriculum but are also concerned about the demands such a curriculum would have on the cultural knowledge background of those in the mathematics classroom. The study also indicates that the stakeholders' encounter with an ethnomathematics approach can help them develop a broader view of mathematics and raise awareness of the presence of mathematical processes in cultural practices. The study notes that the stakeholders demonstrated both situational and actualized interests that were complex and not fixed. When a particular cultural activity facilitated mathematics teaching and learning, the stakeholders exhibited actualized interest to an ethnomathematics curriculum. When the lesson activities demanded much from the stakeholders in terms of cultural background knowledge and the teaching and learning implements, the stakeholders showed situational interest. The study also suggests that stakeholders' interests in an ethnomathematics curriculum are complex and interrelated, and are influenced more by external factors than by a given phenomenon. The findings also suggest that stakeholders had some concerns regarding an ethnomathematics curriculum and that these concerns were more complex and varied with each stakeholder according to how each viewed her/his role in the education process. The study's analysis of the stakeholders' receptiveness provides useful and important implications for relevant mathematics education, teacher education and above all, curriculum reform. It also highlights the importance of involving all those concerned with the education process to play major roles in the curriculum development process.

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