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Ethnomathematics is real-world experiential problem solving that empowers students to be locally minded, global citizens with a sense of purpose and a sense of place through education, networking and research. In 2018, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education (COE) began offering the first academic program in the world for ethnomathematics.

Since then, 34 educators have obtained ethnomathematics graduate certificates, and 17 graduates have earned a curriculum studies, mathematics education master’s degree.

students at a desk
Former National Council of Teachers of Mathematics President Robert Berry, center with lei, visits Blanche Pope Elementary School.

Besides those two credentials, educators who already hold a Hawaiʻi teaching license may add a field of licensure in ethnomathematics through the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board.

COE is inviting more students and the community to innovate, explore and re-imagine education through the ethnomathematics program. The college will host two virtual information sessions in November to provide additional information on certificates and degrees.

“Our vision is ‘Every child will know who they are, where they come from, and where they are going,’” said Linda Furuto, professor of mathematics education. “The ethnomathematics program is intended to inform, inspire and rejuvenate participants to operationalize the knowledge and experience gained to design curriculum and implement action plans that impact equity and excellence in student learning and achievement.”

She added that program graduates have gone on to become teacher leaders through interconnected work with educational institutions, research organizations and community partners.

Join an ethnomathematics virtual information session:

  • Tuesday, November 2, 3:30–4:30 p.m. HST
  • Friday, November 5, 4–5 p.m. HST

Join the session a few minutes before the start time (the host will let you in).

For more information, see the COE ethnomathematics website or email

group of people
Ethnomathematics alumna Lily Utaʻi, left, UH Mānoa Professor Linda Furuto, right.
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