Indigenous Ways of Knowing Connection to Essentials of Math Instruction

Deep Understanding

On the one hand, students learn mathematical knowledge; on the other, students can reach a much deeper understanding by participating in coming to know mathematics, if they are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the process, such as in project-based learning  (Aikenhead & Michell, p. 69-71, 94, 131).1

Coming to know signifies a personal, participatory, constructive process toward gaining community-based knowledge and wisdom-in-action. … Coming to know is a journey into deep understanding of events or of processes in daily life. For instance, if someone is coming to know a plant, they enter into a personal relationship with the plant… (p. 131)

1Aikenhead. G., & Michell, H. (2011). Bridging cultures: Indigenous and scientific ways of knowing nature. Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Pearson Education.

2University of Regina. Aboriginal Perspectives. Developed by the Alberta Regional Consortia. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from

3A conversation between consultant Sharon Meyer and teacher Serena Palmer about her developing and teaching math lessons that incorporate Indigenous mathematizing.Meyer, S., & Palmer, S. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from

4Pedagogy – Empowering the Spirit. (2020). Retrieved 5 July 2020, from

5Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Research guides: Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching: Online TRC Materials for Educators. (2013). Retrieved 5 July 2020, from

6Four Directions – Teachers Resource Kit. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from

7Meyer, S., Aikenhead, G., Cardinal, K., Sylvestre, D., & View, T. (2019) Culture-Based School Mathematics for Reconciliation and Professional Development. McDowell Foundation. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from (download the document here:

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