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To engage students in math, educators try connecting it to their culture

The Hechinger Report

Ethnomathematics, a teaching approach that connects math to culture, is being used to engage students, particularly those from marginalized communities. The method involves embedding math in a story relevant to students’ lives, making it more engaging and inclusive. Despite limited research on its impact, anecdotal evidence suggests it boosts student confidence and engagement. However, its implementation is largely confined to individual classrooms where teachers have sought out the approach. Ethnomathematics falls under the umbrella of culturally responsive math instruction, which requires teachers to understand their students and create a learning environment where they can connect to math concepts.

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