Evidence-Based Inquiries in Ethno-STEM Research

Investigations in Knowledge Systems Across Disciplines and Transcultural Settings

Edited by:
Iman C Chahine, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Josef de Beer, North West University

Published 2021

The purpose of the edited volume is to provide an international lens to examine evidence-based investigations in Ethno-STEM research: Ethno-science, Ethno-technology, Ethno-engineering, and Ethno-mathematics. These themes grew out of multi-national, multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary efforts to preserve as well as epitomize the role that Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) play in cognitive development and its vital contributions to successful and meaningful learning in conventional and non-conventional contexts. Principled by the Embodied, Situated, and Distributed Cognition (ESDC), this innovative book will provide evidence supporting the embeddedness of a thinking-in-acting model as a fundamental framework that explains and supports students’ acquisition of scientific knowledge.

So often ‘western’ science curricula are experienced as irrelevant, since it does not take cognizance of the daily experiences and world in which the learner finds himself. This book takes a socio-cultural look at IKS and applies research in neuroscience to make a case its incorporation in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classroom. We use the Embodied Situated Distributed Cognition (ESDC) Model as conceptual framework in this book.

Although the value of IKS is often acknowledged in curriculum policy documents, teachers are most often not trained in incorporating IK in the classroom. Teachers’ lack of the necessary pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in effectively incorporating IK in their classrooms is a tremendous problem internationally. Another problem is that IK is often perceived as “pseudo-science”, and scholars advocating for the incorporation of IK in the school curriculum often do not contextualize their arguments within a convincing theoretical and conceptual framework.

Foreword, Marcos Cherinda. Preface, Iman C Chahine and Josef de Beer. Exploring local Mathematical Knowledge Systems by Applying Ethnomodeling Research, Milton Rosa and Daniel Clark Orey. (How) Am I Doing Mathematics? Using Concomitant Perceptions to Uncover the Hidden Mathematical Practices, Nirmala Naresh. Unraveling the Mathematics of Ndebele Beadwork: Transformations on an Indigenous Cartesian Plane, Alesia Mickle Moldavan. Mathematical Card Games: A Study of Cardfight! Vanguard, Alexandra Starke and Jessica Steele. The Mathematics of Gauge Stick in Gas Stations, Anteneh Kibret. Student-Teachers’ Views on the Affordances of Incorporating Cultural Artifacts in Mathematics Lessons in South Africa, Erica Spangenberg. Mathematical Analysis of Musical Rhythms Using the Euclidean Algorithm, Elijah Porter. The Mathematics in Gentlemen’s Clubs, Hannah Oldham. Geometry at the Kitchen Table, Jennifer Henderson. Method to the Madness: The Mathematical Structure of Method Ringing and the Application of Hamiltonian Graphs to Composition, Karen Ratajczak. An Examination of the Economic, Mathematical and Social-Psychological Structures of a Bargaining Transaction: An Exploratory Case Study in Morocco, Kori Lloyd Hugh Maxwell and Patrice Parker Waller. The Art of Seeing Mathematics, Kimbeni Mansion. The Ancient Chinese Way of Solving High Degree: Polynomial Equations, Iwan Elstak. Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Development: The Case of the Indigenous Game of NCUVA and the Common Fraction Concept, Marthie Van der Walt, Erika Potgieter, and Divan Jagals. Indigenous Knowledge in the Life Sciences Classroom: Science, Pseudoscience or a Missing Link? A Cultural-Historical Activity Theory Perspective, Josef de Beer. Exploring Embodied, Situated, and Distributed Cognition: Enhancing the Inquiry Learning Experiences of South African Science, Technology and Mathematics Learners, Umesh Ramnarain. Indigenous Technology Knowledge Systems Viewed Through the Lens of a Philosophical Framework for Western Technology Knowledge Systems, Piet Ankiewicz. The Isicholo Zulu Hat: An Embodiment of South African Indigenous Technology, Erica Bass Flimmons. “Making” Science Meaningful and Equitable, Colby Tofel-Grehl. Decolonizing Through a New Tribalism: The Recognition of Warriors Through a Re-Evolutionizing Lifespace in Urban Mexico, Sue Kasun and Amita Jyoti Kaneria. About the Authors.