Approaching Math through a Cultural Lens



Start Time: 

10:30 AM

End Time: 

12:00 PM

How do we bring culture into classroom, design UDL lessons and blend classrooms with technologies that are better suited for student needs while at the same time making a huge difference in math outcomes for middle-high school students? In this information packed seminar, the presenters from Ka Palina, a dynamic federally funded project, will share their goals and strategies on culturally responsive teaching and the success they have had with making math relevant in student lives.

The seminar will demonstrate ethnomathematics lessons and blended learning strategies that they use to engage students in some of Hawaii's middle and high schools on the island of Oahu.  The session will start with a community building activity and the presenters will talk about the potential benefits of introducing lessons into teacher classroom. There will be a demonstration on a few lessons that have been run at Mathematics Camps, which incorporate culture, technology, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) concepts into the lessons. Each lesson will include a hands on part, something which is brought into every one of Ka Pilina’s lessons.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn about the Ka Pilina project and its goals. They will participate and understand the importance of community building activities and ethnomathematics in any classroom. Concepts of blended learning strategies will also be embedded in the activities.

About the Seminar Leaders

Photo: Kiriko Takahashi

Kiriko Takahashi, Ph.D. is an Assistant Specialist at the Center on Disabilities Studies at University of Hawai`i Mānoa. She is an educational researcher and an instructor in disability studies. Her research interests include AT, transition, culturally responsive teaching, mathematics, reading, and neuroscience.

Photo: Hye Jin Park

Hye Jin Park, Ed.D., received two masters’ and a doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii at Mano. Her research interests include gifted education, special education, curriculum/program evaluation, and research methodology.

Photo: Jerrik Feliciano

Jerrik Feliciano is a Math Specialist with Ka Pilina project, a project out of the Center on Disability Studies. He received his B.S. degree in mathematics and is currently working toward a masters in education.


Jerica Mānoa is a Junior Specialist at the Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii. She has an M.A. in Second Language Studies (specializing in Language Teaching and Language Assessment, Measurement, and Program Evaluation) from the University of Hawai'i Mānoa.

Samantha Siscon has a background in English and has been working with the Center On Disability Studies for 4 years. She is currently a field specialist on several programs that focus on aiming to improve the outcomes of students with disabilities in STEM fields.

Photo: Justin Toyofuku

Justin Toyofuku is a junior specialist at the Center on Disability Studies. He has his masters degree in Mathematics from University of Hawaii. He also lectures math courses at Kapiolani Community College.