Sixth grade students‟ perceptions of and engagement in ethnomathematical tasks in the area measurement concept

Aktuna, Hatice Ezgi
The purpose of this study is to investigate the sixth grade students' perceptions of and engagement in ethnomathematical tasks in area measurement concept. The study aims to explore how do students perceive and engage with the area measurement instruction enriched with ethnomathematics. Data was collected from twelve 6th grade students in a public school located in rural Izmir. The design of the research was basic qualitative research design which the researcher was also the teacher at the same time. The area measurement topic with its supplementary topics such as length measurement and land measurement were covered with the ethnomathematics based tasks developed by the researcher. Classroom observations, field notes, video recordings, students task sheets, students activity assessment forms were used to evaluate the students‟ perceptions of and engagement with instruction. The data was described in detail and analyzed to identify the students performances during the activities enriched with ethnomathematics. The findings of the study revealed that an instruction enriched with ethnomathematics result in an increase in students' motivation, interest, and self confidence; comfort and enjoyment in mathematics classes; a peaceful and sharing classroom environment; progress in problem solving skills through culturally relevant activities about their daily practices in a familiar context and promotion of their own culture and other cultures in mathematics classroom. The study also indicates that the most recognizable positive changes in means of above-mentioned performances were observed in middle and lower middle achievers, while low and high achievers maintained their existing status.