Grounding Indigenous Pedagogies and Perspectives in STEM and Mathematics Education: Learning That Supports the Well-Being of the Self, Family, Community, Land, and Ancestors

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 February 2025 | Viewed by 190

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Interests: mathematics education; culturally responsive education; indigenous education; community-based research

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Guest Editor
Indigenous Knowledge & Science, First Nations University of Canada, 1 First Nations Way, Regina, SK S4S 7K2, Canada
Interests: indigenous mathematics; science education

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
Interests: mathematics education; curriculum studies; ecological; (em)bodied and culturally responsive forms of teaching; learning and research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Education, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5, Canada
Interests: indigenous education; mathematics education

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Guest Editor
School of Education, Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 1Z7, Canada
Interests: STEM/STEAM education; place and land education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


At a time of intensifying global concerns on issues such as climate change, social polarization, and economic geo-political unrest, schools and communities worldwide are responding to the significant priorities of Indigenization, Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty, and unlearning colonial logics. Supporting this movement are the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and processes of truth and reconciliation that acknowledge the historical and ongoing displacement of Indigenous peoples and knowledge systems (Asien et al. 2023; Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls-to-Action, 2015). 

From an education perspective, there are persistent calls from scholars to explore approaches and pedagogies that address structural inequities and that support generational well-being for Indigenous and all learners across disciplines, including mathematics (Chrona, 2022; Gutiérrez, 2022; Nicol et al, 2023). All this creates a complex and critical task for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educators in general and mathematics educators in particular – interested in grounding Indigenous and ecological knowledge systems in their classrooms. 

Yet, being mathematical is part of what it means to be human [and perhaps more-than-human (Abram, 1996)] (Gutiérrez, 2022; Su, 2021). From Indigenous perspectives, knowledge systems including languages and mathematics are rooted in relationships to land and are strengthened through intergenerational cultural practices (Cajete,1994; Styres, 2017). Since time immemorial, being mathematical (e.g., recognizing patterns, variants, strategizing, and predicting) has supported humans in surviving, through building relationships with land (e.g., navigating waterways; deciding where to build and selecting materials; and planning harvests) and with the more-than-human worlds (e.g., locating in time based on studying stars, plants, and animal life cycles; managing sustainable forests through bushfires; and navigating open waters by embodying ocean waves, and winds and currents). Mathematical ways of being enhance humans’ understandings of relationships with the self, community, land, and ancestors. What further kinds of mathematics and STEM practices are needed to re-imagine mathematics and STEM education in terms of what it means to live well?  

This Special Issue aims to bring together an international group of contributors to explore how mathematics education and STEM education research in varied contexts makes it possible to embrace/engage with Indigenous perspectives, worldviews, pedagogies, and knowledge systems for well-being. 

We invite:

  • Papers, theoretical or empirical, that advance the understanding of curriculum reform or innovative research approaches for STEM education generally (and M in STEM specifically), with Indigenous pedagogies and perspectives.
  • Systematic reviews that highlight knowledge gained regarding specific issues of bringing together Indigenous pedagogies and perspectives, mathematics education, and/or STEM education for well-being.
  • Educational innovations focused on Indigenous or ecological perspectives for STEM in general or mathematics education in particular. Stories of experiences from holistic and multidimensional perspectives (e.g., teacher, student, community; and community-based projects) across mathematics and STEM content areas, and through diverse pedagogical practices, are encouraged.

Abstract Submission (15 June 2024):

Interested authors are invited to send their abstract (400–500 words) to the Editorial Office ([email protected]), [email protected], or to submit it through the SI link. After a preliminary review by the Guest Editors, selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper.


Asien, L. Berryman-Kamp,M., Dell, K., Sawma, T., Uzawa, K., Whitford, R. (2023, Sept 27). Indigenous perspectives: Voices from the Asia Pacific on Truth and Reconciliation. Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls-to-Action (2015).

Cajete, G. (1994). Look to the mountain: An ecology of Indigenous education. Kivaki Press. 

Chrona, J. (2022). Wayi wah: Indigenous pedagogies: An act for reconciliation and anti-racist education. Portage & Main Press. 

Gutiérrez, R. (2022). A spiritual turn: Toward desire-based research and Indigenous futurity in mathematics education. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 53(5), 379-388.

Nicol, C., Thom, J. S., Doolittle, E., Glanfield, F., & Ghostkeeper, E. (2023). Mathematics education for STEM as place. ZDM–Mathematics Education 55(7), 1231-1242.

Styres, S. (2017). Pathways for remembering and recognizing indigenous thought in education: Philosophies of iethi'nihstenha ohwentsia'kekha (land). University of Toronto Press. 

Su, F. (2020). Mathematics for human flourishing. Yale University Press.

Dr. Cynthia Nicol
Dr. Edward Doolittle
Dr. Jennifer S. Thom
Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden
Dr. Dawn Wiseman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information 

Authors are first requested to submit a 500-word abstract by 15 June 2024. After a preliminary review by the Guest Editors, selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper. Full papers should be submitted by 1 February 2025. The selected full papers will proceed for a review process with Education Sciences. Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • indigenous education
  • mathematics education
  • ecological perspectives
  • decolonization
  • reconciliation
  • colonial logics
  • land education
  • STEM education
  • culturally responsive education
  • place-based education
  • community education
  • science education
  • indigenous pedagogies
  • teacher education

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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