Through a focus on the intersection of mathematical modeling, ethnomathematics, and cultural and historical practices, this ethnomodeling research study intentionally connected efforts to engage and value each and every student's culture and identity while emphasizing essential geometry content. The data collection took place at a large Hispanic-serving public metropolitan research university in an undergraduate secondary mathematics education methods course intended for pre-service teachers (PSTs). Over the course of eight weeks PSTs completed a questionnaire and pre-/post-surveys, two individual assignments, three small-group tasks, three task reflections, and a group reflection which were then analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition to this, based on the questionnaire, six PSTs were selected as cases using a maximum variation strategy. These PSTs additionally participated in two individual and one group interview. In this dissertation I share the stories and experiences of four of these case participants. Through engaging in this study, PSTs shared they became more aware of the geometry that exists in the world around them while experiencing a model for the synergistic integration of both incorporating their own as well as their future students' cultures and identities as well as teaching and learning deep and meaningful mathematics content. PSTs learned to value and respect mathematical practices of diverse cultures and traditions as well as become more prepared to engage their students in such geometry-focused ethnomodeling tasks. PSTs were able to engage in mathematical content in connected and coherent ways, and naturally find links between mathematics and other content domains and explore and share their own experiences. PSTs were empowered and inspired to engage their future students in meaningful mathematical tasks through which they can experience the wonder, joy, and beauty of mathematics in the world around them.


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Graduation Date





Safi, Farshid


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Education; Math Education


CFE0009162; DP0026758





Release Date

August 2023

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)