Websites to provide information and generate ideas:
First Peoples Principles of Learning – understanding how we might incorporate these principles
FNESC Math Resource – First Nations Education Steering Committee resource with units for Math 8 and 9.
Show Me Your Math – invites Aboriginal children in Nova Scotia to find mathematics in their everyday environment
SFU Math Catcher – Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling
Aboriginal Curriculum Integration Project – Cowichan Valley
Lahal video: The Bone Game – Sugarcane BC (near Williams Lake)
Overview of the distinctive cultures of the six main geographic groups of early First Nations in Canada
Characteristics of Aboriginal World Views and Perspectives:
- Connectedness and Relationships
- Awareness of History
- Local Focus
- Engagement with the Land, Nature and the Outdoors
- Emphasis on Identity
- Community Involvement: Process and Protocols
- The Power of Story
- Traditional Teaching
- Language and Culture
- Experiential Learning
First Peoples Principles of Learning
- Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.
- Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).
- Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.
- Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.
- Learning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge. ¨ Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story.
- Learning involves patience and time.
- Learning requires exploration of one’s identity.
- Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations.
First Peoples Principles of Mathematical Teaching
Respecting Indigenous Knowledge *
- Build on indigenous knowledge systems.
- Relate story teachings to mathematical processes (e.g., how characters solve problems).
- Make connections to a wide range of differing contexts (daily activities, traditional practices, activities in the workplace) and integrate learning related to mathematics and other subject areas in project assignments.
- Find ways to build learning relationships with the local Aboriginal/cultural community (Elders, artists, people in various walks of life, including emergent business and industry).
Respecting the learner
- Build on what students are already familiar with (both abstract “knowledge” and concrete knowledge).
- Explore and build on students’ interests (asking learners about what is important to them is a good way to identify what context will prove meaningful to them as a basis for learning mathematics).
- Present mathematics problems of various sorts in varied ways (visual, oral, role-play, and experiential problems as well as word and symbol problems).
- Stimulate students’ innate curiosity and desire to explore.
Fostering the development of positive attitudes
- Communicate a positive and enthusiastic attitude toward mathematics (be willing to take risks and make mistakes and encourage students to do the same).
- Promote and reward perseverance (give necessary time for difficult problems and revisit them on multiple occasions).
- Use humour and celebrate successes.
Fostering transformation for both teacher and student (transformative pedagogy)
- Reflect on and revise your own practice with respect to teaching mathematics (including mistakes).
- Find ways to build learning relationships with various professional communities where mathematics plays an important role.
- Share what you are doing as a teacher with other colleagues, and use colleagues to support self-reflection.
- Encourage students to reflect on and be explicit about their own thinking processes and the transformations in their own understanding.
* Indigenous Knowledge (IK) can be broadly defined as the knowledge that an indigenous (local) community accumulates over generations of living in a particular environment. This definition encompasses all forms of knowledge – technologies, know-how skills, practices and beliefs – that enable the community to achieve stable livelihoods in their environment. […] IK is unique to every culture and society, and it is embedded in community practices, institutions, relationships and rituals. […It] represents all the skill and innovations of a people and embodies the collective wisdom and resourcefulness of the community.
( definition from www.unep.org/IK/ )
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