Reconsidering Approaches to Aboriginal Science and Mathematics Education

Authors

  • Gladys Sterenberg University of Alberta
  • Michelle Hogue University of Lethbridge

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v57i1.55451

Keywords:

Mathematics education, Science education, Aboriginal education

Abstract

In Canada, Aboriginal postsecondary enrollment and completion rates are significantly lower than those of non-Aboriginal students. This is most evident in studies involving science and mathematics. The investigation of this issue was informed by focus group discussions with eight participants representing a Blackfoot community. Themes emerging in the data emphasize educational approaches of assimilation, segregation, and mutual dialogue. Intertwining Aboriginal and Western knowledge systems holds generative possibilities for science and mathematics education. Understanding the perspectives of Aboriginal educators in the context of science and mathematics education is a necessary beginning place for future investigations into improving postsecondary completion rates by Aboriginal students.

Au Canada, les taux d'inscription et de réussite aux études postsecondaires sont plus faibles, et de façon appréciable, chez les Autochtones que chez les non Autochtones. Cet écart est le plus évident dans les programmes d’études impliquant les sciences et les mathématiques. Notre recherche repose sur des discussions avec des groupes de consultation formés de huit membres qui représentaient une communauté Pieds-Noirs. Les thèmes qui ont découlé des données soulignent les approches pédagogiques touchant l'assimilation, la ségrégation et le dialogue mutuel. L'entrelacement du système de connaissances autochtone et du système de connaissances occidentales offre des possibilités génératives pour l'enseignement des sciences et des mathématiques. À l'avenir, les études portant sur l'amélioration des taux de réussite chez les étudiants autochtones doivent s'appuyer sur une connaissance de la perspective des enseignants autochtones dans le contexte de l'enseignement des sciences et des mathématiques.

Author Biographies

Gladys Sterenberg, University of Alberta

Gladys Sterenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta. She is interested in cultural and historical stories of mathematics and is currently investigating how a curriculum of relations in Indigenous settings can be better understood.

Michelle Hogue, University of Lethbridge

Michelle Hogue is an instructor and coordinator of the First Nations Transition Program at the University of Lethbridge. She is interested in enabling success of Aboriginal students into and through postsecondary education, specifically in the sciences. She is interested in the liminal space between Aboriginal and Western ways of knowing and specifically the narratives of those Aboriginal individuals who successfully live and work in that space.

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