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Showing posts from March, 2015

Yup’ik Math Curriculum Adds Up to Success

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This story first appeared on Indian Country Today Media Network in January 2015. 
Seated on a couch in their house in Manokotak, in Alaska’s southwestern Bristol Bay region, Yup’ik elders Mike and Anecia Toyukak, paged through a notebook of mathematics lessons based on traditional Yup’ik concepts. The couple, shown left, is part of a team of elders, educators, curriculum writers and others, including University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) professor Jerry Lipka, who have collaborated for more than 30 years.During that time, the group has produced 10 culture-based mathematics lessons for elementary-school students.
In the Yup’ik view, the human body is the measure of the world, whether the item to be gauged is small, such as one element of a hat pattern, or large, like the distance to be traveled between two features in the rugged Alaska landscape. “Here’s how we measure,” said Anecia, a retired teacher, as she jumped up to demonstrate computing lengths with a portion of the forefinger, th…