Indigenous teachers’ experiences of the implementation of culture-based mathematics activities in Sámi school
AuthorNutti, Ylva Jannok
The goal of Indigenous education is that it should be approached on the basis of the Indigenous language and culture; this is also the case with Sámi education. The Sámi School Board has stated that all teaching in Sámi schools should be culturally based, despite the fact that Sámi culture-based teaching is not specifically defined. Therefore, teachers themselves must adapt the teaching and as a result, usually no Sámi culture-based mathematics teaching takes place. The aim of this article is to discuss Indigenous teachers’ experiences with designing and implementing culture-based mathematics activities in Sámi preschool and primary school. The teachers’ work with culture-based mathematics activities took the form of Sámi cultural thematic work with ethnomathematical content, Multicultural school mathematics with Sámi cultural elements, and Sámi intercultural mathematics teaching. Culture-based mathematics activities took place within an action research study in the Swedish part of Sápmi. Sápmi comprises northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland, as well as the Kola Peninsula in Russia. In the action research study, six teachers conducted culture-based mathematics activities in preschool and primary school on the basis of the action research loop “plan-act-observe-reflect.” During the study the teachers changed from a problem-focused perspective to a possibility-focused culture-based teaching perspective characterised by a self-empowered Indigenous teacher role, as a result of which they started to act as agents for Indigenous school change. The concept of “decolonisation” was visible in the teachers’ narratives. The teachers’ newly developed knowledge about the ethnomathematical research field seemed to enhance their work with Indigenous culture-based mathematics teaching.
CitationMathematics Education Research Journal (2013), vol. 25(1):57-72
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