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Quantitative Studies

Mathematics and Science Curricula in Elementary and Secondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Native Students by Vera Preston

US Department of Education, 1991

Keywords: elementary, middle school, high school


Issues related to the improvement of mathematics and science education pertain to Native students as well as to the general population. Native students are most successful at tasks that use visual and spatial abilities and that involve simultaneous processing. Instruction should build on Native students' strengths.

Experiential learning and cooperative learning are two methods that are particularly effective with Native students in improving student attitudes and problem-solving abilities and reducing mathematics anxiety.

Storytelling techniques can be used to develop culturally relevant problems.

Career days show students the uses of mathematics in the real world.

Curriculum development strategies include establishing the relationships and connections between mathematics and other subjects, and incorporating culturally relevant materials, such as Maya or Inca mathematics and science.

Strategies of exemplary programs include summer math camps for Native students, summer institutes to improve teacher instructional skills and methods, after-school and summer enrichment activities in science and engineering, instructional materials developed to accompany a science series on public television, magnet schools, after-school college preparatory courses in mathematics, and parent resource centers.

Recommendations are offered related to instructional methods, program development, and federal funding.

This paper contains over 130 references.

Click here for the 18 page paper.

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