First Nations; Mathematics and Science Education (06w5503)


(Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences / University of British Columbia)

Kelly Kitchen (FNESC Special Education Manager)

Joanne Nakonechny (University of British Columbia)


Next week, June 17 - 22, 2006, the Banff International Research Station will be hosting a workshop on recent and future initiatives in mathematics education for First Nations. The meeting is co-organized by Melania Alvarez (PIMS BC Education Coordinator), Kelly Kitchen (FNESC Special Education Manager) and Joanne Nakonechny (Director of the Science Centre for Learning and Teaching). Its main goal is to explore the opportunities for aboriginal access to mathematics and science education, as well as the efficacy of different teaching approaches, especially in mathematics.

Participants will report on their various experiences in particular case studies and describe whatever significant studies or data may be available concerning these topics or similar ones from other parts of the world. It is hoped that, in the end, a document will emerge which would encompass all major issues and could provide a focus for further reflection and action. Turning to the First Nations is a long overdue move on the part of mathematicians and educators, and brings with it not only the usual crop of difficulties but also the promise of fertile new ideas.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is administered by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, in collaboration with the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems Network (MITACS), the Berkeley-based Mathematical Science Research Institute (MSRI) and the Instituto de Matematicas at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).