MathEd Forum

May 25, 2020


Theme: Mathematics and Equity
, 2015 at 10 am-2 pm
Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto


March 28, 2015, 10AM - 2PM
Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto

Aboriginal Perspectives in Mathematics Education

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, and other.
10:15 AM - 10:50 AM Lisa Lunney Borden (St. Francis Xavier University): Learning Together to Transform Mathematics for Aboriginal Students

Abstract: Supporting Mi'kmaw youth in learning mathematics has been a goal for Lisa Lunney Borden for over twenty years, first as a teacher and now as a researcher and teacher educator. In this presentation, Lisa will share a model developed in conjunction with teachers and community elders that identifies potential tensions and areas in need of transformation when considering mathematics education for Mi'kmaw students. She will explore how this model might influence mathematics teaching and learning. She will also show how this model and the Show Me Your Math program has generated new inquiry based projects in Mi'kmaw schools that are situated in indigenous knowledges and begin from a place of honouring community knowledge as a context for learning mathematics.

Bio: Lisa Lunney Borden is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada. She teaches mostly mathematics education courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She began her career teaching grades 7-12 mathematics at We'koqma'q First Nation Secondary School, a Mi'kmaw community-run school. She credits her students and the Mi'kmaw community for inspiring her to think differently about mathematics education. She is most interested in examining strategies to transform mathematics education for Aboriginal students with a focus on equity, diversity, and the inclusion of multiple worldviews. Lisa also helps to coordinate an on-going project called "Show Me Your Math" that invites Aboriginal children in Atlantic Canada to explore the mathematics all around them and maintains the website. She is currently working with Mi'kmaw schools in Nova Scotia to implement culturally based inquiry projects in schools as a spin off of the SMYM program. She welcomes communication relating to her research interests:

10:50 AM - 11:25 AM Ruth Beatty (Lakehead University) and Jody Alexander (Renfrew County District School Board): Exploring Connections between Indigenous and Western Ways of Knowing

Abstract: For the past three years Ruth Beatty (Lakehead University) and Danielle Blair (Ministry of Education) have been working with four research teams to explore connections between Indigenous ways of knowing and the Western mathematics that is represented in current mathematics curricula. Using an ethnomathematics framework, we have worked with Elders and community members from Indigenous communities across Ontario to co-design units of instruction that are culturally responsive and mathematically rigorous. In this presentation Ruth and Jody Alexander, a member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and an educator with the Renfrew County DSB, will highlight the mathematical potential of Algonquin loom beading and describe how it supported students' algebraic, proportional and spatial reasoning. We will also outline our research design, which was developed to help alleviate the risk of cultural appropriation.

Bios: Ruth Beatty teaches the mathematics methods course for preservice P/J teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University (Orillia). Currently Ruth is working with members of Anishinaabe and Cree communities and educators from Ontario school boards to research the connections between Anishinaabe and Cree ways of knowing mathematics and the Western mathematics found in the Ontario curriculum. The goal of this federally and provincially funded research is to collaboratively design culturally responsive mathematics instruction for all students, and to learn from and incorporate Anishinaabe and Cree pedagogical perspectives in inclusive classroom settings.

Jody Alexander is a member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn. She has been teaching at Eganville & District Public School (EDPS) for 11 years and is currently the First Nation Literacy and Numeracy Resource Teacher. In addition, she holds the role of Aboriginal Education Teacher Lead for the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB). Jody is also a member of the Aboriginal Education Ad Hoc Committee and the Character Development Committee with the RCDSB. Most recently, she has worked in collaboration with teachers at EDPS, researcher, Dr. Ruth Beatty, Ministry Math Lead, Danielle Blair and various members of the Pikwàkanagàn First Nation in efforts to support Algonquin ways of knowing Mathematics.

As a mother of two school-aged children, Jody has first-hand knowledge of the significance of advocating for students. She strives to have all Aboriginal student learning needs met. It is her belief that Aboriginal students achieve success through guidance and support in four main areas; a sense of belonging, a pride in identity, meeting basic needs, and most importantly, through trusting relationships. Jody believes that every student should be exposed to Aboriginal perspectives, knowledge and understanding. She is committed to ensuring Aboriginal Education is honoured throughout the RCDSB and the Province.

11:25 AM - 12:00 AM Marilyn Maychak (Toronto District School Board): Experiences and Challenges of Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives in (Mathematics) Education in an Urban Context.

Abstract: In 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Education launched an Aboriginal Education Strategy to support the learning and achievement of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students. The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework outlines strategies for integrating First Nations, Métis, and Inuit ways of knowing throughout the curriculum. This presentation will share an Aboriginal educator's classroom and system-level experiences with supporting urban educators in weaving Aboriginal perspectives in the curriculum. The presenter will also examine the challenges of infusing First Nations, Métis, and Inuit ways of knowing in mathematics education, as well as share an example of an opportunity for authentic infusion of Aboriginal perspectives in mathematics classrooms.
Bio: Marilyn Maychak is the Student Success Teacher for the Aboriginal Education Centre in the Toronto District School Board. She is Inuk and of Polish-Ukrainian descent. Marilyn holds a B.Sc. degree, a B.Ed. degree, and M.Ed. degree with a specialization in Leadership and School Improvement. She has taught in the elementary panel for the past eleven years, mainly in the junior and intermediate divisions. Her diverse teaching experiences include teacher-leadership roles in the areas of elementary science education, inquiry based learning and Aboriginal Education. Marilyn was nominated by the Calgary Board of Education to serve as a representative on the Elementary K-6 Review Committee. This committee advised and assisted Alberta Education staff in revising the Alberta Elementary K-6 Science Program of Studies. More recently, Marilyn was the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Focused Student Work Study Teacher with the Toronto District School Board. She provided leadership and support to TDSB schools participating in the First Nations, Métis, Inuit Student-Focused Collaborative Inquiry (a provincial initiative) to learn with and from students and community on how to best support the academic achievement and wholistic well-being of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students in the TDSB. Marilyn is a member of the provincial planning committee (Student Achievement Division - Ministry of Education) for the First Nations, Métis, Inuit Student-Focused Collaborative Inquiry initiative.

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM - LUNCH BREAK (Light refreshments provided)

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Panel Discussion with Morning Presenters


See Meeting archive

Back to MathEd Forum Page