A Western Alaska lawmaker says place-based education is working.
Representative Reggie Joule, a Kotzebue Democrat, told Juneau’s Native Issues Forum today that the approach makes sense.
Theme- or place-based education teaches traditional subjects using students’ frames of reference.
Joule cited a math class he and other lawmakers visited last year at Barrow’s high school.
“The issue they were working around was height, distance and time. The problem that they were solving was in throwing a harpoon in which you hunt the whales with. What’s the time it takes to reach a certain point? What’s the time it takes to come down? What’s the distance? Those kids were into it big time,” he says.
Middle-schoolers compared the density of whale meat and blubber. And elementary students worked on kuspuk, or parka, designs.
Joule says those students were also very engaged in their classes.
“We put some money out there for a pilot project that’s taking place in the Iditarod Area School District. Because their board’s vision was to be, and to deliver to students, relevant education without losing the expectations and standards of what the education community needed to have,” he says.
Other Alaska schools use the technique. A legislative task force last year recommended more schools try place- or theme-based education.
Link to the final recommendations from the Alaska Legislative Task Force on Theme-Based Education.
- The 750-mile Race to Alaska is back for a second year as 43 teams of sailors, rowers and paddlers prepared to set off from Port Townsend, Washington at 6 a.m. on Thursday.
- Hydrokinetic technology developed in Alaska’s rigorous conditions will help researchers design systems that can be used worldwide.
- Ketchikan’s Britta Adams braved the cold ocean and strong tides recently to swim more than 10 miles of the rocky Wrangell Narrows.
- As stock markets suffer, Alaskans consider UK referendum vote impacts.