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 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in Tuesday to begin its 90-day session, along with live Gavel Alaska television and streaming coverage of the proceedings.
- A proposal to charge the Ketchikan Shipyard property tax or an equivalent payment in lieu of taxes was postponed by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday.
- Two new polls show only around 4-in-10 Americans view Donald Trump favorably. The president-elect responded by blasting polls as "phony" and "rigged."
- A report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that backs legalized abortion, puts the 2014 rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age — the lowest recorded rate since 1973.