This study investigated real world contexts. It focused on sustainable local harvest of wild Akatyerr (desert raisin) to explore the strand of measurement. It has done this to address the problem of persistent underachievement for female middle years’ students in a very remote Indigenous High School. The study has examined how female Indigenous students use harvesting practices combined with reflexive thinking about measurement. Informed by Indigenist research frameworks, it has privileged Indigenous voice through dialogue with and critical feedback from Eastern Anmatyerr and Alyawarr speakers in Utopia; and, evaluated the ways the ‘two way dialogue’ has improved measurement learning. The study has been emergent and adopted narrative inquiry and yarning circle approaches. Narrative inquiry has been used to investigate culturally appropriate ways to relate Indigenous knowledge concepts of Akatyerr with respect to people, country and creation time to measurement attributes. Yarning circle approach has explored the existing pedagogical approaches used to teach measurement and to understand the impact of these when contextualised to a culturally inclusive curriculum.
Indigenous voices of twelve female middle years’ students, three assistant teachers and six community members were privileged to inform how local cultural knowledge interests relating to Akatyerr could be contextualised to measurement learning. Broad themes based on the transcribed data were generated using NVivo 12 software. The results of this study have provided the reader a place to imagine ways to contextualise curriculum and pedagogical practice for female middle years’ students with respect to privileging Indigenous voice and learning measurement in their own personal and social context.
Dianne Siemon is an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education at RMIT University. Di has been a teacher, teacher educator and researcher for over 40 years and remains actively involved in the professional development of teachers of mathematics. Her primary interest is in the provision of evidenced-based formative assessment materials that can be used to identify and respond to where learners are in relation to the key ideas that make a difference, so that all learners have the opportunity to participate and succeed in school mathematics.
Di has been associated with mathematics education in the Northern Territory for well over 20 years. First as a member of the Mathematics Teaching, Learning and Assessment Project (MaTLAP, 1993-1994) then as the researcher supporting the Sustaining Indigenous Students’ Achievement in Numeracy Project (SISAN, 2003-2004). From 2006 to 2009 Di was the Director of the Building Community Capital to Support Sustainable Numeracy Education in Remote Locations Linkage Project, which together with John Bradbury and the NT Department of Education and Training resulted in the Talking Namba resources. Di is passionately committed to the use of first language in the teaching and learning of mathematics in the early years. She has supervised two PhDs in this area and is currently supervising John Bradbury’s PhD on the use of first language and metaphor to support the teaching and learning of school mathematics, Di has directed a number of other large-scale research projects including Reframing Mathematical Futures (2013-2018), Scaffolding Numeracy in the Middle Years (2003-2006), Researching Numeracy Teaching Approaches in Primary Schools (2001-2003), and the Middle Years Numeracy Research (1999-2001). Di is a life member of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and the Mathematical Association of Victoria.
The M/m distinction was made by Errett Bishop in 1991 to emphasise the cultured nature of mathematics. It was not made to privilege one mathematics over any other but to acknowledge that there are different ways of knowing and understanding the world. This raises the question of what (M/m)athematics should be taught in what ways in particular educational settings.
However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that where first language and cultural knowledge are valued and employed in the pursuit of Mathematics, Indigenous students are more likely to succeed. We also know that learning Mathematics is most effective where it builds sensibly on what is already known. This presentation will make a case for focussing on a small number of big ideas in Mathematics that are known to make a difference to all students’ learning of Mathematics.
Gabrielle Quakawoot is a Bialai woman through her mother’s linage, along with Irish, Chinese and Vana Tu heritages. Her father’s people are full Solomon Islander. Gabrielle has been a string finger artist all her life and is the founder of The Art of String Theory.
Gabrielle has a Postgraduate Certificate in Natural, Cultural and Environmental Heritage Interpretation from the Institute of Koorie Education. She has also studied Indigenous Environment and Caring for Country II and III in the Mackay area. Gabrielle now lives her dreaming through her business the Art of String Theory
Website – The Art Of String Theory (TAOST) link to here https://www.theartofstringtheory.net/
The Art Of String Theory brings our dreaming and mathematics together with the art of String Figures and ancient Sacred Geometry. The art of string figures, known as “Kamut” in the Torres Strait Islands or “Cats Cradle” in western society involves a looped piece of string woven between the fingers and other body parts to create an ancient shape library, with knowledges of food collection, life cycles, astronomy, maps, transport, weapons, fire making, healing and much more.
This looped piece of string with two or more sticks, transforms into and ancient geometrical compass, creating a simple circle or more complicated geometries such as the Flower Of Life, Metatron's Cube (a 2D code of the 5 Platonic solids), and the Tube Torus just to name a few. These geometries are best drawn on the beach at low tide and naturally appear when making ancient string figures.
The Fruit of Life Geometry made with 13 circles is one of the key shape codes connecting us to our Golden Rainbow Dreaming and the 7 Sisters Star constellation.
Amber is a non-Indigenous woman of Anglo-celtic descent, whose ancestors immigrated to Australia from the British colonies, Germany, and Spain. Amber’s maternal grandfathers were Welsh Miners, who resided in the regions of the Hunter, predominantly the mining town of Wallsend, for much of the earliest part of last century. Her family ties to this area are still strong, and respect must be paid to the Awabakal peoples of the land who resided and cared for country in the days prior to European invasion.
Amber is a current PhD student at the University of Newcastle’s School of Education, whose work is focused on mathematics curriculum and policy for Indigenous students in Australia. Her supervision team consists of Dr Maura Sellars and Professor James Ladwig from the University of Newcastle's School of Education, and Professor Chris Matthews from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Amber currently manages part-time work at the University of Newcastle within the school of Education, together with her PhD studies and life as a mother of three. Fulfilling various casual academic, Research assistant, and Project Officer roles across the schools of Education, and Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Amber’s development of competence in various pragmatic and theoretical aspects of research has given her unique insight into the fields of Mathematics and Indigenous education research.