ERIC Number: ED478060
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
"Place" Value: The Rural Perspective. Occasional Paper.
Long, Vena; Bush, William S.; Theobald, Paul
Place-based, or "contextualized," mathematics instruction gives learners the opportunity to see how mathematics is relevant to their lives. Such opportunities are crucial to the success of students in rural settings and may be crucial to the survival of rural communities. For the last half century, schools have educated rural children to believe that opportunity lay elsewhere and that rural people were responsible for the rural experience of failure and decline. Place-based pedagogy attempts, through relevant and authentic context, to reverse both the outmigration of rural youth and the devaluing of rural communities. Placing mathematics in rural contexts presents a challenge because not all "rural culture" is alike. The product, necessarily, will be unique in each circumstance. Several examples of place-based mathematics are presented. In Craig, Colorado, middle-school students conducted a watershed study that involved mathematics in many ways, including statistics. Students learned how mathematics could improve the quality of the Yampa River, thus improving quality of life and economics for the community. In Howard, South Dakota, high school seniors surveyed the community to study its cash flow. When published, the results led to changes in community spending habits and sparked a surge in local buying. Other rural students opened stores or created companies. Mathematicians, mathematics teachers, and rural sociologists must work together to promote place-based mathematics education. (Contains 28 references) (SV)
Descriptors: Community Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Mathematics Education, Relevance (Education), Rural Education, School Community Relationship, Student Projects
For full text: http://kant.citl.ohiou.edu/ACCLAIM/rc/rc_sub/pub/4_occr/LBT_OP3.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Ohio Univ., Athens. Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics.