ERIC Number: ED484849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Reference Count: 20
Culturally Based Math Education as a Way to Improve Alaska Native Students' Math Performance.
Lipka, Jerry; Adams, Barbara
Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Working Paper No. 20
Culturally based instruction has long been touted as a preferred approach to improving the performance of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students? academic performance. However, there has been scant research to support this conjecture, particularly when quantitative data and quasi-experimental designs are included. The results of this study show that the culturally based math curriculum, Building a Fish Rack: Investigations into Proof, Properties, Perimeter, and Area, enabled sixth grade Yup'ik students and their urban counterparts to increase their mathematical understanding of perimeter and area. The study involved one semester's worth of data (258 students in 15 classes). The study was a strong quasi-experimental design with random assignment and the results were based on pre- and post-test score differences. The study involved one urban school district, Fairbanks, and four rural school districts with approximately a 97% Yup'ik population. The study showed that the difference in test results between all treatment groups and all control groups was significant beyond the accepted standard of p<0.05. Although the urban treatment group gained the most from this curriculum, the most important finding is that the rural treatment group outperformed the rural control group at a significant level beyond the accepted standard of p<0.05. The study is encouraging, as it shows that the treatment effect on Yup'ik students narrows the long-standing academic gap when comparing that group's and the Yup'ik control group's relative performance against the urban control group. Further studies are necessary to determine if the results can be replicated, if the results are tied to a specific topic area, and if a study that uses complementary research methods can unpack the factors behind the gain.
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Grade 6, Test Results, Elementary School Students, Urban Schools, Rural Schools, Quasiexperimental Design, Control Groups, Culturally Relevant Education, Alaska Natives
ACCLAIM Research Initiative, Ohio University, 119C McCracken Hall, Athens, OH 45701-2979 Office: 740-593-9869 Fax: 740-593-0477 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://acclaim.coe.ohiou.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6
Sponsor: Alaska Schools Research Fund, School of Education, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC
Authoring Institution: Ohio Univ., Athens. Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics.