Dr. Ruth Beatty, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, is part of a collaborative research team that was awarded this year's Indigenous Partnership Research Award for their community-based participatory action research project, Connecting Anishinaabe and Western Mathematical Ways of Knowing.
During their five-year study, the team explored connections between the mathematics inherent in Algonquin cultural practices, primarily beading, and the mathematics content found in the Ontario curriculum. The research was conducted in partnership with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Eganville and District Public School.
“The team collaboratively co-planned and co-taught units of instruction based on different forms of beadwork in Grades 1- 8, and documented the cultural connections and mathematical thinking that occurred. We also included instruction in Algonquin Language. Results indicate that the activities were both culturally responsive and mathematically rigorous, illustrating the power of co-designing and co-teaching mathematics as a way of creating meaningful community and classroom relationships,” Dr. Beatty explains.
The research team is made up Dr. Beatty as math education researcher; Christina Ruddy, William Dick, and Tanisha Barberstock from Omàmiwininì Pimàdjwowin (The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre); Danielle Blair (on contract with the Ministry of Education); Jody Alexander (Vice Principal First Nation, Metis and Inuit Education, Ottawa Carleton District School board); and teachers and administrators from Eganville and District Public School board: Mike Fitzmaurice, Heather Lett, Heather McEwen, and Anne George.
The team has created a four-part visual learning series as part of the province’s Renewed Math Strategy, available here. They are currently designing a website called "First Nations Math Voices."
Pictured below: Team members Christina Ruddy, Danielle Blair, and Ruth Beatty receiving the award.