• Enriching teaching practice through place, arts and culture: resources for in-service teachers of the Bering Strait School District

      Child, Robin L. (2017-12)
      The SILKAT (Sustaining Indigenous and Local Knowledge, Art and Teaching) project joins together the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Bering Strait School District in an effort to celebrate the rich cultural arts and Indigenous knowledge of northwest Alaska and bring the knowledge and ingenuity of local artists and culture-bearers to the forefront of teaching practices and curriculum. This work presents the content and format of one teacher professional development module based on one of seven arts and place-based core teaching practices-the ability to elicit student thinking and facilitate reflective thinking in students. It also examines the development of two Art and Culture units, grade 3-Natural Landforms, and grade 5-Responsibility to Community, both rooted in the cultural values and knowledge of artists and culture-bearers from the region. The research completed for this project examines the supporting literature that forms the backbone for both the professional development module and the Art and Culture units, including core practices, the implications of place and culture-based arts education, Visible Thinking routines, protocols, Studio Habits of Thinking, and Understanding by Design. Following the research is a synopsis of the methods used to create the PD module and Art and Culture units, as well as the plans for dissemination within the Bering Strait School District to enhance the skills and knowledge of in-service teachers in arts and culture.
    • SILKAT arts and place-based core teaching practice: workshop approach and cultural arts units development

      Ellis, Megan (2017-12)
      The work presented in this project is representative of the goals of the SILKAT (Sustaining Indigenous and Local Knowledge, Arts and Teaching) project, which is a collaborative effort between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Bering Strait School District, to create culturally responsive professional development for teachers, and cultural arts units for students. This work is the presentation of one professional development module for the core practice of having the ability to facilitate a workshop approach in the classroom where different students, or groups of students are doing different things at the same time. It is also a presentation of two cultural arts units, grade 11-Outdoor Survival, and kindergarten-Respect for Animals. The research and literature review that supports the creation and highlights the importance of this project is followed by a description of the methodology in which the module and units were developed. Included in this presentation are plans for project dissemination for the Bering Strait School District, as well as the web content from each component.
    • Stress reduction support for new teachers in rural Alaska

      Wray, Tapiana; Renes, Susan L.; Topkok, Sean A.; Morton, James (2018-05)
      Teachers experience many different facets of stress that directly affect attrition and burnout in the profession. While the research on teacher retention and attrition in Arctic Alaska is limited, that does not diminish the impact felt by the students, the community, and the state. Teacher attrition and retention is a multidimensional issue that could benefit from an intervention created on behalf of administrators, communities, and the teachers themselves. This paper presents one approach to address teacher retention: teachers and administrators incorporating stress reduction techniques into their lives have been proven successful in reducing teacher stress to mitigate teacher burnout.
    • Teacher-led professional development in arts and culture: promoting teacher ability to engage students using their place

      King, Sandra J. (2017)
      This project is a piece of the SILKAT (Sustaining Indigenous and Local Knowledge, Arts, and Teaching) Grant that is funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. It describes the development of one of the professional developments modules as well as two of the cultural art units that make up the Professional Development Course and Cultural K-12 Art Curriculum that are being created for the Bering Strait School District as (BSSD) a part of this grant. The professional development module described leads teachers through learning the core practice of "engaging students with their place." This is extremely valuable in all areas, but especially the BSSD, as the schools are very remote, located in Alaska Native villages off of the road system. The art units will address the cultural values of "understanding others" and "hard-work/self-sufficiency." These values will be reinforced using appropriate studio habits of mind that are transferable skills to any content or situation.