• 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.
    • Gizmos and gadgets: a guidebook of technological resources in the elementary classroom

      Dobrich, Rachel A.; Kardash, Diane; Vinlove, Amy; Imhoff, Myriam (2018-12)
      This research examines the implementation of technology in elementary classrooms. Prior research has shown that elementary teachers have more positive perspectives towards technology incorporation when sufficiently trained through pre-service teacher preparation programs and professional development opportunities for existing educators. Adequate technology instruction is necessary because it teaches educators about available resources and how to appropriately and meaningfully incorporate them into their lessons. Teachers need to provide relevant, authentic learning experiences for their students, teaching them how to function in a technological society. Technology has the potential to increase engagement and academic performance. It also allows teachers to create an accessible classroom environment for all students, including individuals with disabilities. There are numerous methods for technology integration including computer programs, iPad applications, games, virtual experiences, and interactive devices. However, teachers may not be aware of all the resources available. By increasing awareness of these technological resources, teachers can address the diverse learning styles of their students, helping them understand the academic content and preparing them for life outside of the classroom.
    • 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.
    • "Something that not everybody has": parents' reasons for enrolling in Spanish immersion program

      Schimmack, Danya; Siekmann, Sabine; Marlow, Patrick; Martelle, Wendy (2018-08)
      Immersion programs are a form of bilingual education where content classes are taught in a second language. Immersion programs are generally optional choices which means that parents must make the conscious decision to enroll their children in the specific program. Thus, my research question: why do parents decide to enroll their children in the Spanish Immersion Program of Chugiak, Alaska? This research question and site were selected based on my own experience as a learner in the program and my personal curiosity towards my own parents' enrollment decisions. This study involved semi-structured interviews with twelve parents, including my own parents, focusing on their reasons for enrolling their children in the Spanish Immersion Program in Chugiak. Findings reflected the general benefits of bilingualism including: academic, cognitive, and social. Participants also noted that the program helped expose their children to other cultures and to have a better understanding of diversity. Several parents also stated that the immersion program would provide their children with a unique and valuable experience that would lead to future opportunities. These findings can help inform other parents that are in the process of deciding where to enroll their children. The findings can also inform schools about what prospective parents value when they are considering different school options.