The Center for Advancing Research & Communication (ARC), a joint effort of the National Science Fountation and University of Chicago, sponsors many important initiatives that support education researchers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). One such effort, on "Context, Culture & STEM Education", lead by principle investogator Sharon Nelson-Barber, explores the "ways in which American Indian students and their teachers in selected communities make use of local wisdom and heritage ethnomathematics and ethnoscience practices in STEM education."
The project summary notes, "The richly specialized mathematics and science knowledge woven into the lifeways of Native students often goes unrecognized as “mathematical” or “scientific” by teachers because these understandings have not been defined as such in their experience as educators. Students may miss out on critical opportunities to build bridges between their own life experience and classroom mathematics and science when teachers are unprepared to identify, explore, and expand the connections between the two traditions of knowledge." This study, taking place in K-8 indigenous classrooms in Arizona, Alaska and New Mexico, utilized HyperRESEARCH to "deconstruct informal, classroom interactions, interview data, observations and focus group findings for math/science and cultural knowledge."
The research has resulted in a number of presentations and publication, which allong with a summary of the project, are listed online here.