ASSESSMENT OF A PLACE-BASED, CULTURALLY-RELEVANT GEOLOGIC EXPERIENCE USING MIXED METHODS AT ACOMA PUEBLO, NEW MEXICO
Darryl Reano, Jonathan Harbor.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of a place-based, culturally grounded geoscience program in increasing the sense of place affirmatively, and to describe the self-reported connections that students make during the geoscience program between their traditional culture and the western scientific concepts presented during the geoscience program. Within cultural education research, there is a dearth of mixed method (MM) approaches, which can identify appropriate place-based content and language when assessing native and/or indigenous students’ understanding of geoscience concepts as well as a sense of place. A sequential transformative design will be used for this MM study. The theoretical perspective used as the lens for this study is the sociotransformative constructivism framework. This framework posits that knowledge is socially constructed; is mediated by cultural, historical, and institutional contexts; and also creates a way for participants to engage in meaningful dialogue concerning their local communities. The quantitative component will assess changes in place attachment and place meaning using the instruments validated by Semken & Freeman. The qualitative data will explore what connections students, who make an affirmative change in sense of place, create between their traditional knowledge and the western scientific concepts taught in the program. Both datasets will be integrated during the interpretation phase of the study. We anticipate that using MM will enhance the description of critical incidents that strengthen students’ sense of place which can be used to create learning environments that foster the melding of native and western ways of knowing for future native students.