Culturally-Responsive Mathematics Pedagogy Through Complexivist Thinking
As part of the $11 million school project, the Band School Society negotiated with the Federal Aboriginal Affairs Ministry and the building contractors to include apprenticeships for Band members to join the work crew hired to build the new school. For an Aboriginal village of 2000 people and up to 80% unemployment, this was a great opportunity. Interested workers were invited to apply for the positions. All 15 of the respondents were hired immediately, and all needed mathematics upgrading courses to enter the apprenticeship training program. Skilled trades workers were in short supply in the community, and so future employment opportunities were virtually assured after completion of the school project. A local, non-Native adult education teacher was enlisted to run an evening prep course for these newly hired apprentices. The course offered focused training in mathematics skills needed by tradespeople, and indeed, these were prerequisite skills for entering the apprenticeship program. On the first night of class, eleven men and women arrived. By week two, the group had dwindled to six. When the course was completed at the end of eight weeks, two students earned completion certificates and formally entered the apprenticeship program.