1. Corrin Barros
  2. Project Director
  3. Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia
  4. https://gem.prel.org/
  5. Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
  1. Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  2. Program Specialist
  3. Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia
  4. https://gem.prel.org/
  5. Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
  1. Paulina Yourupi Sandy
  2. Senior Program Specialist
  3. Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia
  4. https://gem.prel.org/
  5. Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 9, 2022 | 03:02 p.m.

    Thank you for posting this interesting community informal learning project. It sounds like an important activity that can have a big influence on maintaining local knowledge for the future.

    I wonder how you will be able to describe the results from your activities? Have you developed an evaluation plan? Have developed a record of current knowledge of Geo-literacy so you can note the progress derived from the project?

     
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    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 04:34 p.m.

    Hi George - Thank you so much for commenting! Our evaluators are taking a participatory mixed methods approach to looking for evidence that GEM has increased participants’ awareness, understanding, and appreciation of local ecological knowledge, as well as evidence of participants’ understanding of geo-literacy and its relevance to sustainability and daily decision-making. This is done through focus groups with ISLET members (conducted by GEM staff in local languages and translated into English for our evaluators) and photo voice interviews with youth ISLET members. Also, where ISLET-created products and events are public, we’re looking for evidence that the product/event is valued by the intended audience. This is done in the form of post-event feedback forms and observations.

  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    Chief Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 07:10 a.m.

    I'm very pleased to see how you have developed integrated knowledge as a way to share, grow, and solidify culture. This kind of knowledge is so important to science, because indigenous knowledge is science knowledge. I share George's interest in knowing how you determine progress among the students. Do they share their artifacts? Are there ways into how the language is used and what the students attend to that demonstrates their concerns and interests? Also, do you focus on the whole community, or certain age groups more? Thanks for your important work!

     
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    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
    Allison Gonzalez
  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 04:50 p.m.

    Hi Stephen - Thank you for your comment and questions! GEM is taking an intergenerational approach to informal science learning, so we have ISLET members of all ages. Some of our ISLETs are primarily middle to high school students working alongside adult community members and informal/formal educators. We also have ISLETs that are primarily community knowledge holders, who tend to be older adults and elders. Over the course of the project, we’ve had opportunities for our youth participants in particular to present their learnings and experiences at local and regional conferences on education and sustainability. Regarding languages used in GEM, we were able to structure the project with community-based staff so that nearly all of our ISLET activities could be conducted in local languages. Results and feedback are then translated into English for sharing across staff, with project leads, and with our evaluators. Having such a multitude of languages in our project has given rise to many powerful conversations about the commonalities and differences in how we conceptualize and talk about our places and how our cultural values (i.e., respect) relate to geo-literacy.

  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 10, 2022 | 03:48 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting our project! We hope that our video got you thinking about geo-literacy and decision-making in your own life and community.


    Please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you! Here are some of the questions that we’ve been thinking about:



    • Do you see evidence of the ways that geo-literacy impacts decision-making in your own work and life? In GEM, we refer to these times as lightbulb moments — times when you realized that you or others in your life are reading the skies, lands, and/or waters to make decisions.

    • What has been your experience with connecting informal STEM learning to classroom settings and/or academic success?

    • What have been some of the successes and challenges that you’ve experienced / heard of with supporting intergenerational learning, particularly in Indigenous communities?

  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 10, 2022 | 08:45 p.m.

    Corrin,

    I appreciate your focus on what you (your project folks) have learned in your own work from engaging with the community.  Isn't that what Moll called (and wrote about) "Funds of Knowledge."  He required his teacher students to visit the families of their students to see how much knowledge the families had.

  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 05:00 p.m.

    Yes! It's incredible to see the transformation in youth as they are learning about familiar places in new ways and from their own elders. It's also so very exciting to see informal educators and classroom teachers access and deepen their own funds of knowledge and realize how valuable their cultural knowledge and skills are in their work as educators.

  • Icon for: Folashade Solomon

    Folashade Solomon

    Facilitator
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 09:16 p.m.

    I am inspired by your project. I appreciate how your approach affirms the family and community as sites for knowledge building and support. Can you describe  how a  specific funds of knowledge could impact school's approached to geo-literacy?

     
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    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 17, 2022 | 06:05 p.m.

    Hi Folashade - Thank you so much for your comment! A school that works to build from their students' funds of knowledge can really shift the conditions for learning in their classrooms. Students are more engaged and have access to the content in new ways -- and there are opportunities to talk about how content applies to their real lives, which is critical to geo-literacy.

    We've also seen that when a school or school system supports approaches to engaging community funds of knowledge, it empowers our teachers. Our work happens in Indigenous communities where many of our educators are also community members. When these educators are empowered to bring in their own knowledge about language, environment, stories, cooking, fishing, weaving, as well as ways of communicating, their approach to teaching and engaging their students changes as well.

    Several of us in GEM were part of an earlier project on climate change and we pulled together a practice brief on using funds of knowledge in Pacific island classrooms: http://pcep.prel.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06...

  • Small default profile

    Marylin Low

    May 12, 2022 | 11:53 p.m.

    Corrin, thank you for sharing what the team has learned about geo-literacy in informal, indigenous island settings. Working collectively, you have been learning from and with each other, and, in doing so, empowered local communities/islets to identify and act more decisively on their geo-literacy knowledge. The ability to read 'geo-texts' seems to me a necessary component of learning for both informal and formal science. Taking an intergenerational approach strengthens the sustainability of such learning and its value to science. Will geo-literacy become an integrated topic/theme in school curriculum in the islands and will it include intergenerational learning? I hope so. While this might be the end of this project, it feels like the beginning of something so much bigger that has the potential for a positive, lasting impact in island communities. As a retired educator/researcher who worked in the North Pacific, I applaud GEM's contribution to the island communities and informal science in general. Well done.

     
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    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Canita Rilometo Nakamura

    Canita Rilometo Nakamura

    Co-Presenter
    Program Specialist
    May 13, 2022 | 08:17 p.m.

    Thanks, Dr. Low!

    A lot of geo-literacy is learned by spending time with elders. GEM provided that space for students, teachers, and elders to come together. With the GEM program ending, we're continuing intergenerational learning by recruiting elders to supplement cultural curriculum (Pohnpei/Kosrae studies) in schools through indigenous learning recovery projects in Kosrae and Pohnpei. We hope to expand into the other FSM states and the region in the near future.

  • Small default profile

    Marylin Low

    May 13, 2022 | 09:48 p.m.

    Thank you, Canita. I trust the involvement of elders and intergenerational learning is for both cultural and mainstream programs, including STEM. GEM has demonstrated important ways to strengthen learning using these deep, multi-perspective, multi-age interconnections. So appreciate that Kosrae and Pohnpei see the benefits from GEM and are creating ways to sustain its impact. Look forward to hearing more. Very exciting!

     
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    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 16, 2022 | 11:55 p.m.

    Hi Marylin! Thanks so much for your comments :) The Indigenous Learning Recovery project in FSM that Canita mentioned has been incredible -- they're bringing elders on campus and seeing student engagement really increase. In just the two years in Pohnpei and one year in Kosrae, the participating schools are seeing increases in attendance, especially among students that were/are struggling in other classes. And in RMI, the Public School System is still pushing ahead with place- and project-based learning nationwide. GEM has been part of supporting the out-of-school components of their efforts (like field trips and longer student voyages), as well as teacher PD in Majuro and outer islands. In conversations with ISLET members, especially with the younger members, it's inspiring to hear how their earlier interactions with GEM are shaping their decision-making in big and small ways.

  • Icon for: Francheska Figueroa

    Francheska Figueroa

    Researcher
    May 13, 2022 | 04:47 p.m.

    What a great project! I was privileged to spend time on Guam and learned so much about the richness of cultures in Micronesia. Thank you for representing the need for intergenerational communication to preserve the history of your culture. GEM is truly representative of what needs to happen in all cultures!

     
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    Corrin Barros
    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Gerald Knezek

    Gerald Knezek

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2022 | 04:07 p.m.

    Greetings from far away (Texas) everyone; and especially hello for Corrin, George and Canita.

    I am so happy to find this project among the hundreds of videos!  I was three summers on Pohnpei (79, 80, 81) teaching educational technology / microcomputers and Ed. Psych to  Dept. of Ed. personnel and teachers; I was back for 3 months fall of 93.

    Also I taught many wonderful students from Micronesia in my years at Hawaii Loa College before it was part of HPU. I now live in TX but for the last 9 years we (iittl.unt.edu) have been helping evaluate the STEM Pre-Academy program for middle school teachers in Hawaii. This program run through Manoa Innovation at the Univ. of Hawaii, serving 60+ schools.

    Biggest Issue Teachers List during Our Focus Sessions: "Micronesian students are so different." :-(

    Yet we have some survey indications that Micronesian Middle School students in Hawaii have quite high STEM dispositions compared to many other under-represented groups. 

    I'd love to keep in touch (gknezek@gmail.com) and might have some measures that would be useful for the evaluation mentioned by someone. 

    Gerald Knezek

    simEquity Project Co-PI (RETTL)

    Formerly Going Green: Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (ITEST).

     

     

     

     

     
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    Corrin Barros
    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Paulina Yourupi Sandy

    Paulina Yourupi Sandy

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Program Specialist
    May 16, 2022 | 05:50 p.m.

    Ráán allim Gerald. I'm glad to learn that you've been to Micronesia and had the privilege to teach and learn from our students and learn a little bit about our culture and people. Learning about the biggest concern from teachers in Hawaii about Micronesian students is not surprising. I wonder how many of them were willing to go out of their way to truly learn about these Micronesian students, their families, and cultures and help them grow to be the persons they can be.

    Through GEM, our team learned so many valuable lessons, especially of the hidden connections between Western STEM and local/indigenous systems of learning (e.g., respect). It is this type of learning or realizations that shed light on the missing elements in our students learning - that what they are learning in a classroom somehow are not connected to what they bring from home. It is our role as educators to make those connections visible so our Micronesian students are not lost in the system but understand why they spend hours sitting in a 4-walled classroom learning about foreign concepts and how these foreign settings and concept relate to them and can either enhance or hinder their learning development.

  • Small default profile

    Marylin Low

    May 17, 2022 | 07:28 a.m.

    Well said, Paulina. You are adding another important learning connection - relevance. This involves supporting learners in activating prior knowledge and connecting what they know to new information they are learning. It also means engaging learners in a variety of activities that helps them make real-world connections to what may initially seem to be foreign concepts. Language plays a key role in this learning, too, using both the language of school (teacher as expert) or the language of home (student as expert). GEM has also shown us the potential for enhancing learning in both informal and school settings (Micronesia and the mainland). How might we ensure learners continue to benefit from GEM's teachings?

  • Icon for: Gerald Knezek

    Gerald Knezek

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2022 | 04:35 p.m.

    And look at this most interesting study that just came in a few minutes ago from a Hawaii Colleague.

    Gerald

    Hi Gerald and Rhonda,

      I hope you're both doing well. I'm not sure if you're still doing research on students in Hawaii, but a local article was featuring some interesting research on the challenges that Micronesian students face in Hawaii's schools. I thought you might find it interesting and/or might want to track down the UH report it's referring to.   https://www.civilbeat.org/2022/05/chad-blair-why-micronesian-students-struggle-in-hawaii    Have an awesome day, SS
     
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    Corrin Barros
    Canita Rilometo Nakamura
  • Icon for: Jamie Bell

    Jamie Bell

    Project Director
    May 16, 2022 | 08:24 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this project and the interesting blend of local/Indigenous approaches, Western STEM knowledge systems, and active learning. What are you learning about how FAS residents use these geo-literacy educational materials and resources?

  • Icon for: Corrin Barros

    Corrin Barros

    Lead Presenter
    Project Director
    May 17, 2022 | 05:45 p.m.

    There's been so much enthusiasm from community members and educators around the ISLET-created resources, especially seeing their own languages in print with content that reflects what's important to know if you're going to live and thrive in these communities. We've also had opportunities to think and experiment with different types of learning resources and found that posters are easy and accessible -- both for creators and for users. Signs are also great at getting conversations going -- like signs with traditional place names are helping people re/learn the names and stories of the community. And there's a growing interest in games, particularly apps for younger users.

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