Workshop on Math and Earth Science

from Navajo and Western Perspectives

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Traditional Dine (Navajo) knowledge teaches that the natural processes on Earth are a result of dynamic interactions between the great systems of the Sky (Yádilhil) and the Earth (Nohosdzáán). Traditional “western” science also views earth processes as the interactions of several systems including the atmosphere, geosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. Similarly, the cycling of matter and equilibrium are important concepts in both modes of knowledge.





The annual Workshop on Earth Science from Navajo and Western Perspectives provides an opportunity for teachers to learn about the connections between traditional Navajo knowledge and western science and explore new ways of teaching diverse students. By developing an understanding of the background that Navajo students bring with them to the classroom, teachers can develop a better sense of how to provide effective instruction for students from any background. The workshop is primarily field-based with an emphasis on observational skills and mechanisms for working with students from diverse backgrounds.

Open to Utah secondary school teachers (7-12 grade) of Earth Science, Earth Systems, Environmental Science, and Integrated Science, we welcome teachers from any community, including teachers who are Navajo themselves, those who teach Navajo children, teachers of any diverse population, and teachers who primarily work with majority populations but would like to learn more about working with diverse students. Since space is limited, priority enrollment is given to MSSST teachers and teachers from the Navajo and Hopi Nations.

2016 Workshop Information – Applications Due May 2, 2016!


Dates: June 14-17, 2016
Location: Bluff, Utah


Who Should Attend:

  • Middle and High School teachers of Earth Science, Environmental Science, Integrated Science, or Math
  • Navajo or Hopi teachers
  • Teachers of Navajo or Hopi children
  • Utah teachers of any diverse population

What to Expect:

  • Four days in the field exploring the landscape through the lens of “western” scientific and native perspectives
  • Emphasis on scientific inquiry and working with students from diverse backgrounds
  • One day exploring the natural corridor of the San Juan River on rafts

Costs and Benefits:

  • $25 non-refundable registration fee
  • Optional University of Utah credit for an additional $175
  • Meals, lodging and transportation will be provided
  • $400 stipend to participants

Apply Online:

Complete the online form before May 2, 2016. Contact for more information.


Download the workshop flyer.

This workshop is sponsored by a Utah State Office of Education Math and Science Partnership grant and funding from the MSSST program.