On April 10, POSOH Project staff presented at the annual WIEA (Wisconsin Indian Education Association) Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Linda Orie and Justin Gauthier described efforts of the POSOH Project, focusing on how POSOH supports cultural connections and responsiveness through teacher professional development. As part of this 2015 POSOH WIEA presentation, POSOH Staff featured Continuing Professional Development, an original video by Reynaldo Morales (POSOH Project), which includes footage from a recent POSOH PD follow-up session. Click here to access the video: www.youtube.com/watch?
The POSOH model for teacher professional development focuses largely on supporting non-Native teachers who work with Native students to be able to make connections with their own and others’ cultures, strengthening and deepening their teaching practice. One key strategy used by POSOH is having three or four individuals co-facilitate the teachers’ learning experience. By using diverse co-facilitation teams for teacher professional development, POSOH is able to involve a combination of science educators and local Tribal members who may have minimal formal education experience, yet bring a critical cultural component to the work. At the WIEA conference, POSOH shared experiences using this model and the effects PD facilitators have witnessed with teacher participants.
In addition, Amy Gauthier shared information about the Mukurtu digital library of culturally relevant resources that POSOH is developing for sharing with teachers and others interested in preserving and utilizing Native American knowledge. Mukurtu is a newly-developed and specialized digital library software program that is designed for Indigenous People as a solution for controlling shareability of cultural knowledge and artifacts.