Megan Bang, an assistant professor at the University of Washington College of Education, has been recognized for making significant contributions to the field of indigenous education by the American Educational Research Association.
Bang is the 2015 winner of the Bobby Wright Award for Early Career Contributions to Research in Indigenous Education. The award honors a scholar in the early stages of his or her research career who has developed a significant program of research, scholarship and service to indigenous peoples and communities and to advancing the study of indigenous education.
Bang's work is focused on improving the quality of life and educational opportunities for youth, families and communities historically disadvantaged by education, with a central focus on indigenous peoples and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education.
Three primary lines of her work are:
- The study of learning and development in and across everyday contexts using interdisciplinary approaches and methods including indigenous and critical methodologies.
- Community-based design research that builds science learning environments from indigenous epistemologies.
- The study of child and teacher learning and practice in novel environments.
A final part of Bang's work is focused on building capacity in tribal communities and organizations.
She is co-author of the book Who's Asking? Native Science, Western Science and Science Education, published in 2014, and recently co-authored the Scientific American article "Point of View Affects How Science is Done," arguing for the importance of learning science from multiple perspectives, and "The cultural side of science communication" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Bang will accept the award during AERA's annual meeting this April in Chicago and deliver a brief talk relating to this year's theme, "Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis," and focusing on indigenous peoples.
Recipients are selected by AERA's Indigenous Peoples of America Special Interest Group.
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