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October 25, 2017 : Documentary features Ohio University Lancaster Interim Associate Dean Dr. Bob Klein


navajoposterThe documentary Navajo Math Circles features Ohio University Lancaster Interim Associate Dean and Associate Professor Dr. Bob Klein.


Klein became involved in the project after successfully working in Math circles in the Athens area. "We do something very unique here… connecting students to their identities as students who are very good at mathematics, but also their identities as Navajo, is extremely important. We don’t want to see Navajo as somebody outside, or somebody on the fringes of the mathematical community. We want them to see themselves as part of that community, as Navajo, as mathematicians," he said.


Navajo Math Circles is a one-hour film documenting some of the country’s most accomplished mathematicians and math educators with the children and teachers in the underserved, largely rural Navajo educational system. The film is directed by George Csicsery. The films synopsis reveals this about the film: Navajo Math Circles follows Navajo students in a lively collaboration with mathematicians. Using a model called math circles, the students stay late after school and assemble over the summer at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, to study mathematics. The math circles approach emphasizes student-centered learning by putting children in charge of exploring mathematics to their own joy and satisfaction.

The documentary reveals the challenges in education on the Navajo Nation and looks at a new approach for improving the mathematical skills of students. The Navajo Math Circles project summons applications of math in Native culture to provide tools for increasing math literacy, and highlights the special connections between Navajo culture, natural beauty, and mathematics. The film shows how math circles help raise the hopes of parents, students, and teachers for a brighter future.


WOUB and WOUC will re-broadcast NAVAJO MATH CIRCLES on Thursday, November 2 at 10:00 p.m.


Read more about the film


Read more abut Dr. Klein