Teacher to speak on indigenous education

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2008

JUNEAU - Maria Offer will present "Indigenous Education in Southern Mexico" at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall (downstairs in the library).

Offer is a middle school and high school teacher with a Master of English from Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College, and an education specialist degree from Northern Michigan University. Beginning in 1985, she studied bilingual education and indigenous education in Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala. She is working on a Master of Spanish, her second masters from Middlebury College. She hopes to earn her Doctor of Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition.

Offer's work as a curriculum specialist for Sealaska Heritage Institute focuses on developing culturally responsive curriculum for Southeast Alaska schools, and she has published several articles about integrating Alaska Native culture into rural schools. She contributed to two committees for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, including being a leader for the Communication, Language, and Literacy domain for the Early Learning Guidelines.

She is an adjunct professor for the University of Alaska Southeast and has taught "Culture, Learning and the Young Child" for the last four years. Recently, she completed courses on second language acquisition and incorporating indigenous cultures into educational programs in Mexico and Peru.

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