Name: Craig M. Young, Diné
Discipline: Mathematics Education
University/Anticipated Year: Fielding Graduate University, 2023
Thesis Topic: Math Learning Experience and Traditional Navajo Culture: Using Math Circles and Navajo Culture to Improve 6th Grade Students’ Attitudes Toward Learning Math and Improve Attitudes Toward the Value of Traditional Cultural Wisdom.
Bio: Craig Young is Diné (Navajo) from the Great Navajo Nation and a U.S. Marine veteran. He is Honágháahnii, born for Kinłichíi’nii. His maternal grandfather is Tł’ááshchí’í, and his paternal grandfather is Nát’oh Dine’é Táchii’nii. Mr. Young was nominated recently for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation’s highest honor for STEM and computer science teachers. Young is a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University studying Leadership for Change in the school of Education. He is an Ethnomathematician and STEM educator at Tuba City Boarding School where he teaches mathematics and science, as well as a number of other community outreach projects that empower indigenous youth. He teaches his Diné students mathematics through their rich Navajo Culture. His dissertation research is called, Math Learning Experience and Traditional Navajo Culture: Using Math Circles and Navajo Culture to Improve 6th Grade Students’ Attitudes Toward Learning Math and Improve Attitudes Toward the Value of Traditional Cultural Wisdom. Currently, he is the Regional Coordinator for the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles (AIMC), covering the Western Navajo Nation, roughly half the size of the state of West Virginia. He has been involved with the Navajo Math Circles Project as a college student and later as a professional educator. Young runs his own math circle program called Arrowhead Math Circle. Young states, “Our Navajo and Hopi youth needed a program that empowers them in a traditional holistic approach that complimented their way of life and way of thinking. All indigenous communities have a history of complex mathematics and sciences through their cultures, and the Math Circles help our indigenous youth. Our students rediscover themselves and are confident after going through our program. He has devoted his life to helping underserved students and making their education positively meaningful and enjoyable.