ERIC Number: ED366545
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Contribution of Education to the Survival of Small Indigenous Cultures. Contribution of Education to Cultural Development.
Teasdale, G. R.
In all parts of the world indigenous cultures are under threat by the persistent spread of western culture with its emphasis on individualism, competitiveness, consumerism, and technological change. Indigenous cultures have as much, if not more, to offer the West, than the West can offer them. For the cultures to survive, they must own all aspects of the education of their people. Language is a central part of culture. The primary responsibility lies with families and communities to foster spontaneous, everyday use of the vernacular. Educational policymakers must allow indigenous groups to reconceptualize schooling within their own cultural parameters. In Australia, aboriginal groups have been developing alternative patterns of education for years. At the same time, educators must pay attention to the process by which a given culture learns. Solutions must come from within indigenous communities, not from without. In the Catholic schools of Western Australia, that has meant "two way" or "both ways" education, wherein children learn both aboriginal and western ways through an exchange between the two. Non-indigenous people have a role to play in educational process, not by offering solutions but by changing their attitudes and roles. Their challenge is to work beside indigenous peoples in relationships of equality and mutual respect. (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).
Identifiers: Australia; Cultural Hegemony
Note: Paper presented at the United Nations Educational, scientific and Cultural Organization International Conference on Education (Geneva, Switzerland, September 14-19, 1992). Forty-third Session. For related documents, see SO 023 753-762.