ERIC Number: EJ808214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Curriculum Belongs to the Community: Curriculum Planning and Development for Tlingit and Haida Young Children
Rinehart, Nila M.
Zero to Three, v26 n4 p46-48 Mar 2006
The author argues that the curriculum in early childhood classrooms that serve American Indian and Alaska Native children must be grounded in community values, set in their societal context, and rooted in the rhythms of community life. The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Head Start developed a curriculum framework that is imbedded in tribal values and learning outcomes. The learning outcomes include science, math, language, literacy, creative, physical, social, and emotional outcomes. The process for achieving these outcomes, however, involves the children's family and community as well as classroom activities. The curriculum, "At Yaxt'i Satu Keinas Ax" (The Voices of Our Children Rising), is rooted in the ebb and flow of the seasons and is relevant to events in the Tlingit and Haida communities and to their subsistence life style. The Tlingit "economic year" of hunting, salmon fishing, seaweed gathering, and berry picking are central elements of the curriculum, which also recognizes contemporary practices and knowledge from beyond the community. Another component of the curriculum, "Family Feathers," provides activities for parents and grandparents, including videotapes designed to help parents learn about child development and a workbook for parents and children. Building on community strengths, values, and practices enhances the lives and learning of young children by telling them a rich story about who they are.
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indians, Early Childhood Education, Preschool Curriculum, Social Values, School Community Relationship, Curriculum Development, Family School Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A