ERIC Number: ED298092
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Using Traditional Teaching To Expand Language Development and Critical Thinking.
Hirst, Lois A.; Slavik, Christy
Mass education in the United States from its inception was concerned with inculcating routine abilities, simple computation, reading basal texts, and reciting religious and civic codes. It did not take into consideration interpretation or creativity. Native Americans have had difficulty fitting into this mold of standardization. Traditional Native American teaching centered on interpretation and creativity. The use of legends and fables for teaching important life skills and understanding the world around them encouraged students to become independent creative thinkers. Students of traditional teachers were proficient in language and problem solving. Understanding and interpreting the message of stories was one of the primary means of teaching language and critical thinking. We propose a curriculum model which relies on traditional teaching methods and uses Native American legends and fables to encourage the development of language proficiency and critical thinking. The model is based on oral tradition, but expands to include recent trade books written about Native American life and legends. It reflects the change from a single society to that of a more global world bringing in stories from various tribal groups. It is intended to enhance proficiency in both native language and English. The model brings back to Native Americans the traditional teaching which encouraged interpretation and creativity and makes them the center of the curriculum. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Native American Language Issues Institute (8th, Phoenix, AZ, June 9-11, 1988).