ERIC Number: ED400146
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Countering Prejudice against American Indians and Alaska Natives through Antibias Curriculum and Instruction. ERIC Digest.
Almeida, Deirdre A.
Teaching from an antibias perspective means going beyond conventional multicultural education and introducing students to a working concept of diversity that challenges social stereotypes and discrimination. This digest describes current inadequacies in teaching about Native Americans, suggests ways to avoid common pitfalls, and provides guidelines for detecting anti-Indian bias in instructional materials. Three obstacles to providing better instruction about American Indians and Alaska Natives are lack of training in teacher education programs, ongoing racist portrayals of Native Americans in the larger society, and difficulties in locating sources of trustworthy materials. When teaching about Native Americans, teachers often favor approaches that portray Native Americans as extinct, or that allow students to experience only the exotic components of a Native culture. Both approaches teach simplistic generalizations about other peoples and lead to stereotyping rather than understanding. Teachers must begin by examining their own underlying beliefs about Native Americans and by critically questioning cultural images in books and the mass media, then use this knowledge to develop an antibias curriculum. Antibias learning may be integrated into the entire curriculum through a technique called webbing. Types of instructional materials to avoid are those that make sweeping generalizations about Native Americans, present only colonizers' perspectives, exploit Native American cultural and spiritual traditions for profit, or lack respect for Native intellectual property rights and indigenous knowledge. Contains 15 references and resources. (SV)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indians, Consciousness Raising, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Images, Curriculum Development, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Bias, Ethnic Stereotypes, Instructional Material Evaluation, Media Selection, Multicultural Education, Racial Bias, Student Attitudes
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.