ERIC Number: ED445870
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Observations on Response towards Indigenous Cultural Perspectives as Paradigms in the Classroom.
An American Indian (Arapaho) educator portrays various levels of student response and receptivity toward teaching from an Indigenous perspective by recounting some of his teaching experiences at universities in Montana, Canada, and Australia. A class of Native students who had to negotiate for their grades in a treaty written in Arapaho and interpreted by the teacher's interpreter felt they better appreciated their ancestors' struggles. Some students that were given a quiz written from an Indigenous perspective became so frustrated when faced with a different world view that they chose to believe the test was composed of trick questions. An exercise in Arapaho language translation in a course on "Indian culture as expressed through language" elicited comments from some that it was a worthless exercise; few students were able to see that a radically different word order in a language indicates that the speakers possess different logical constructs and perceive the world differently from an English speaker. In several cases, perceived teacher deficits provided a rationale for those who did not want to consider issues presented from an Indigenous perspective that differed from their own. Non-Indigenous people have informed the teacher that his perspective is not Indigenous at all. A concluding story told from an Indigenous perspective expresses the hope that people will not become judgmental when faced with cultural differences and will listen to what Indigenous people say when invited to share their views. (TD)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Studies, American Indians, Anthropological Linguistics, Cognitive Style, College Faculty, College Students, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Higher Education, Personal Narratives, Perspective Taking, Student Attitudes, Teaching Experience, World Views
Full text at Web site: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/LIB/LIB7.html.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Learn in Beauty: Indigenous Education for a New Century; see RC 022 648.