ERIC Number: ED453007
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Aspects of Traditional Inupiat Education.
Sharing Our Pathways: A Newsletter of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative, v5 n4 p8-12 Sep-Oct 2000
Traditional Inupiat society was, and is, about knowing the right time to be in the right place, with the right tools to take advantage of a temporary abundance of resources. Sharing the necessary knowledge about the natural world with the next generation was critical. The example of learning to hunt is used to demonstrate features of traditional Inupiat education. Hunting was essential for survival, and the traditional education was a highly disciplined one using many learning styles, "doing" being the last phase. Observation was critical; through it the underlying principles and values were transmitted long before a boy went on a hunt. Through immersion in the stories and customs of the community, a boy learned about the traditions and beliefs associated with hunting, and the attitudes of hunters. Another aspect of traditional education was apprenticeship, which was often guided by an uncle. Apprentice hunters often did not hunt right away, but did camp chores, which offered an opportunity to learn such things as locating a good site, learning to dress and clean game, reading the weather, and learning about animal habitats and behavior. In traditional Inupiat society the community was a school--learning was not confined to a school building or other restricted environment. The estrangement between contemporary schooling and indigenous communities is due in part to a suspicion of the goals of schooling and its lack of concern for the complex and successful aspects of traditional Native education. Knowledge about the traditional educational system might produce schools that are more completely integrated into Native communities. (TD)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, Cognitive Style, Culture Conflict, Educational Methods, Eskimos, Indigenous Knowledge, Nonformal Education, Observational Learning, Story Telling, Teaching Methods
For full text: http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/sop/SOPv5i4.pdf.
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA. Office of Systemic Reform.
Authoring Institution: Alaska Univ., Fairbanks. Alaska Native Knowledge Network.
Identifiers - Location: Alaska