ERIC Number: ED460804
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-May
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Redefinition of Formal and Informal Learning: Education and the Aboriginal People. NALL Working Paper.
Burns, George E.
The Western paradigm of education regards schools as the essential institutionalized cultural settings in which formal learning can take place and as the only socially valid settings in which learners can get a formal education. Knowledge is commodified and may be exchanged for currency in the form of jobs or licenses. Learning that occurs outside this institutionalized educational system is judged by the dominant culture to be invalid for certification or professional recognition, is labeled informal, and is associated with the unschooled. This dichotomization of education into formal and informal learning serves to maintain unequal relations of power in education as well as the control, marginalization, and exploitation of minority groups in society. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Canada Natives had their own highly successful systems of education. The Elders are the most knowledgeable people in Aboriginal societies, yet their learning has been through informal practices and is therefore unrecognized by the dominant culture. Aboriginal people want their children to learn everything that formal education has to offer, as well as their own culture and ways of doing things. The work of Elders must be incorporated into the practices of the formal educational system so that it contributes to the acquisition of credit in formal courses. Obstacles to Elders' participation in formal education must be identified and overcome. (Contains 19 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Acculturation, American Indian Education, Canada Natives, Cultural Differences, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Attitudes, Educational Needs, Equal Education, Foreign Countries, Indigenous Knowledge, Nonformal Education, Self Determination, Social Bias, World Views
New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL), Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M56 1V6 ($13). Tel: 416-923-6641; Fax: 416-926-4725. For full text: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/28towar daredef.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto. New Approaches to Lifelong Learning.
Identifiers - Location: Canada