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ERIC Number: EJ1006533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0885-985X
New Social Learning from Two Spirit Native Americans
Mayo, J. B., Jr.; Sheppard, Maia
Journal of Social Studies Research, v36 n3 p263-282 Sum 2012
In this article, the authors highlight connections between research on Two Spirit Native Americans and standard social studies curriculum. Two Spirit is a Pan-Indian term describing Native Americans who believe they embody both masculine and feminine characteristics/traits in one physical body. Findings from this research expand the field's conception of multiple perspectives and diversity, while creating opportunities for nuanced understandings of gender expression and gender that go beyond the male/female dichotomy currently accepted as the norm. The authors utilize historical research and a semi-structured, in-depth interview with a current Ojibwe leader to better understand and theorize Native Americans' acceptance of diverse ways of being. The authors conclude that modern-day social studies teachers and students have much to learn from this traditional Native worldview. Specifically, the authors believe that encouraging students to adopt more inclusive perspectives on gender expression and to recognize the plausibility of multiple genders may lead to more advanced, social learning. Combined with reinforcement from responsible adults at school, this recognition would lessen a variety of present-day social ills, including the incidence of teen suicide caused by homophobia. (Contains 1 note.)
International Society for the Social Studies. University of Central Florida College of Education, Suite 123M P.O. Box 161250, Orlando, FL 32816. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A