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Arguments For The Inclution Of Indigenous Knowledge

1938 words - 8 pages

The goal of the following paper is to examine course selected authors and essays of Ed Ind 450 that have shaped my perceptions of course goals and to ultimately answer the question: What evidence is there that I have engaged the concepts and ideas contained in the set of readings read and discussed in Ed Indian 450?Within Ed Ind 450 we have discussed, shared ideas and tried to define Indigenous Knowledge. A new idea emerged from discussions about the appropriateness of even trying to define Indigenous Knowledge within an Eurocentric educational framework.M. Battiste and J.Y. Henderson, in Decolonizing Cognitive Imperialism in Education, argue that even trying to define Indigenous Knowledge is itself the wrong approach to understanding Indigenous Knowledge. According to Battiste and Henderson, defining Indigenous knowledge is itself a Eurocentric endeavor. Eurocentric structures and methods of logical entailment and causality cannot unravel Indigenous Knowledge or its processes of knowing. (Battiste and Henderson, 2000, p. 40) Western Eurocentric definitions are rooted in a 'division' in order to get to the essence of an idea. This is contrary to the holistic/inclusionary model of Indigenous Knowledge which is based on reciprocal relationships and balance where "everything affects everything else". (Battiste and Henderson, 2000, p. 43) Battiste and Henderson want the reader to know that Knowledge is not separate from, but intrinsic to experience. Ultimately Battiste and Henderson believe that IK is outside of a definition, but instead involves a journey or process of discovery through the respectful living of relationships. "Perhaps the closest one can get to describing unity in IK is that knowledge is the expression of the vibrant relationships between the people, their ecosystems, and the other living beings and spirits that share their lands. (Battiste and Henderson, 2000, p. 42) "The best practice is to allow Indigenous people to define themselves." (Battiste and Henderson, 2000, p. 41)Not withstanding this paradox of even defining Indigenous knowledge, some crucial issues and barriers that emerge that are relevant to teaching Aboriginal studies and knowledge in the contemporary classroom.In Chapter One of Klug and Whitfield's book Culturally Responsive Pedagogies, the authors believe that Indigenous students are expected to assimilate to a non-Indigenous world view and culture. (Klug and Whitfield, 2003, p. 8) To remedy this assimilative practice the authors promote a 'bi-culturallity' of students and teachers. Information needs to be provided to teachers of non-Indigenous ancestry to assist them in creating successful classroom environments for Indigenous students. (I would argue some Aboriginal teachers would also benefit from some cultural assistance.)"When we recognize that we are not the product of one large monocultural heritage, our fear of the idea of becoming bicultural is reduced", (Klug and Whitfield, 2003, p. 15) along with our...

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