The scientific method, nintendo, and eagle feathers: Rethinking the meaning of “culture-based” curriculum at an ojibwe tribal school

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Abstract

In this article, the author analyzes the assumptions people make about culture and curriculum and asks what prevents the idea of culture-based curriculum from making radical changes in Native American schooling. She attributes the segregation of "culture" from "academic" curriculum to an internalization of colonial structures. In this scenario, "culture-based" (Native American)curriculum is superimposed on a curriculum that is already based in culture (Western European.) She discusses some of the ways a static notion of culture is played out at one tribal school and what the implications of these hegemonic practices are. Further, she discusses some classroom practices that refuse an essentialist definition of "Ojibwe" culture as a basis for curriculum and instead act to engage students in the process of making meaning in their classroom. It is suggested that by thinking of culture as creating relationships and meaning, we shall be able to move beyond the destructive dichotomy that associates intellectual rigor with Whiteness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-400
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2000

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