Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I think it's pretty clear that "the educational system founded in colonial assimilative practices does not serve the needs of Indigenous communities," but it's a lot harder to say what it should be instead. This article (18 page PDF) brings together six perspectives from indigenous communities in North-Western Ontario. The result is "a call for Indigenous pedagogies that are grounded within the contexts of their communities and the longstanding need for equitable education; employ Indigenous knowledges that anchor Indigenous-led instruction and pedagogies for land-based teachings, traditional practices, and languages that hold cultural and sacred knowledge; and implement Indigenous community-based accountabilities." That feels like a good framework for education that respects culture and community no matter what community we're talking about. At the same time, there is a need, as one principal stated, for systems "'that respond to the vision of communities and students.' As one example, he explained that students want the option to take academic courses... to aid Indigenous students' with success in the broader world once they leave PFFNHS to pursue higher education for themselves and their communities." Image: Our Nations, Our Future, Our Vision.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 26, 2023 05:32 a.m.

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