Curriculum Standard D

Culturally Responsive Curriculum Standard D:

A culturally-responsive curriculum fosters a complementary relationship across knowledge derived from diverse knowledge systems.

A curriculum that meets this cultural standard:

1. draws parallels between knowledge derived from oral tradition and that derived from books;

2. engages students in the construction of new knowledge and understandings that contribute to an ever-expanding view of the world.

Our group reviewed and assessed Cultural Curriculum Standard D (as seen above). The importance of this standard is incredible. Our group talked about the importance of inviting elders into the classroom. We talked about the variety of knowledge that we can learn from their oral traditions. It was brought up by one of the members of the group that until recently (in the span of human occupation in Alaska), all of the history and traditions were passed down orally.

We discussed a few possibilities to interpret this standard. The photo that you see here was the final outcome. The person is listening to a traditional story about how Athabascan people got to use the birch tree as a resource. He interprets that with traditional styles of canoe building. Mixing traditional oratory with the book knowledge of how to build a canoe, he mixes the two forms of knowledge to come up with a final product or idea.

4 thoughts on “Curriculum Standard D”

  1. I enjoyed the visual representations and path your group took to show how this came to a final product – one that equally validated and incorporated different views/values/ways of knowing and technology. I think this whole lesson of breaking down the cultural standards could have been so dry but putting our own perspectives and applications into it really made it relevant and engaging.

    Thinking of your grandma’s frybread last night (still on my mind)… have you ever noticed how recipes or ways to putting up fish/etc and styles of cooking is done orally and responsive to what we’re doing? And different by village – or how certain recipes are in certain villages? Just a random thought because my family never writes things down for me to learn and always gives approximates. Frustrating, but totally makes sense at the same time.

  2. Spot on drawing of Tyler.

    You’re right, this standard is incredibly important. Book learning is valuable and has many advantages, but it’s crucial to remember that there are other viable ways of passing down knowledge, and these have their own advantages. I think passing knowledge down orally creates a deeper, more lasting understanding; book learning can reach more people, but it can also more easily be forgotten. Mischa’s comment about recipes is interesting. I can follow a recipe and make a tasty meal, but once I make it I’ll instantly forget how it was made. For this reason, I’m not a good cook. There are only a handful of recipes that I know by heart, and these were the ones I learned from my mom, who learned them from her mom, etc. They were never written down, but they’re the recipes that have lasted.

  3. It’s always inspiring to see elders getting invited to the classroom. Most elders might not have the college that we younger generation have. But their knowledge in the whole is one of a kind. When the elders pass away without having passed down what they know, who else going to teach the younger generation?

  4. Elders in every community deserve and need to be listened to by their children. Unfortunately, the distinction is rarely made in our culture between an elder and an old person. Moreover, my white culture lacks the wisdom in many cases to become an elder. It in my mind is hard to do when just two people live behind locked doors for the majority of their lives. This to me highlights the need of tribes and clans in all cultures. People need to get out and talk and be with each other in larger groups. That’s how we evolved.

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