Standard B: A culturally-responsive curriculum recognizes cultural knowledge as part of a living and constantly adapting system that is grounded in the past, but continues to grow through the present and into the future.
I remember that for our group it took us a little while to think of culture as a changing system, but once we got on that tack we realized how many options there were. We settled on how boarding schools changed native Alaskan culture because they had such a big influence on how things are now.
This book was about A girl and her grandmother who are looking for spruce roots to make hats. The story has both a fictional and a factual aspect. As the story progresses the girl learns about the woods and their importance. This book would be great for biology because it has facts mixed in that you be easy to discuss.
Gill, Shelley. Tongass, The Last American Rainforest. Sasquatch Books. 1997.
The highlight of our discussion revolved around how the past still affects the present. The best example of this that we have covered in class was the boarding schools. People are still around who went through that and some people still feel alienated either from western culture or their own because of their experiences. There are also still people who feel guilty, uncomfortable or defensive over what happened. We alot talked about how intercultural interactions would be so much simpler without all the history and past mistakes complicating the issues.
I chose the sinew backed bows, which were listed as Inupiaq, and Yupik or unknown. The age of the bows was also not listed but they were all from northern Alaska, Canada and Siberia. I was drawn to this display because I have been practicing archery since I was a child. I find it amazing that nearly every culture has bows and arrows, and that bow types across cultures are remarkably similar.
What advice did you hear that resonated with you?
What implications might this have for you as a teacher?
When Linda talked about the students she knew that didn’t do well in school simply because they didn’t see how what they were learning related to them or why it was important. David also talked about this and how he did much better in school once he realized its usefulness and importance. This resonated with me because I see it so often in schools, when students don’t care about what they are learning they don’t do well. As often as I can I want to show students why the things they learn in school matter and how they can use the knowledge they are gaining. I also like the part where Linda talked about the kid who came up to her and realized that everything we learn in school is connected. I liked this part because it remained me of the times when I’ve seen students make similar connections, and how eager they are to share these realizations.