Planning

Integral

Experiential

Ownership

Humor

Healing

Art

Balance 

Survival

Identity

Welcoming

Wisdom

Global

Inclusive

Prayers

Interdependence

Relationships

Values

Holistic

Medicine

Spirituality

Sustainability

Re-definement

Re-education

Translation 

Community

Sovereignty  

Self-determination 

Origin/Emergence Understanding 

Nurturing

Ancestors

Ceremonies

Empowerment vs. victimization

Authentic Earth-based/Land

Long-term vision

History and Connection

Creativity

Vigor and Discipline

Bridging

Accountability

Inter-generational

Preservation

Perseverance

Current Topics

Family/Kinship

Knowledge and Native Communities

Language

Practical Wellness

Meaningful

De-homogenization

What are some BIG IDEAS of Indigenous education that can be incorporated into your curriculum, pedagogy, and practices as a teacher and school?

Big Ideas

Foundational Characteristics of Indigenous Education

(Cajete, 1994)

  • A sacred view of' Nature permeates its foundational process of teaching and learning.

  • Integration and interconnectedness are universal traits of its contexts and processes.

  • Its elements, activities, and knowledge bases of teaching and learning radiate in concentric rings of process and relationship.

  • Its processes adhere to the principle of mutual reciprocity between humans and all other things.

  • It recognizes and incorporates the principle of cycles within cycles . (there are deeper levels of' meaning to be found in every learning/ teaching process).

  • It presents something for everyone to learn, at every stage of life.

  • It recognizes the levels of maturity and readiness to learn in the developmental processes of both males and females. This recognition is incorporated into the designs and situations in which Indigenous teaching takes place.

  • It recognizes language as a sacred expression of breath and incorporates this orientation in all its foundations.

  • It recognizes that each person and each culture contains the seeds that are essential to their well-being and positive development.

  • Art is a vehicle of utility and expression. It is recognized as an expression of' the soul and a way of' connecting people to their inner sources of life.

  • The ritual complex is both structure and process for teaching key spiritual and cultural principles and values.

  • It recognizes that the true sources of knowledge are found within the individual and the entities of' Nature.

  • It recognizes that true learning occurs through participation and honoring relationships in both the human and natural communities.

  • It honors the ebb and flow of learning as it moves through individuals, community, Nature, and the cosmos.

  • It recognizes that learning requires letting go, growing, and reintegrating at successively higher levels of understanding.

  • Its purpose is to teach away of life that sustains both the individual and the community.

  • It unfolds within an authentic context of community and Nature.

  • It uses story as a way to root a perspective that unfolds through the special use of language.

  • Story, expressed through experience, myth, parables, and various forms of metaphor is an essential vehicle of Indigenous learning.

  • It recognizes the power of' thought and language to create the worlds we live in.

  • It creates maps of' the world that assist us through our life's journey.

  • It resonates and builds learning through the Tribal structures of the home and community.

  • Indigenous thinking adheres to the most subtle, yet deeply rooted, universals and principles of human learning.

  • It integrates human individuality with communal needs..

  • It is founded upon successive stages of learning, i.e., how to see, feel, listen, and act.

  • It honors each person's way of being, doing, and understanding.

  • It recognizes that we learn by watching and doing, reflecting on what we are doing, then doing again.

  • It is always grounded in the natural basics of life.

  • Indigenous thinking recognizes that learning is complete only if it starts from the beginning and follows through.

  • One skill builds on another, but the basics must always be honored.

  • Learning is step by step. It recognizes that learning and teaching require overcoming doubt.

  • It honors the fact that learning requires seeing what is real about a situation, a thing, or an entity.

  • It recognizes that learning is about seeing the whole through the parts.

  • It honors the fact that true learning builds your self-confidence by coming to understand who you really are and living to your full potential.

  • Indigenous thinking honors the reality that there are always two sides to the two'sides.

  • There are realities and realities. Learning how they interact is real understanding.

  • It recognizes that thinking and learning who one is can he accomplished by learning who one is not!

  • We learn through our bodies and spirits as much as through our minds. From the Indigenous perspective; the purpose of training in learning and thinking is to bring forth your personal power; training develops your personal power through focused attention, repetition, and context.

  • Indigenous people recognize that personal power, learning and thinking are expressed through doing. Therefore, learning the doing is an essential process.

  • It recognizes that culture and its reality are invested anew with each generation.

  • Indigenous teaching mirrors thinking back to the learner.

  • Indigenous teaching emphasizes seeing things comprehensively: seeing things through and through.

  • The orientation of Indigenous learning flows from expectation, through exchange and context, to application of experience and vision.

Standards