Learning how to teach Indigenous history and culture

By M. Bruce King, Laura M. Lang, Claire S. Bjork, Rachel Byington and Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong
December 2022
Several days before facilitating a professional learning session on making curriculum and instruction more inclusive of Indigenous cultures, we sensed the need to confer. We had read a lesson plan that one of the participating teachers would share at the session, and it raised some serious concerns. The presenting teacher had developed this lesson with good intentions after she identified a need for more representation of Indigenous peoples in her school’s curriculum. However, the lesson about the first Thanksgiving included inaccurate historical content. As facilitators, we (Rachel, Laura, and Claire) discussed how to remedy the problems while still fostering a space of encouragement and support for the presenting teacher. She had taken initiative to attempt course correction to a history of schools’ minimal inclusion of

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Banks, J.A. & Banks, C.A.M. (Eds.). (1993). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives. Allyn & Bacon.

Brayboy, B.M.J., Gough, H.R., Leonard, B., Roehl, R.F., II, & Solyom, J.A. (2012). Reclaiming scholarship: Critical Indigenous research methodologies. In S.D. Lapan, M.T. Quartaroli, & F.J. Reimer (Eds.), Qualitative research: An introduction to methods and design (pp. 423-450). John Wiley.

Castagno, A.E. & Brayboy, B.M.J. (2008). Culturally responsive schooling for Indigenous youth: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 941-993.

hooks, b. (2003). Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. Routledge.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). From the achievement gap to the education debt: Understanding achievement in U.S. schools. Educational Researcher, 35(7), 3-12.

Newmann, F.M., Carmichael, D.L., & King, M.B. (2016). Authentic intellectual work: Improving teaching for rigorous learning. Corwin Press. 

Pewewardy, C. (2002). Learning styles of American Indian/Alaska Native students: A review of the literature and implications for practice. Journal of American Indian Education, 41(3), 22-56.

YoungBear-Tibbetts, H. (2013). Indigenous arts and sciences initiative: Summative evaluation. Tangram Consulting Services.

M bruce king
M. Bruce King ( is emeritus faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and director, Authentic Intellectual Work Institute.
Laura lang
Laura M. Lang ( is associate director and lead coach, Authentic Intellectual Work Institute.

Rachel Byington ( is Earth Partnership tribal youth and community liaison, is Earth Partnership director in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong ( is Earth Partnership director in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    October 2022

    Professional learning can help educators navigate the competing...

    August 2022

    New teachers have unique professional learning needs and challenges. When...

    June 2022

    This issue celebrates the 2022 revision of Standards for Professional...

    April 2022

    This issue celebrates the many ways coaches are helping schools thrive in...

    Skip to content