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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 However, the lesson about the first Thanksgiving included inaccurate historical content.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

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References

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 (mbking1@wisc.edu) 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 (laura.lang@wceps.org) is associate director and lead coach, Authentic Intellectual Work Institute.

Rachel Byington (rbyington@wisc.edu) 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 (cherylbauer@wisc.edu) is Earth Partnership director in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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