Learning and Teaching Together

Weaving Indigenous Ways of Knowing into Education

Michele T. D. Tanaka

  • Published: 2015. Paperback 2017
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Education
  • Bibliographic information: 260 pp., 33 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Teachers unfamiliar with Aboriginal approaches to learning are seeking ways to respectfully weave Aboriginal content into their lessons. This book introduces an indigenist approach to education. It recounts how pre-service teachers immersed in a crosscultural course in British Columbia began to practise Indigenous ways of knowing. Working alongside Indigenous wisdom keepers, they transformed earth fibres into a mural and, in the process, their own ideas about learning and teaching. By revealing how these students worked to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into their practice, this book opens a path for teachers to nurture indigenist crosscultural understanding in their classrooms.
Michele T. D. Tanaka is assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria.

"Too often, in educational contexts, we get caught up in theorizing and intellectualizing rather than expressing other ways of knowing and understanding. As Michele Tanaka shows, there is much powerful holistic learning that can emerge when we make and do things together in accordance with the guidance of sacred ecology wisdom. This provocative and engaging book provides excellent examples of holistic engagement processes and inspires us to reimagine the purposes and processes of public education today. Learning and Teaching Together provides valuable guidance to educators, teacher-educators, and policy makers."
-Dwayne Donald, associate professor, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

"This innovative book - which follows a group of pre-service teachers as they "walk alongside" wisdom keepers in an earth fibres course - demonstrates how indigenous knowledge can transform classroom spaces. A must-read for anyone involved in teacher education, it offers a new direction for crosscultural learning and teaching."
-Teresa Strong-Wilson, associate professor, Faculty of Education, McGill University

Foreword / Greg Cajete
SENCOTEN Pronunciation and Glossary
Introduction: A WelcomingThe Moons of XAXE SIAM SILA

1. Orienting to Place and Pedagogical Purpose
2. Opening Oneself to Indigenous Ways of Being-Knowing-Doing
3. Rethinking Learner-Teacher Relationships
4. Invoking Good Intention and Conscious Action
5. Focusing on How and Why We Teach
6. Trusting Learners and Remembering Wholeness
7. Coming Together in Safe Enough Spaces
8. Continuing Reflection towards Sustainability
9. Preparing Self and Community for Dispositional Change
10. Indigenizing Practice amid Classroom Challenges
11. Re-envisioning (Teacher) Education
12. Touchstones for Future Teaching