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Psychology Lecture Series

Understanding and Legitimizing How Indigenous Children Learn

Wed. April 20, 2016       7:30 p.m.

Kane Hall 130, UW Campus

The way we learn is shaped by our culture. For indigenous children, there is often a mismatch between their culture and the classroom. Fryberg and Rogoff examine indigenous children’s approach to learning and how educators can create a more supportive academic environment.

This evening is part of the Connecting the Dots Between Research and the Community series, where a UW Psychology professor partners with a visiting colleague to tell the story of how their research is addressing some of society’s biggest challenges.

Speaker: Stephanie Fryberg, Ph.D.
Lecture: Culturally Grounded Academic Interventions That Build on the Strengths of Indigenous Students
Description: Individuals are a product of the culture they inhabit, and also play an important role in creating and adapting to that culture. For many indigenous students, the culture of educational institutions in the U.S. reflects a set of ideas and practices about what it means to be a “good” student, the purpose of education and the nature of the relationship between teachers and students. This results in a cultural mismatch between indigenous students’ model of self and the model prevalent in mainstream educational contexts. The first set of studies empirically tests these cultural mismatches, whereas the second set of studies builds on the strengths of indigenous students to alleviate these mismatches and positively influence motivation and academic performance.

About Stephanie Fryberg

Speaker: Barbara Rogoff, Ph.D.
Lecture: Ways of Learning in Indigenous Communities of the Americas: Observing and Pitching In
Description: In many indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas, children learn by having the opportunity to contribute to the range of endeavors of their family and community, observing the activities around them and pitching in to help. This approach to learning seems to be less common in communities that segregate children from the range of activities of their community. In this presentation, Barbara Rogoff uses examples in Guatemalan Mayan and Mexican-heritage communities to discuss several key aspects that seem to characterize this way of learning: children have opportunities to contribute and take initiative, children and adults engage collaboratively and the goals of learning include becoming a responsible contributor.

About Barbara Rogoff

This free, public series is made possible by a generous bequest from Professor Allen L. Edwards.