Anthropocentrism's Antidote: Reclaiming Our Indigenous Orientation to Non-human Teachers
Keywords:Indigenous World View, Indigenous Education, Anthropocentrism, Student-Centered Learning, Diversity, Animal Studies, Plants, Critical Pedagogy, Indigenous Cultures
This semi-dialogic essay argues that the traditional wisdom of Indigenous Peoples must supplant the reification of human centeredness currently existing in Western education; if we are to restore social and ecological balance in the world. Our father-daughter-grandson reflections may help to illuminate the epistemology of our assertions and research conclusions. Such authorship represents the multi-generational approach to teaching and learning typical in traditional Indigenous cultures. We begin by attempting to explain how and why dominant rhetoric regarding diversity is delusional and dangerous. We then offer specific ideas for how Western schooling can move toward a more authentic understanding that is the basis for indigenous education; one that embraces a non-hierarchical philosophy about sharing, connecting to and learning from the non-human ecology that surrounds us.
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