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An educational philosophy based on Native American Child-rearing.

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Presentation on theme: "An educational philosophy based on Native American Child-rearing."— Presentation transcript:

1 An educational philosophy based on Native American Child-rearing

2 Circle of Courage Benefits Creates a shared purpose Is a philosophical framework that can guide decisions and the development of policies Provides a common language Developmental assets are focused on Creates a positive learning community where students can develop successfully


4 Belonging – the need to be significant Generosity- the need to know our own virtue Mastery – the need to feel competent Independence – the need to be personally powerful Universal Needs

5 The Feeling/ Learning Connection Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence Our feelings determine our capacity to learn. Feelings-> Focus -> Memory -> Learning Students won’t remember or internalize curriculum if they are emotional. Without access to our memory, we cannot learn. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) : 70% of our well being An emotional intelligent person: -is aware of their own emotions and manages them -is aware of others emotions and manages them -loves, works and plays well

6 In Reclaiming Youth at Risk, Brendtro, Brokenleg and Van Bockern (1990) use the symbolism of the medicine wheel to describe "The Circle of Courage". This circle entwines central tenets of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity; all components being equally important.

7 “Anthropologists have long known that Native Americans reared courageous, respectful children without using aversive control.”

8 Generosity- The central goal in Native American child-rearing is to the teach the importance of being generous and unselfish. In helping others, youth create their own proof of worthiness: they have the power to make a positive contribution to another human life. Independence- Native teaching was designed to build respect and teach inner discipline. Children were encouraged to make decisions, solve problems, and show personal responsibility. Adults modeled, nurtured, taught values, and gave feedback. Belonging- Native American anthropologist Deloria described the core value of belonging in her culture in these simple words: "Be related, somehow, to everyone you know." Treating others as kin forged powerful social bonds of community that drew all into relationships of respect. Mastery- The first lesson in traditional Native American culture was that one should always observe those with more experience to learn from them. The child was taught to see someone with more skill as a model for learning, not as a rival. Humans have an innate drive to master their environments. When success is met, the desire to achieve is strengthened.

9 Education philosophy is incorporating a Native American belief system as an approach to fostering a positive environment to promote self-esteem, motivation, and good citizenship.

10 Spirit of Belonging Abraham Maslow's theory of human needs says that a sense of belonging must be attained before self-esteem and self-actualization can be realized. As a student is drawn into the circle in the Spirit of Belonging, a relationship is established which is based upon mutual trust and respect. The ultimate display of belonging is behaviour. A student really belongs when they act like they belong! -know student’s name -greet each student daily -treat each student in a respectful manner -celebrate differences -pair up new students with supportive peers -students help create classroom environment “Bird Family” Norval Morrisseau

11 “Dancing” Leland Bell Spirit of Mastery With the Native American approach to mastery, adults recognize that all students can learn and each student must be given the opportunity to demonstrate competence in some area. Without opportunities for success, students will tend to express their frustration and lack of self-worth through inappropriate behaviours. Learning that is somehow connected to the everyday life of the student and the opportunity for student collaboration provide very powerful intrinsic motivators. In the Spirit of Mastery, when success is met, the desire to achieve is strengthened. -goal setting and reflecting -sharing talents -focusing on strengths -learning contracts, providing choice

12 “My People’s Freedom” Johnny Marceland Spirit of Independence In contrast to obedience models of discipline, Native teaching is designed to build respect and teach inner discipline. Learning then becomes the responsibility of the student. Student empowerment is required to foster the belief that a student is in control of the learning process. This sense of autonomy is a powerful intrinsic motivator. Students first need to be dependent, learning to respect and value the wisdom of "elders". Modeling provides a basic framework which can be adjusted by each student to adapt to his/her particular learning style and multiple intelligences. -classroom jobs -encourage students to make positive choices -provide leadership opportunities -self responsibility, learning contracts -problem solving model

13 “Caring for One Another” Leland Bell Spirit of Generosity The highest virtues in Native culture are generosity and unselfishness. Self-esteem and self-worth are greatly increased by learning to help others. There is a responsibility to consider the welfare of everyone in the community. In a classroom, peer tutoring and cooperative learning groups allow students to share their talents with others. There is a feeling of pride and joy that is experienced by helping others. Without opportunities to share their talents, students cannot become caring, responsible adults. The help given must be genuine and not equated with personal gain. Students should be encouraged to get involved in the school community through a variety of service projects. -provide opportunities of service -random acts of kindness -peer mentoring and tutoring -circle meetings, positive reinforcement

14 A happy and well-adjusted student has a healthy balance in the four values of the Circle of Courage. The unhappy student has an imbalance in one or more of the four values which is observed as inappropriate behaviours. Proactively, the teacher, students, parents and staff can foster the Circle of Courage within the parameters of the classroom and school. Helping a student to identify and balance his/her values is attainable with positive support from the teacher, students, staff, and parents.

15 Imbalance in the Spirit of Belonging Rejected youth struggle to find distorted belongings; others are reluctant to form human attachments. The antidote—unmet needs can be addressed by corrective relationships of trust and caring. “Bird Family” Norval Morrisseau

16 Imbalance in Independence Fighting against feelings of powerlessness, some youth assert themselves in rebellious and aggressive ways or become the pawns of others. The solution—provide opportunities to develop confidence, self-discipline and positive leadership skills. “My People’s Freedom” Johnny Marceland

17 Imbalance in Mastery Children may seek to prove their competence in distorted ways or retreat from difficult challenges by giving up. They may become overachievers and cheat to gain what they want. The remedy—involvement in a non-competitive environment with abundant opportunities for meaningful achievement and modeling. “Dancing” Leland Bell

18 Imbalance in Generosity Without opportunities to give to others, some become involved in pseudo-altruistic helping or are locked in servitude to someone. The antidote—experience the joy of helping others. “Caring for One Another” Leland Bell

19 Grade 3 Students

20 Grade 6 Students

21 Kindling the Spirit Change: is a moment of crisis and/or chaos is a journey, not a destination is needing to know yourself does not mean you are wrong to feel uncomfortable with it might make you feel defensive requires that you use the power of language to help, not harm requires you to honor where the individual is at can be a celebration of a new beginning needs support to overcome obstacles requires leaders to encourage continued growth

22 To Motivate Staff 1.Prepare the soil -establish meaningful relationships -show trust -treat students with dignity and respect, not power and superiority -be a problem-solver, not a disciplinarian -have an open-door policy -have a purpose -have fun 2. Plant the seed -know your staff, identify the leaders to carry the message and pull the team -have access to resources -form a team to present information to staff -have the most outspoken critic on the team 3. Support the Growth -have uncomfortable or new staff members meet and plan with a confident staff member -know where support is within your school system or community -allow time for staff to meet and plan -be an inclusion facilitator by “glancing at problems and gazing at strengths” J.C. Chambers 4. Remember belonging is a shared responsibility

23 “The circle is a sacred symbol of life… individual parts within the circle connect to each other part and what happens to one, or what one part does, affects all within the circle.” Virgina Driving Hawk Sneve “Calling of Spirits” Tom Greene

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