Indigenous ways of learning and the roles of elders in the learning process

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Media

Document 1

Indigenous communities can be able to reclaim and improve the understanding and survival of their community’s values through advancements in indigenous education which can best be done by the elders who are conversant with the ways and values of the community itself. However, in the world today and in many societies around the world, there has been an increasing shift towards recognizing and understanding indigenous models of education which are regarded as the most viable and legitimate form of education. This is simply because all sectors of education seem to borrow most of its values from certain religions and have equipped themselves with some sort of indigenous education. Focusing on the indigenous system of education, there are so many different educational systems throughout the world, some of these systems have dominated the market and widely accepted by the society as the most viable and reliable form of education. In that case members of the community praise and celebrate diversity in learning and see this global support for teaching traditional forms of knowledge as the success. Indigenous communities have many ways of learning such as active participation, for example in many American indigenous communities children often begin to learn through their eagerness to be part of the society and more so to be the active members of their communities. They are always ready to take part in any activity and get to know what is expected of them in the society, it’s the obligation of the elders of the community to take charge and make sure that whatever they feed these children is of importance and can help them in the near future to be reliable members of the community.

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Through in the process, these children can feel incorporated as among the members of the community when given to take process and participation as the members of the community. In most of the traditional villages such as one in Yucatan, Mexico, engaging in mature activities is regarded of great importance since its believed to help children learn how to participate and contribute appropriately towards building the society and having a good experience as members of the society. In this village elders do not force children to do something but instead they are just left to do whatever they think it’s of importance to them then in the process they will be examined as having good or bad morals, the elders do not necessarily interfere with what they are doing but all that they do is simply remind them how to do it.

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They will have that sense of brotherhood and sisterhood since the teachings and the education they get from the elders and more so the activities of the society have sharpened their skills and abilities to interact with others and share cultural values and believes. The main model of learning indigenous education is to incorporate and expose children in different activities where they are expected to be part of it and be active in the process hence learning something out the experience they have gained in there. There are different forms of activities which can vary from momentary interactions to broad societal foundations and how these activities contribute to societal foundations. According to the Maya Belize culture, female children who are as young as four years can walk with their mothers to the river to wash clothes and other domestic chores alongside their guidance, instead of verbal instructions they observe keenly what their mother is doing and in the process learn how to do it.

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They imitate to the best of their ability and have a clear knowledge that inclusion is part of the community, rather than being directed to do something on their own the indigenous children are expected to observe and swing into action without much intervention. Assessment is another way of indigenous learning, whereby children rely on assessment to master the assign work or task which is expected of them to undertake. Assessment can be of so many forms and it has been widely practiced in most of the American communities, the evaluation can be done by the family members, parents or even oneself. The assessment, in this case, means the feedback that the child gets from their external observers or from the parents who are one of the interested parties, they can work around the clock to make sure that in whatever they do they get a positive feedback which will motivate them to look back at what they have done and actually appreciate their work.

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in Mexican indigenous heritage community of Nocuzepo, there is always an available evidence to a leaner simply by observing the results of their contribution and by observing whether their support is accepted or corrected, that is simply the obligation of the elders to scrutinize and make sure that the child will come out the best. In conclusion, indigenous learning is not that informal but the community regards it as the best out of all other. First Nations education in Canada: The circle unfolds, 139. arnhardt, R. Creating a place for indigenous knowledge in education. Place-based education in the global age: Local diversity, 113. Davidson-Hunt, I. Ethos, 37(1), 102-138.

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