Cultural Contexts

This is the fourth blog post requirement for my Applied Practice in Context paper through The MindLab - Post Graduate course.

The requirement was:
Write a blog post where you reflect on the provided readings and videos. Suggested length200-300 word.
The provocations for this post were:
  • How does indigenous knowledge relate to social justice?
  • How does this relate to human rights?
  • How can you ensure kaitiakitanga or care and protection of indigenous knowledge within teaching practice?
  • Why is this a responsibility within my context of practice?
Some of what we're experiencing now in terms of ecological issues relates to people not knowing enough about how what they're doing effects the world around us.  I wonder if those that have created much of our ecological disasters would have continued on the same path if indigenous knowledge had been accepted or given the same value as their own scientific knowledge.  

Indigenous knowledge have similarities across the world - the most prominent being the connection of indigenous people to the land they live on, their relationship with it, and the systems of sharing knowledge with the wider community of family.  It seems that many cultures have a human right of respect.  This includes respect for their families and communities, other cultures and the land they live on.

As a teacher I don't see it as my role to teach children about their own culture.  As a mum I believe it is my right and duty to teach our son about his culture.  I do believe as a teacher it is my duty to show respect for other cultures and to teach children what that respect looks like, sounds like and feels like. True respect comes from knowing and learning about and with others, from taking part and celebrating where appropriate and from discussing similarities more than differences.  Although I don't teach culture I do encourage children, their families and our wider community to share their culture with others to help myself and their peers to understand what it is that makes their culture special.   

School is sometimes the first place children encounter cultures they haven't seen before, it becomes authentic then to learn about how to respect other cultures and what that respect looks like, feels like and sounds like.