User:Leighblackall/Education as instrument of colonisation

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This is a notespace on the questions of colonisation through systems of education. My own questioning along these lines began with reading Ivan Illich's works, and was fed further by Chet Bowers' Let Them Eat Data, and False Promises of Constructivist Theories of Learning. I first publicly exposed my questioning at the Open Educational Resources conference in Vancouver in 2009, with the blog post the New Colonialism in OER. I have since published notes around this idea to the category on my blog, Neo Colonialism.

Recently I was handed a valuable book called Aboriginal Knowledge Narratives and Country by Payi Linda Ford (Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu), and while reading the introductory chapters, I emailed the book's online catalogue to Chet Bowers. Chet generously responded with directional tuition on a number of related issues he saw, as well as experiences he has had in Peru. Chet's permitting me to copy his words into more public spaces, has prompted me to start this notespace, in the hope that it may assist others in finding some direction in this very dense and complex space.

My overall motivation is admittedly naive at this point. I want to try and find a way to reverse colonisation, and learn as much as may be permitted, a different way of thinking and perhaps being. One that is more sensitive toward others, and one that may solve some of the problems we-as-colonisers face in our own cultural context.

Topics[edit]

Critiquing constructivism - the premise of today's education systems[edit]

"My first critique of Freire's notion of an emancipatory pedagogy started with an effort to reconcile his ideas with the Scollon's ethnographic study of a First Nation culture in Northern Alberta. What led to the False Promises book was the Peruvian government reforms that were to be based on a constructivist theory of learning. At the time I was co-teaching a course on environmental issues there, and was deeply involved in the Quechua effort to clarify the different forms of colonization occurring through government sponsored educational reforms." Chet Bowers, in an email to Leigh Blackall, April 2012. Published with permission.

Deep cultural/consciousness: The differences between oral and literacy based cultures[edit]

"Understanding how print, for all of its virtues, plays a major role in the colonization of nonwestern cultures, and in undermining ecological intelligence."
"One of the epistemological problems in the West is to think of isolated things, and he [Bateson] makes the point that everything exists in a relationship––and this is what we should have been focused on. I have gone back to look at the origins of the Greek word, oikos, that Ernst Haeckel reduced to mean the study of natural systems. Its original meaning related to all relationships outside of the polis. This chapter also has a good discussion of Bateson's other insights about language." Chet Bowers in an email to Leigh Blackall, April 2012. Published with permission.
A collection of Gregory Bateson's short works over his long and varied career. Subject matter includes essays on anthropology, cybernetics, psychiatry and epistemology. It was originally published by Chandler Publishing Company in 1972 (republished 2000 with foreword by Mary Catherine Bateson).
"...if you are interested in the print/orality debate and how print can be understood as undermining the ecological of information that is available when we rely upon all our senses, memory, and exchanges with others, there is an essay on my website under the category of Issues in Eco-Justice. It focuses on how print has led to the use of abstract political language that has no connections with the ecology of people's lives--or to the natural ecologies."
"...it is argued that the paradigm, within which the enclave-derived approach to Indigenous higher education is located, is compatible with the normalising imperialistic ideology of higher education. The analysis of the Mirrwana/Wurrkama participatory action research project, central to the research, supported an argument for the Mirrwana/Wurrkama model of Indigenous higher education. Further analysis identifi ed fi ve key pedagogical principles embedded within this new model as metaphorically equivalent to wilan~bu of the pelangu. The book identifi es the elements of the spirituality of the narrative exposed in the research-in-action through the “Marri kubin mi thit wa!”. This is a new paradigm for Tyikim participation in higher education within which the Mirrwana/Wurrkama model is located. Finally, the book identifi es the scope for Tyikim knowledge use in the construction of contemporary ‘bureaucratic and institutionalised’ higher education ngun nimbil thit thit teaching and learning experiences of Tyikim for the advancement of Tyikim interests. Here the tyangi yigin tjan spiritual concepts of narrative and landscape are drawn upon both awa mirr metaphorically and in marri kubin mi thit wa Tyikim pedagogical practice..."