A Critical Ecohermeneutic Approach to Education
some notes on terminology
A note on the use of “we” and other third person pronouns. I often tell students that “we” is the most dangerous word in the English language. Who is we? When I use “we” or any other third person pronoun I am usually referring to those immersed in modern Western ways of thinking. I say this not to further align myself with this tradition, but out of respect for the alterity of primitive communities, Indigenous communities, communities of the Eastern traditions, more-than-human communities and all other communities who have lived and learned, and continue to live and learn, other than we do.
A note on the use of the term “Indigenous.” I would like to avoid reproducing the colonial logic of “pan-Indianism,” which is to say, speaking about Indigenous peoples as if they are a homogenous group with uniform social practices, histories and ontological orientations. With that said, I will respectfully speak of “worldviews,” “knowledges,” and “ways of knowing” that emerge from the wisdom traditions of “Indigenous peoples.” To this end I will evoke the definition provided by Gregory Cajete (1994). The term Indigenous will apply broadly to the many traditional and tribally oriented groups of peoples who are identified with a specific place or region and whose cultural traditions continue to reflect an inherent environmental orientation and sense of sacred ecology. The term Indigenous will also describe the culturally based forms of education that are not primarily rooted in modern Western educational philosophy and methodology...
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