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Sámi Education

Pigga Keskitalo, Kaarina Määttä and Satu Uusiautti

This book is a pioneering work. It discusses special characteristics of the education of Sámi people, an indigenous people living in Northern Europe. The book provides a comprehensive study of indigenous school research and special features of Sámi education including problems and opportunities that teachers and pupils confront daily. The purpose of this book is to support the realization of indigenous peoples’ education based on their own cultural premises. New, reformative pedagogical models and culturally sensitive teaching arrangements that could enhance Sámi education are the focus of the book. It is aimed at everyone who is interested in indigenous peoples’ educational conditions and is based on the authors’ research cooperation in the field of Sámi education.


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The special needs of indigenous peoples’ education have aroused interest ever since the educational sovereignty has started to come true across the world. Therefore, it is more topical than ever to develop indigenous pedagogies. We too want to seize the challenge: the task of this book is to contribute to the educa- tional challenges among indigenous peoples by introducing research results, ed- ucational special features, and future trends. Sámi Education is aimed at everyone who is interested in educational condi- tions among indigenous peoples. The especial target group is students of educa- tion; teachers and educators at various school levels; educational, schooling, so- cial, and health care administrative authorities; and Sámi children’s parents—all people who have to deal with indigenous issues, pluralism, and multilingualism in diverse contexts. In addition, we hope that research institutions and universi- ties and researchers who study indigenous peoples and cultures from various points of view would find the information provided by this book useful. The idea of the book originates in our joint discussions aiming ambitiously at pro- ducing information about the multi-faceted educational processes serving many needs and contexts of indigenous and western societies. This book is divided into five chapters which include special viewpoints to Sámi research and education. The first chapter provides a glance at the history of Sámi education and the Sámi as an indigenous people. All historical happenings are intertwined in the assimilation processes during which some of the Sámi people have lost...

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