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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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How do the Sámi Culture and School Culture Converge – or do They?

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Although the school has operated in the Sámi community for centuries, the Sámi people do not have a school culture of their own being born from their own cir- cumstances and based on their own values. This is the case although the Sámi people do have their own learning and teaching culture. Furthermore, the Sámi people do not have an educational history that would be based on their distinct circumstances and their way of thinking. Thus, the school is a foreign concept and institution imported into Sámi society by outsiders (Sara, 1987); although the historical presence of school has lasted in the area for a long time. Because of these characteristics, it could be stressed that school culture in Sámi schools is in liminality. Furthermore, cultures collide easily (Hannerz, 2003). According to Mikkel Nils Sara (2003), the reason for the estrangement of the school from Sámi culture is that there was no need for the school to be aware of and take into account how to provide culturally sensitive teaching earlier. Culturally sensitive teaching is based on the Sámi premises. The collective rights of Indigenous peo- ples emphasize their right to preserve and develop their societies (Henriksen et al., 2005). This chapter examines how school supports the Sámi culture. Further, it re- flects the connection between the conceptions of socialization and enculturation within the instruction at the Sámi School. In this chapter, school culture is the main concern. Stuart Hall...

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