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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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Toward the Practical Framework of Sámi Education


Our previous chapters have already shown that the special features of Sámi edu- cation are not considered in teaching arrangements sufficiently. Education at Sámi schools is not culturally sensitive enough and it should be further devel- oped. Culturally sensitive school notices the important role of the local culture and its worldview and values when it comes to teaching arrangements. In this chapter, our purpose is to present a practical framework that opens, and there- fore highlights the factors that enhance such teaching practices that help con- fronting and supporting Sámi culture in instruction and school. In this chapter, we concentrate on the culturally sensitive situation and cul- tural-historical background factors within the indigenous people’s schooling sys- tem and discuss the encounter between different cultures. Sámi School in Nor- way is heterogeneous because diverse ethnic groups and many languages oper- ate there. We will analyze and describe how well the system is prepared for the reality, and what kind of special features it has; and what should be taken into account when pursuing acting in a way that pays attention to the situation in the field of the manifold school. The Development of Sámi Education In Scandinavia, curriculum development was connected to church until the very recent years. In Norway, the curricula that came into operation in 1858 and 1890 in elementary school defined the guidelines of teaching that had to be completed locally (Gundem, 1990). The elementary school curriculum of 1939 emphasized working methods and...

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