Storytime during family night in Mekoryuk
Place-based education means learning about a student’s immediate environment and their cultural history and heritage, too. Some educators say this is an essential part to a student’s overall education, while others think that teaching culture doesn’t matter to succeeding in college and beyond. This time on KTD we speak with educators who hold opposing opinions on whether or not to include cultural curricula in the classroom.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Two Alaskan educators, Dr. Paul Ongtooguk and Lynda Prince, join host Shana Sheehy in the studio to talk about the philosophy behind the cultural education movement and to explain its origins. We’ll also hear from Dr. Ben Chavis, a school choice supporter who is critical of the idea that schools should teach culture.
• Dr. Ben Chavis is a Native American educator who took the helm of an underperforming, inner city school in Oakland, California and through his controversial teaching methods the American Indian Charter School became the top middle school in California. He is the author of Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal's Triumph in the Inner City.
• Dr. Paul Ongtooguk is an Education professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and co-founder of Alaskool, an online source of Alaska Native history, language and culture. He previously joined KTD on Show 58: The Giving Show.
• Lynda Leal Prince grew up in Grayling, Alaska and holds a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University. She currently teaches World History and Alaska Studies at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
An outdoor classroom in Nanwalek
- Alaska Native Culture in Real Classrooms - In rural Alaska, one of the big questions about education is how to engage kids, how to make the academics they learn in school seem relevant to their life outside of school. KTD contributor Jessica Cochran learned about two efforts – a private school in Kotzebue and the North Slope Borough school district based in Barrow – that are working to do that by integrating culture and academics.
Images via AASB.org