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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's podcast I speak to Professor Gregory Cajete from Santa Clara Pueblo and the University of New Mexico about indigenous education and what contemporary western education can learn from such rich traditions. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Belonging to the Tewa tribe and what is particular about that tribe.
  • Numbers in different tribes such as the Navajo, Cherokee, the Hopi and the Tewa.
  • Being the first member of his family to attend public school
  • Previously native Americans would have attended federal boarding schools (created by Pratt), with a basic academic curriculum
  • Professor Cajete refers to “Charles Pratt” but this may be a mistaken reference to Richard Henry Pratt, to whom the expression “Kill the Indian, save the man” was attributed.
  • Tribal College Union established in the 1970s (36 colleges – like first and second year of colleges; giving 2-year degrees)
  • Defining indigenous education: Distinction between native American students attending US public schools (including the Bureau of Indian affair schools and religious denominational schools) – education as assimilation versus traditional indigenous education including stories, history, customs and language of the people.
  • Relationality as the basis of indigenous education – developing a relationship to the place in which we live
  • In indigenous education people ask the question, “how am I related to this?” versus the predominant “western” question “What is this?”
  • Currently attempts are being made to introduce native American language, culture and traditions into US public schools
  • Epistemology (how we come to know what we know) of indigenous education involves storytelling, ceremony, participation in community, rhythm and dance.
  • Axiology (what is the focus of/what has value in?) of indigenous education is about establishing a balanced relationship with your environment, including human and other-than-human entities; a place-based world view (based on where you live).
  • Logic of indigenous education is ecological and is one of balanced interdependence. It is part of an understanding that everything you do impacts everything around you.
  • The Lakota people say “We are all related.”
  • The “intractable conflict” between indigenous education and public school education in the United States
  • Why the curriculum focused on subject-matter is object-focused and parts-oriented whereas native education is ecological, sustainable and holistic.
  • Shortcomings of the subject-based curriculum include that it doesn’t teach for relationality or about the ecological mandate, the pre-requisite for sustainability; these are “specialised fields” whereas in indigenous education, you learn these from the day you’re born and reinforced consistently throughout one’s lifetime. Consequently you acquire a life-centred focus.
  • Many native artists are entrepreneurial while maintaining a traditional viewpoint. An economic focus is on benefiting the community, not just oneself.
  • Gary Nabhan is not native American but he writes about native forms of agriculture.
  • Enrique Salmón too has written on this topic.
  • Books Greg Cajete has written:
  • Values that underpin indigenous education
  • O. Wilson’s biophilic sensibility – caring and empathy for each other, caring and empathy for the natural world and caring and empathy for your soul
  • The indigenous stages of developmental learning; finding the essence of your soul.
  • Question: What does it mean to become a full human being? Chant: One must first find one’s face (you identity), one must then find one’s heart, finally one must find one’s foundation (what you stand on) in the context of relationship, responsibility, respect and resonance, with one’s self, one’s community, one’s place, then with one’s world, within the context of your relationship with the cosmos.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I bring you my interview with Alfie Kohn, who writes and speaks about education, especially in areas such as homework, standardised testing and punishments and rewards. Among the items we discuss on the podcast are the following:

  • Fostering students’ curiosity and encouraging them to think deeply
  • Teachers participating with children in an exploration of ideas to move beyond factual knowledge
  • How teachers can teach to promote students’ thinking
  • The inverse relationship between teacher control and student learning
  • Why learning starts with a question
  • John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Ed Deci and Richard Ryan (Self-determination theory)
  • Why rewards and punishment don’t help children learn
  • Why saying “Good job” to your students is the equivalent of a “verbal doggy biscuit”
  • Children who are frequently praised are less generous than their peers
  • How children know when they’re being controlled and how they respond to it
  • How teachers can respond to students’ work and respect the child’s autonomy
  • Implementing a no-homework policy in a school
  • Why he believes that giving homework to children constitutes malpractice.
  • Excitement (about learning) drives excellence
  • Standardised tests and teacher accountability; Authentic assessments – tap into projects done by students over time
  • Why standardised teaching tells you only two things: (i) how much time was given to teaching test taking and (ii) how big the houses are near the school.
  • Differences between role of parent and teacher: Unconditional parenting and unconditional teaching
  • Punished by Rewards
  • Unconditional Parenting

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I bring you the second and final part of my interview with Professor John P. Miller from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. John P. Miller is the author of The Holistic Curriculum, the third edition of which was recently published. Among the matters we discussed on the programme this week were:

  • The importance of examining our beliefs
  • The soul as the unconditioned self
  • The connection between holistic education and mental health
  • The relationship between holistic education and affective education, humanistic education, confluent education and transpersonal education.
  • The Holistic Ed Review started by Ron Miller
  • The lack of university programmes in holistic education up to doctoral level
  • What school is for
  • The Sudbury Valley School

People mentioned by John P. Miller

Books/authors mentioned on the programme:

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I speak to John P. (Jack) Miller, of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and author of of The Holistic Curriculum, about holistic education. Among the topics discussed on the programme are:

  • What is holistic education?
  • In a tradition from indigenous people, Buddha, Socrates, Plato, Rousseau, Emerson, Thoreau, Peabody and Tolstoy up to Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia.
  • How The Equinox Holistic School in Toronto was inspired by and follows the ideas in Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum. The story of the school is told here.
  • Use of textbooks and a holistic curriculum
  • What is the experience of a holistic curriculum like for a student?
  • Autonomy for children in holistic education settings
  • Characteristics of teachers to teach holistically
  • Difference between teaching a subject holistically and teaching the same subject conventionally
  • Planning for holistic teaching
  • James Bean and integrated curriculum
  • Susan Drake and integrated curriculum
  • Relationship between holistic education and wisdom
  • The difference between contemplation and reflection and mindfulness
  • Religious education and spirituality education
  • The work of Thomas Moore on Spirituality and Education; also Parker Palmer and Rachel Kessler

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I bring you more from my interview with Professor Gert Biesta, who is Professor of Public Education at Maynooth University. What comes through in everything he says is the respect and love he has for teaching. Among the wide range of topics we discuss are the following:

  • Who he writes for when he writes about education
  • Speaking and thinking about education in an educational way
  • How philosophy can inform the practice of teachers
  • Designing and teaching a module on philosophy for future teachers
  • The importance of asking good questions
  • The relevance of Kierkegaard and “Double truth giving” in teaching
  • Teaching for the possibility of being taught
  • John Dewey’s critique of the modern scientific world view
  • PE teachers who had a significant impact on him
  • Why schools should surprise
  • What inspires him

The book he is currently reading is in German and it is Allgemeine Pädagogik by Dietrich Benner. He also referred to the work of Homer Lane, whose most famous book is Talks to Parents and Teachers. He also referred to the book, Beyond the Present and the Particular by Charles H. Bailey.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I speak to Gert Biesta who is Professor of Public Education at Maynooth University. Among the topics we discuss on the programme are:

  • Why he took up a position in Ireland
  • The work of the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University
  • How he’ll get to know the Irish education system
  • How teacher education in Ireland differs from teacher education in England
  • The emergence of a competitive mindset in education across countries
  • What good education is in an age of measurement
  • Balancing three purposes of education
  • The place of equity, diversity and social justice in education
  • Implications of the disappearance of teaching and the rise of learning over the last 25 years
  • The gift of teaching

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I am in conversation with five people asking them questions about education. I begin with Dr Pádraig Hogan, a Senior Lecturer in Maynooth University and then I speak to the authors of a new book on educational research titled Learning Communities in Educational Partnerships: Action Research as Transformation. The authors are Máirín Glenn, Mary Roche, Caitríona McDonagh and Bernie Sullivan and they coordinate Educational Action Research Ireland.

Among the books mentioned on the programme are the following:

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire

Teacher by Sylvia Ashton-Warner

An Experiment in Education by Sybil Marshall

This book doesn’t make ... by Jean Augur

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme my guest is teacher educator and philosopher Dr. Pádraig Hogan of the Department of Education at Maynooth University. I spoke to Pádraig at the annual conference of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland. Among the topics we discussed in a wide-ranging interview were:

  • The purpose of schools
  • Truth and education
  • Teaching as a way of life
  • Learning as a way of life for teachers
  • Supervision on school placement
  • Challenging our prejudices as teachers and teacher educators
  • Deference and difference in education
  • Ethics and education

Ethics and teaching

Becoming a discerning reader of your own teaching

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