Indigenous knowledges and social justice pedagogy

Bryan Brayboy, Teresa L. McCarty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


Schooling and its processes make value judgments about what kinds of knowledge(s) count. Indigenous knowledges tend to be misunderstood and marginalized in the context of Western schooling. These misunderstandings can "count" against Indigenous students in profoundly negative ways. The goal of this chapter is to provide insights from research, theory, and practice on Indigenous knowledges as a means of informing education policy and practice for Indigenous students. Our focus is on ways of knowing for Indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada-a highly diverse group who nonetheless share certain experiences and values. We begin by outlining what we mean by Indigenous ways of knowing, emphasizing that Indigenous knowledges are: (1) emplaced within distinctive physical landscapes and social networks; (2) rooted in community; (3) systematic; and (4) lived in everyday social practice. We then explore relationships, responsibility, and reciprocity as anchoring principles for the transmission, acquisition, and expression of Indigenous knowledges. Recognizing that teaching and learning are integrally connected and that social justice too must be lived, we examine three case examples that demonstrate the possibilities for "doing" social justice pedagogy in ways that embrace Indigenous ways of knowing, learning, and teaching for the benefit of all students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Justice Pedagogy Across the Curriculum
Subtitle of host publicationThe Practice of Freedom
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)0203854489, 9780203854488
StatePublished - Mar 30 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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