Place-Based Learning: Reinhabitation and Decolonization

The article suggests that a “critical pedagogy of place” aims to: a) identify, recover, and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (reinhabitation); and (b) identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (decolonization) (p.74). List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative. How might you adapt these ideas / consider place in your own subject areas and teaching?

            The article Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing by Jean P. Restoule, Sheila Gruner, and Edmund Metatawabin mentions the process of Reinhabitation and decolonization. These two processes can be seen throughout the text. A few ways that reinhabitation and decolonization can be seen are on pages 70, 71, and 73. Of course there are many more examples but I’m focusing on only a select few. On page 70 and 73 the authors talk about economic exploitation and large-scale extractive development. This is harmful to the land and the culture of the Mushkegowuk peoples. These are ways of exploiting and injuring the land which the Mushkegowuk people find sacred and important to their culture and teachings. On page 71 and throughout the text the discussion of involving the youth and adult generations as well as fostering dialog and respecting the community are brought up. These concepts are important for regaining intergenerational discussions and to discuss ways of changing how people treat the land as well as the beliefs associated to them.

As I move into my teachings, I plan on incorporation the ideas from this narrative to better my lessons and classroom. I can help students gain an understanding and appreciation for the land and for other cultures and beliefs. I would like to create an environment that can educate students on how they could work in and with intergenerational groups as well as large-scale groups. Overall, I wish to foster respect in my classroom and allow my students to involve themselves in discussion.

Looking beyond my ECS 210 course, I can see this article being a useful and beneficial tool in my future. As mentioned above, it gave my a list of ideas for future use in my classroom. Additionally, this article made me think about how I can integrate these concepts into my life right now as a student. I can use the information provided to me in this text in future assignments and to relate to other material in other courses, I can create intergenerational environments for myself to work in and engage in, and I can put myself in large-scale groups to work on assignments and cooperative learning experiences. I was able to learn how important it is for an individual to participate and be an active individual in a group setting. I hope to develop the skills from this text in my life now so that when it comes time to use them in a classroom with students, I will be able to help them on their journey and experience.

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