Native American Social Studies

Words: 947
Pages: 4

Reflecting back on my field experience, I could not help but feel troubled by the groups’ work on Native American projects in Social Studies. While I, personally, had completed a similar project in my elementary school years, it appeared these students were unaware—or did not care—that the research they were completing was on cultures still alive today. Accordingly, I began to wonder at, when these students were discussing the various tribes, their lack of emotion regarding some of the struggles faced by members of the group. In reanalyzing my field notes, therefore, I decided to search for instances of empathy, or instances where empathy was dissuaded. This led me back to the concepts of language and culture which I set out to note originally during the observation period. After consulting various educational theories, the relationships between language, culture, and caring became evident and, as I hope to demonstrate, central to the development of empathy in children.
Nel Noddings, in “An Ethic of Caring and Its Implications for Instructional Arrangements,” discusses the merits
…show more content…
Instead, using a series of books designed specifically for their reading level without, as far as I could observe, primary source documents included, they researched the cultures of various Native American groups as separate, unique, and non-continuous. We might surmise that events such as those raised by Cowhey (2006) where ethnicities such as that of the Taínos are exposed to exist beyond the pages of history would be practically nonexistent in this setting. Put differently, the class actively chose to subscribe to a dominant culture completely separate from the ones which they study—a choice which impressed views of “self” and “other” on the children and illustrates a yawning disconnect between acceptance of personal and extra-personal experiences, such as those of themselves and a Native American