Blog 3 – A response to “The Future of Alaska Native Education” by Paul Berg

I see the future of Alaska Native education in need of a new place-based approach to education, where the the members of village community become directly involved in crafting their own education. Although, some of the effects Berg describes, such as increased dependency and disempowerment have been noticed, I don’t necessarily believe non-natives should “back off,’ as Berg puts it, but to assimilate with the members of the village eliminating the “us and them’ and encourage mutual support, fellowship, and camaraderie for education. Personally, I have spent time in the village as teacher working alongside Native Alaskans in the classroom. I observed that they enjoyed having me at their school, and they expressed their desire for me to return to teach again. I encouraged one of my native coworkers to consider becoming a teacher, her reply was that it would take too much time. I look forward to a new placed-based approach for training teachers in the village that will foster the healing and wellness Berg describes, as well to cultivate mutual support and reciprocity between diverse cultures.

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