About this Research Topic
Dominant colonial narratives of accountability persist in Canada and globally. Too often assessment focuses on the learning deficits of Indigenous peoples. This orientation continues to demean and ignore the educational aspirations of Indigenous peoples, because it fails to take into account the difference between Indigenous ways of knowing and representing children’s knowledge. While there are calls for educators to promote cultural differences, appreciation, and success through cultural competence acquisition in children’s autonomous learning processes and to include essential aspects of Indigenous education, such as values and knowledge of the Indigenous peoples, these calls are seldom heeded within current school cultures of accountability. In contrast, a focus on Indigenous ways of knowing could lead to the development of alternatives that are more meaningful and in harmony with children’s learning as a dynamic process.
This Research Topic will draw on experiences, languages, and knowledges of diverse peoples of Indigenous and non-Indigenous ancestries to explore understandings of assessment making as a holistic process, the heart of which is shaped by desires to sustain and grow children’s and youth’s ongoing educative/healthy life-making within, between, and across family, community, and schooling places. This issue highlights how we might live in relationally ethical ways by shifting school assessment toward assessment making lived out as “Pimosayta” (walking in a good way) (Young, 2005). Practices attentive to Indigenous ways of being draw on the significant knowledge, intelligence, and rigour implied in the Indigenous languages such as “Kipkipiw”, opening potential for philosophically grounding assessment making through understandings of “sitting with the sacred, sitting in a sacred circle” (Steinhauer, 2019). Understanding the dynamism that is involved in children’s learning as something that involves teachers, families, communities, land, place, and themselves, in which the assessment of those processes is a community activity in itself, measured in family and community by support and enthusiasm levels opens up assessment making potentials.
Literature in this area shows the damage Western forms of school assessment often shapes in the experiences and identity/life making of Indigenous children, youth, families, and communities.
Peoples in global contexts are welcomed to share their wisdom of (movements toward) living ethically relational assessment making. Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts of different roots and types: these may be from original research, to opinions, to analysis, to reviews, to storied knowledge. Please also consider submitting manuscripts with a video attachment as complementary material. Authors maintain 100% of their copyright in the Open Access Frontiers Journal.
Keywords: indigenous ways of knowing, assessment, life-making, curriculum making
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.