A critical analysis of curriculum and pedagogy in Indigenous education: Engaging Hopi and Tewa educators in the process of praxis

Jeremy Garcia, Purdue University


This Critical Indigenous Qualitative Research study examined the ways in which K-12 Hopi/Tewa educators and principals negotiated curriculum and pedagogy selected for Hopi/Tewa students. Specifically, the study examined: (1) how the developing theoretical frameworks of Red Pedagogy (Grande, 2004) and Tribal Critical Race Theory (Brayboy, 2006) affected K-12 Hopi/Tewa teachers and principals; and (2) the curricular and pedagogical choices for Hopi/Tewa learners. The theoretical frameworks provided a lens through which the participants analyzed Western frameworks and re-considered Indigenous worldviews through the examination of curriculum and pedagogy. Once exposed to the concepts proposed within the theoretical frameworks (i.e., assimilation, decolonization, hegemony, power, Indigenous knowledge and sovereignty), the participants engaged in a process of praxis around aspects of curriculum and pedagogy serving Hopi/Tewa schools. Within the dialogical and dialectical space of this research, the development of a critical Indigenous consciousness (Lee, 2006) takes on new meaning as the participants shared stories and encountered new terms that assisted in naming the ways in which notions of power, hegemony, assimilation and colonialism worked and sustained themselves in curriculum, pedagogy and policies. The findings in this research include notions of negotiating epistemologies, deconstructing Hopi/Tewa and Western knowledge and value systems, problematizing assessment and accountability, and re-imagining an Indigenous philosophy of education as a source of power and survivance (Vizenor, 1994).^




JoAnn Phillion, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Teacher Training|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Native American Studies

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