Interdisciplinary Work Group for the Generation of Indigenous-Centered Curricula

Mission:  To develop an adaptable set of curricular materials that are informed by global Indigenous peoples’ pedagogical approaches in order to create EWP courses such as ENGL 131 and ENGL 111, composition requirements such as C LIT 240, or IWP courses.

Participants: Lydia Heberling, Sebastian Lopez Vergara, Leah Rubinsky, Elizabeth Schoffner

To promote Indigenous pedagogical approaches for composition classes, we follow the lead of scholars such as Elisa Loncon (Mapuche) who encourage a critical understanding of the cultural contexts that educational methods and contents create under the ideal of inclusion while reproducing the silencing of Indigenous peoples’ histories of discrimination. We propose building a foundational archive of Indigenous texts that engage with narrative methods such as oral storytelling, dance and performance, craft, etc. that transmit knowledge about culture, environment, history, politics, in order to reframe what we and our students understand as “legitimate” forms of composition and knowledge production. 

This archive will help create classroom activities and writing assignments and scaffold students’ understanding of the texts and ideas. In order to create adaptable curricula, we propose to develop sequences with lessons and activities that can stand alone or be “mix-n-matched” with other assignments. For example, if we develop an ENGL 131 sequence that culminates in performing a decolonial critique of a museum exhibition, one of our activities might involve doing a rhetorical analysis of a problematic text panel from a museum. But, that rhetorical analysis activity might also scaffold into an IWP sequence that culminates in rewriting a section of a biology textbook to incorporate Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. These assignments will complement each other and guide students toward a critical awareness of Indigenous issues and understanding of the ongoing workings of colonialism in modern knowledge, the university, and the organization of life.

These documents are stored in the Expository Writing Program Archive and instructors may log into the archive to gain access to these materials at the following link: Expository Writing Program Archive.