Thursday, December 02, 2010

Teaching young children about Pueblo Indians....

Doing research at Yale, my daughter came across a 1938 publication that she showed to me, knowing I'd be interested in it...

Titled A Study of the Pueblo Indians, it was published by the State of California Department of Education in a series of curriculum units for elementary schools. This one is Bulletin No. 10, August 15, 1938 by Gertrude Maloney. Beneath her name is "Training Teacher, University Elementary School, University of California at Los Angeles." A Study of the Pueblo Indians is about a class of third graders, studying Pueblo Indians.

In Part I, Maloney listed books used to create a stimulating environment: Hopi, the Cliff Dweller (1909) by Martha Jewett, Children of the Cliff (1910) by Belle Wiley and G. Edick, Lolami of the Tusayan (1903) by Clara Kern Bayliss, Swift Eagle of the Rio Grande (1928) by Elizabeth W. De Huff,  and Kwahu, the Hopi Indian Boy (1913) by George Newell Moran. On the blackboard, she printed an excerpt from Chi-Wee by Grace P. Moon, published in 1930. I've got some of those books in my to-study research collection.

Here's why I even began this particular post...  In Part I when the teacher is introducing the topic, she learns that some children
...thought that all Indians lived in tepees or wigwams, that they went about with bows and arrows and tomahawks, decked in paint and feathers and bent on mischief--a conception of Indian life much like that of many adults. (p. 2)
The publication is over 70 years old. However... The sad truth is that kids and adults today still think the same things that kids and adults thought in 1938. See Brophy's Elementary Students Learn about Native Americans.

What did YOU do TODAY that would challenge and counter those mistaken ideas?

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