Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2012 Issue »

    Designing Indigenous Language Revitalization

    Mary Hermes, Megan Bang, and Ananda Marin
    Endangered Indigenous languages have received little attention within the American educational research community. However, within Native American communities, language revitalization is pushing education beyond former iterations of culturally relevant curriculum and has the potential to radically alter how we understand culture and language in education. Situated within this gap, Mary Hermes, Megan Bang, and Ananda Marin consider the role of education for Indigenous languages and frame specific questions of Ojibwe revitalization as a part of the wider understanding of the context of community, language, and Indigenous knowledge production. Through a retrospective analysis of an interactive multimedia materials project, the authors present ways in which design research, retooled to fit the need of communities, may inform language revitalization efforts and assist with the evolution of community-based research design. Broadly aimed at educators, the praxis described in this article draws on community collaboration, knowledge production, and the evolution of a design within Indigenous language revitalization.

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    Mary Hermes is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where she teaches in the Second Languages and Cultures (SLC) and Culture and Teaching (CAT) programs. She has published in Curriculum Inquiry, Anthropology and Education, Harvard Educational Review, and Journal of American Indian Education. As director of the nonprofit Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia, Hermes travels throughout Indian Country to support revitalization projects.

    Megan Bang is an assistant professor of learning sciences and human development at the University of Washington and the former director of education at the American Indian Center in Chicago. She works to understand culture and cognition broadly with a specific focus on the complexities of navigating multiple meaning systems in creating and implementing more effective learning environments with Indigenous students, teachers, and communities. Her work focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing, issues of self-determination in relation to the practice and production of science, and science education. Bang is a former preschool, high school, and GED teacher; youth worker; and museum educator. She has directed professional development programs with in-service and preservice teachers and after-education programs in community-based organizations.

    Ananda Marin is a PhD candidate in the Learning Sciences Program at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on culture and cognition and learning and development across multiple contexts. In her dissertation, she examines attention practices and their relationship to learning about the natural world and science learning more generally. Her recent work with Megan Bang includes engaging in community-based design research to build early science learning environments.
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    Fall 2012 Issue


    Youth and Citizenship in the Digital Age
    A View from Egypt
    Linda Herrera
    Coming Home
    Hermanos Académicos Reflect on Past and Present Realities as Professors at Their Alma Mater
    Richard J. Reddick and Victor B. Sáenz
    Designing Indigenous Language Revitalization
    Mary Hermes, Megan Bang, and Ananda Marin
    The Illusion of Inclusion
    A Critical Race Theory Textual Analysis of Race and Standards
    Julian Vasquez Heilig, Keffrelyn Brown, and Anthony Brown

    Book Notes

    Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization
    William Zumeta, David W. Breneman, Patrick M. Callan, and Joni E. Finney

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