dolores calderon on land and citizenship in progressive curricula


Dolores Calderon, ‘Speaking back to Manifest Destinies: a land education-based approach to critical curriculum inquiry’, Environmental Education Research (2013).

This article examines the ways in which settler colonialism shapes place in the social studies curriculum, producing understandings of land and citizenship in educational settings. To do this, the author uses the emergent framework of land education to move forward the important projects of place-based education, especially its potential for centering indigeneity and confronting educational forms of settler colonialism in environmental education. To emphasize how place-based education can intersect with land education, the author outlines how a concept of place, informed by Indigenous knowledge, renders settler colonialism visible. The author then describes how current models of place-based education differ from land education in a number of ways. Finally, using a land education approach, the author demonstrates how schooling, through social studies curriculum, transmits a settler colonial land ethic that must be made explicit in order to decolonize settler colonial relations attached to current pedagogical models of place. The author insists land education – like environmental education – must take place across the curriculum (k-16). However, land education implies a commitment to begin to understand the process of decolonization that takes seriously the centrality of settler colonialism.

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