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Q: By “education” (hence “curriculum”) do I really mean “schooling”?

A: Noooo. Learning since the first breath we take and for as long as we live 🙂

Glocal Internationalization of

Foundations of Education (across) Curricula

Today’s likely most robust and wide-ranging geopolitical dichotomy stems from the sixteenth century imperial enterprise of “discovering”, “settling” and exploiting new territories outside of the “Old World”. Canada, like the United States, Australia, or New Zealand, is a “post-settler” society (see, e.g., anthropologist Sissons, 2005), whose geography is shared by a European-descended dominant lifeworld and an Indigenous one, with an added overlay of lifeworlds of migrants and recent immigrants. To say that education is an indispensable participant in the consciousness shift which the state of planetary, and domestic, affairs calls for is to say that curriculum design – coding a worldview, hence educational foundations – would have a share in, and bear responsibility for, mediating the required dialogue and knowledge exchange between cultures.

Tasked in this way, Canadian curricula would be reflecting, and sustaining, relations between (First, and subsequent) local as well as global “nations”, and would thus be inter-national in a “glocal” sense (see term in e.g. Tully, 2014). If they are aimed at transcending the resilient colonial and nonsustainably technoscientific slant of the mainstream imaginary, a point which has been variously supported, for example, by contributions in Ng-A-Fook and Rottmann’s (2012) edited volume, they would be better suited to prepare domestic and foreign students, at any stage of the educational system, for 21st century glocal citizenship.

The shift from colonial-industrial to ecological-relational foundations would need to incorporate knowledges from First Nations domestically and recognize worldviews from any point in the world, a wide variety of which embodied and enacted by local diasporic populations. Educational foundations – at any level of education – can thus be enriched by notions like the Nuu-chah-nulth tsawalk “one”, implying ontological unity/interconnectedness (Atleo, 2004, 2011) or the Blackfoot aoksisowaato’op, expressing relational renewal by revisiting a place (Blood et al., 2012). These had been effective guidelines for regenerating Indigenous societies for thousands of years prior to contact.

A number of scholars have argued for “dropping the quotation marks” around “Native philosophy” or “Native science” (Cajete, 2000; Peat, 2002; Pratt, 2001), restoring dignity to Indigenous knowledges. Valuable experiments have been carried out toward adopting Indigenous knowledges into the K12 system (Blenkinsop et al., 2012), and successes have been recorded in implementing Indigenous-style learning for Indigenous students (see Donald, Glanfield and Sterenberg’s, 2011 work with the Eagle Flight First Nation). Importantly, recognition of non-Western philosophies has gone hand in hand with voicing hitherto silenced histories (Blood et al., 2012; Donald, 2004), and notice has been taken of possible misrepresentations or misappropriations. The benefits and dangers of cross-cultural translations have been noted for educational implementations of Buddhist “mindfulness” (Nelson, 2010) and the four “divine abodes” (Eppert, 2010), which are also in line with the projected socio-ecological consciousness shift.

Because of Canada’s ethnocultural tapestry, just as its populations are impacted by/reflective of tensions/crises around the world, so could local advances toward peaceful and environmentally minded intercultural collaboration (and decolonialization) indicate ways of achieving reciprocity globally. This, given the public role assigned to education, makes curriculum design more daunting, and, potentially, more rewarding.


Atleo, E. Richard a.k.a. Umeek (2004) Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview. Vancouver and Toronto: University of British Columbia Press.

———- (2011) Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to World Crisis. Vancouver and Toronto: University of British Columbia Press.

Blenkinsop, Sean, Michael Caulkins, Michael Derby, Mark Fettes, Lara Harvester, Veronica Hotton, Jodi MacQuarrie, Laura Piersol, and John Telford (2012). Maple Ridge Environmental School Project – Interim Report. Eco-Learning Research Group, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

Blood, Narcisse, Cynthia Chambers, Dwayne Donald, Erika Hasebe-Ludt, and Ramona Big Head (2012) Aoksisowaato’op: Place and Story as Organic Curriculum. In Ng-A-Fook and Rottmann (2012), pp. 47-82.

Cajete, Gregory (2000). Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence. With a foreword by Leroy Little Bear, J.D. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers.

Donald, Dwayne Trevor (2004) Edmonton Pentimento: Re-Reading History in the Case of the Papaschase Cree. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies 2(1) (Spring 2004), pp. 21-53.

Donald, Dwayne, Florence Glanfield and Gladys Sterenberg (2011). Culturally Relational Education In and With an Indigenous Community. [Indigenous Education] in Education 17(3), Autumn 2011, pp. 72-83.

Eppert, Claudia (2010) “Heartmind Literacy: Compassionate Imaging and the Four Brahmavihäras”. Paideusis 19(1), 2010, pp. 17-28.

Nelson, Donald (2010) “Implementing Mindfulness: Practice as the Home of Understanding”. Paideusis 19(1), 2010, pp. 4-14.

Ng-A-Fook, Nicholas and Jennifer Rottmann (2012). Reconsidering Canadian Curriculum Studies. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Nhat Hanh, Titch (1998) Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism. Berkeley: Parallax Press.

Peat, F. David (2002). Blackfoot Physics. Boston, MA: Weiser Books.

Pratt, Scott L. (2002). Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Sissons, Jeffrey (2005). First Peoples: Indigenous Cultures and Their Futures. London, UK: Reaktion Books.

Tully, James (2014). On Global Citizenship: James Tully in Dialogue. London – New Delhi – New York – Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic.

  1. It all started with my search for a Happy B-day! youtube video for my January-born very precious sister 🙂
  2. Then I thought of posting Happy Birth Day addressed to the New 2015 Year.
  3. Then, from one link to the next, I discovered multiple YouTube vids by Kseniya Simonova, a sand virtuosa from Ukrane.

Yet another proof of limit-free human creativity, wouldn’t you say?

Enjoy a few YouTube vids:

  • Sand art film “Beautiful Morocco” (2013) — created for the Foundation of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco. How’s that for a tall order 🙂


  • “Dont Give Up” – Published on Feb 4, 2013, meant to uplift kids and adults suffering from cancer


  • “Legends of Russia” sand animation (2013) — Published on Apr 12, 2013


  • Kseniya Simonova’s biographic film — with English subtitles. Uploaded on Feb 6, 2011


  • By the way, with “Legends of China” winner of Ukrane’s Got Talent 2009


by Colette Dedyn

by Rossella Milencio

by Charlene Lanzel

Only women???


January 2015
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