Curriculum Design Approach

(This is the approach that stands behind Ella Inglebret’s teaching unit, Honoring Tribal Legacies in Telling the Lewis and Clark Story.)

The design and implementation of this curriculum unit follows a place-based multiliteracies framework. Using this approach, teachers and students work together to design a learning environment that values multiple ways of knowing and diverse forms of literacy. An Indigenous “spiral worldview” provides the pathway for honoring tribal legacies. The learning spiral is centered on the elements of a particular place. Place is viewed as a holistic and dynamic entity that involves interactions and relationships among many elements (Deloria, 2001), including the natural environment, peoples, the built environment, changes over time, and scope of territory. The character of the place-based multiliteracies spiral ensures that participants view and experience a particular place over and over again from a diverse array of vantage points. Through a four-phase process (i.e., situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing, and transformed practice), students build their capacities to comprehend, interpret, use, and evaluate diverse forms of literacy. Understanding and respecting multiple viewpoints serves as a foundation for generating creative responses to challenges faced in real world contexts. The place-based multiliteracies approach is summarized in the poster, “Honoring Tribal Legacies Place-Based Multiliteracies Learning Spiral” located in Appendix A, and described in detail in the chapter, Place-Based Multiliteracies Framework.