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This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. Grande asserts that, with few exceptions, the matters of Indigenous people and Indian education have been either largely ignored or indiscriminately absorbed within critical theories of education. Furtherm This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. Grande asserts that, with few exceptions, the matters of Indigenous people and Indian education have been either largely ignored or indiscriminately absorbed within critical theories of education. Furthermore, American Indian scholars and educators have largely resisted engagement with critical educational theory, tending to concentrate instead on the production of historical monographs, ethnographic studies, tribally-centered curricula, and site-based research. Such a focus stems from the fact that most American Indian scholars feel compelled to address the socio-economic urgencies of their own communities, against which engagement in abstract theory appears to be a luxury of the academic elite. While the author acknowledges the dire need for practical-community based research, she maintains that the global encroachment on Indigenous lands, resources, cultures and communities points to the equally urgent need to develop transcendent theories of decolonization and to build broad-based coalitions.


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This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. Grande asserts that, with few exceptions, the matters of Indigenous people and Indian education have been either largely ignored or indiscriminately absorbed within critical theories of education. Furtherm This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. Grande asserts that, with few exceptions, the matters of Indigenous people and Indian education have been either largely ignored or indiscriminately absorbed within critical theories of education. Furthermore, American Indian scholars and educators have largely resisted engagement with critical educational theory, tending to concentrate instead on the production of historical monographs, ethnographic studies, tribally-centered curricula, and site-based research. Such a focus stems from the fact that most American Indian scholars feel compelled to address the socio-economic urgencies of their own communities, against which engagement in abstract theory appears to be a luxury of the academic elite. While the author acknowledges the dire need for practical-community based research, she maintains that the global encroachment on Indigenous lands, resources, cultures and communities points to the equally urgent need to develop transcendent theories of decolonization and to build broad-based coalitions.

30 review for Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rolf

    Both the best summary of the history of education provided to Native Americans and an excellent theoretical contribution to critical theory, pointing out the ways in which existing theory (whether Marxist, feminist, or otherwise) does not account for the experiences of Native Americans.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    "In the end a Red pedagogy embraces an educative process that works to reenchant the universe, to reconnect peoples to the land, and is as much about belief and acquiescence as it is about questioning and empowerment. ...The invitation is for scholars, educators and students to exercise critical consciousness at the same time they recognize that the world of knowledge far exceeds our ability to know" (p. 176) I would have liked to give this book 4.5 stars if I could have (note to Goodreads: consi "In the end a Red pedagogy embraces an educative process that works to reenchant the universe, to reconnect peoples to the land, and is as much about belief and acquiescence as it is about questioning and empowerment. ...The invitation is for scholars, educators and students to exercise critical consciousness at the same time they recognize that the world of knowledge far exceeds our ability to know" (p. 176) I would have liked to give this book 4.5 stars if I could have (note to Goodreads: consider allowing users to rate with half-stars). Grande's detailed and comprehensive breakdown of Indigenous thought, as it applies both within and without the classroom, was phenomenally enlightening and truly led me to question my own assumptions and ways of processing the world as a white female whose entire educational career has been ensconced in the norms and values of a Western educational system. For this enlightenment and personally unexplored avenues of reflection, I am truly grateful. Although not quite the correct word, for lack of a better term, the "problem" with this book is its incredible density. It took me 5 months to read these 176 pages. Now, this certainly is partially a reflection on my own limitations in thinking and reading. Grande is brilliant, and it takes hard work for me to keep up with her thoughts and to decipher meaning. The book is academic in its most pure conception--this is not a book for the casual reader. This is a book to read with (at least if you are me) with a Google window already pulled up and waiting; every few pages I had to look up a term, not because I did not have an idea of its meaning, but rather because I needed to understand the nuances and history of the term to fully comprehend Grande's meanings. This certainly makes for a rich learning experience, but it also limits the potential audience. Academia has become so isolated from the 'real world' they purports to study and analyze. The academy sits firmly ensconced in its ivory tower and its products are rarely written or tailored for consumption by anyone outside of its walls. This is one criticism I have with academics in general. I hesitate to use the 'problem' term here, however, because I think, for academics of color, perhaps especially female academics of color, there are different nuances to the use of academic language within publications. Perhaps there is less leeway for academics of color to speak and write outside of the typical academic-speak because of the assumptions made about people that speak more informally. I am not sure if writing a scholarly work in everyday speech potentially opens a person of color up to criticism or dismissal in a way that a white individual does not have to consider. Regardless of these reflections on the academic language of Red Pedagogy, or perhaps enhanced by these lines of thought, I found Grande's book to be a brilliant read. As I have over the past several months, I know I will continue to turn Grande's words and ideas over in my mind, challenging my own conceptions of the world and how I represent and question that world, both inside my own mind and inside the classroom.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    In Red Pedagogy, Sandy Grande is looking specifically at education. She begins with a discussion of the residential schools, where “education” was a tool used to both “deculturize” Native students and to train laborers. “Radical students and educators must ‘question how knowledge is related historically, culturally, (and) institutionally to the process of production and consumption,’ and ask: How is knowledge produced? Who produces it? How is it appropriated? Who consumes it? (and) How is it con In Red Pedagogy, Sandy Grande is looking specifically at education. She begins with a discussion of the residential schools, where “education” was a tool used to both “deculturize” Native students and to train laborers. “Radical students and educators must ‘question how knowledge is related historically, culturally, (and) institutionally to the process of production and consumption,’ and ask: How is knowledge produced? Who produces it? How is it appropriated? Who consumes it? (and) How is it consumed?” Grande addresses “ the deep deficiencies of off-the-shelf brands of multiculturalism, which espouse the empty rhetoric of ‘respecting differences’ and market synthetic pedagogies that reduce culture to the ‘celebration’ of food, fad, and festivals.” She is addressing the “assimilationist agenda” that is embedded in our education system. Grande’s assessment of Marxism and feminism shed light on how seemingly liberal movements can become anti-Indigenous within a Euro-American framework. She points out “the humanistic tradition that presumes the superiority of human beings over the rest of nature,” and how “both Marxists and capitalists view land and natural resources as commodities to be exploited.” We all must use the natural world to survive; the difference is in the presumption of superiority. She also reflects on “the failure of ‘mainstream’ feminists to recognize that most American Indian women view their lives as shaped, first and foremost by the historical-material conditions of colonization and not some universal patriarchy. … By insisting on gender as the primary conceptual framework from which to interpret inequality, such theorists not only blur the actual structures of power but also obfuscate feminism’s implication in the projects of colonization and global capitalism.” Some critical race theorists, such as Robert A. Williams suggest that the progression of democratic thought, replacing the church with the state as the central political structure, is a myth. Williams says that “the universalized hierarchical structures of medieval thought continue to define Western legal and political theory and therefore the democratic praxis.” Likewise the “Calvinist” work ethic has been replaced by an industrialist work ethic. Hard work, progress, and productivity confused with consumption. The problem of a consumer-based culture. Grande’s work is important in that it points out the blind spots even well-meaning educators, arts organizers, activists, and socially conscious individuals may have with it comes to Native American belief systems and ways of being.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sammy Torres

    This is an essential text to explore regarding the pursuit of indigenous self-determination and sovereignty as it relates to project of education. This text has quickly become a seminal work and has served to inspire, ground, and fortify a critical tradition in indigenous education. Grande has produced a classic that ought to be required reading for all educators and leaders that work with indigenous populations.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sam Orndorff

    This is a very empowering, very invigorating text. If you're here, it's safe to say you're a Native or a non-Native ally, and even if you're not- this text is an extremely valuable addition to any serious History of Native America. Grande carefully and meticulously constructs a polemical approach to indigenous studies by unpacking various forms of neocolonialism, both within the academy and in society at large. If you're a reader on the issues of indigenous sovereignty most of this won't come as This is a very empowering, very invigorating text. If you're here, it's safe to say you're a Native or a non-Native ally, and even if you're not- this text is an extremely valuable addition to any serious History of Native America. Grande carefully and meticulously constructs a polemical approach to indigenous studies by unpacking various forms of neocolonialism, both within the academy and in society at large. If you're a reader on the issues of indigenous sovereignty most of this won't come as a surprise. Natives are continually dehumanized, abandoned, marginalized and cleansed. This is a fact and it is ongoing; Grande is not afraid to speak truth to this matter. If you're a feminist, and I pray you are, hopefully it is not news to you that feminism has been a vicious arm of white supremacy for centuries; in it's most potent feminism is anti-imperialist, feminism is anti-racist, feminism does not merely secure the finances of middle class white women. All of these ideological train-wrecks, from antiquated stereotypes to postmodern non-statements, all are under scrutiny here. Indubitably, Grande succeeds in her critique. She sets forth with a message of survivance (a term from Vizenor) and leads the reader through some fascinating examples of the tribulations of decolonization, stopping along the way with some wonderful anecdotes. This is inter-disciplinary scholarship at its most refined. Lastly, I must say that I totally reject the opinions of previous reviewers that the language is too scholarly or esoteric, anyone with commitment and passion for ending oppression can and must read this text.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This book is one that cannot be easily read in one setting. It is extremely dense, for better and for worse. Grande's historical analysis is well-articulated and deeply thought provoking. Drawing parallels between Nixon's education and self-determination policies and Obama's policies, for instance, made for a very enlightening brainstorming session. Grande's passion for de-centering the narrative of indigenous education is both profoundly apparent and extraordinarily needed in these times. My pr This book is one that cannot be easily read in one setting. It is extremely dense, for better and for worse. Grande's historical analysis is well-articulated and deeply thought provoking. Drawing parallels between Nixon's education and self-determination policies and Obama's policies, for instance, made for a very enlightening brainstorming session. Grande's passion for de-centering the narrative of indigenous education is both profoundly apparent and extraordinarily needed in these times. My primary issue with this book lies in the various critiques of other works. Granted, this may be because I am not versed in the cited works, but the postmodernist tactic of "analyzing discourse," done incorrectly, takes on a whining, droning sound in the back of my mind. While one can't discount the need to interrogate grand narratives and "white stream" feminism, writers do not - perhaps cannot - always take a de-centered approach, nor may be their intent. (Insert rambling discourse on discourse...;)) Bottom line: read it; skim the critiques and dive head-on into Grande's original theories on indigentsia. This is the meat of the book and ultimately the most satisfying.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jerrid Kruse

    Enjoyed the critiques of critical theory - something often seen as off limits in scholarly discourse. However, I was hoping for more in the way of connection to practical realities of classrooms. Having read the 10th anniversary edition in which commentators contributed, at least some of them were looking for the same. While it may seem short cited & limiting to make exemplars explicit, to do so is perhaps the only way to illustrate how red pedagogy gets enacted in a meaningful way. There is a r Enjoyed the critiques of critical theory - something often seen as off limits in scholarly discourse. However, I was hoping for more in the way of connection to practical realities of classrooms. Having read the 10th anniversary edition in which commentators contributed, at least some of them were looking for the same. While it may seem short cited & limiting to make exemplars explicit, to do so is perhaps the only way to illustrate how red pedagogy gets enacted in a meaningful way. There is a reason justice seeking educational materials so often miss the mark & one of them is the unwillingness of critical scholars to make clear what their thinking looks like. While the abstract is the place for important thought, without the concrete examples, the author takes the risk of misinterpretation. Of course, I reserve the right to change my opinion on this work after further reflection.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    So much, I need to revisit to discuss in more depth what I learned, but it opened my eyes to a new perspective on critical approaches to education, put political work in perspective and made the connections between geography, education, community and social justice pretty plain (albeit in a fairly dense academic form). Also so good/refreshing to hear an American Indian voice.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andy Mitchell

    Very challenging read, not for the faint-of-heart.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Grande is an amazing writer, but it takes quite a bit of energy to understand. She addresses the disconnect between critical pedagogy and the American Indian community.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edna J cameron

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rukshana

  13. 5 out of 5

    joshua

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole McLaren

  15. 4 out of 5

    ericka

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dee Em

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chenae White

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ally Ang

  22. 4 out of 5

    Niral

  23. 5 out of 5

    H

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Edge

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Brown

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Schlichter

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brodie Metcalfe

  29. 4 out of 5

    CJ Venable

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tony

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