Curriculum and Indigenous Peoples: A Collective Case Study of Social Justice Knowledge, Pedagogy, and Content

Primary author: Ashley Boyd

Primary college/unit: Arts and Sciences
Campus: Pullman


Using the analytic lens of Social Justice Pedagogical Content Knowledge, this collective qualitative case study explores how three secondary teachers utilized curriculum that centered Native American experiences to facilitate their students’ understandings of tribal histories. Data collected included semi-structured interviews with teachers, classroom observations, and documents including lesson plans, course texts, and handouts. Analysis involved layers of open and deductive coding, and findings include: the teachers’ broader knowledge of inequity influenced their growth in the area of indigenous knowledge; critical and narrative pedagogies were used to effectively teach students about local tribes; and materials used to facilitate students’ critical understandings ranged widely from textbooks to young adult literature to current media. Recommendations for teacher education include integrating discipline-specific information about indigenous peoples and facilitating community partnerships with local liaisons to collaborate in the educative process.