Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
Knowing home provides a comprehensive review of existing literature related to integrating Western science curricula and Indigenous knowledge in K-12 school classrooms. The authors explicitly state that this text is not for post-secondary science instructors seeking to Indigenize their course content or delivery. The assumption is that this material will be used by generalist K-12 teachers and pre-service teacher educators who have greater existing confidence with Western Math & Science curricula than Indigenous Knowledge.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
The content is strong, well-written, with a variety of concepts broken out for discussion. Prompts and generative questions are found within ‘activity boxes’ to facilitate delivery in post-secondary teacher education classrooms. The examples shared are location specific, reflecting the variation in Indigenous places and cultures across Canada, but in many cases the approach can be generalized as a framework for integrating perspectives and activities in local school settings. There is, however, a disconnect between much of the literature cited in Part 1 (focused on the prairie provinces, e.g. Sutherland, Aikenhead, Michel, Little Bear, Hogue) and the examples shared in Part 2 (mainly coastal communities).
Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
The content is up-to-date and comprehensive. As more research is conducted, it will be useful to update the literature and methods sections. It would also be useful to incorporate more geographically diverse examples, perhaps in partnership with graduate courses in other regions.
Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
Knowing Home is accessible and easy to follow. There is little jargon, but political words are deconstructed and content is decolonized through purposeful conceptual and etymologic framing. It is precisely written.
Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The text is consistent through the first section. In the second section there is some variation as student-teacher voices bring the individuality of practice and experience into the text. It is an effective framework.
Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The book is divided into three parts. First, a comprehensive literature review covering the rationale, methods of integration, and impacts of integrating Indigenous perspectives with Western science curricula. Secondly, case studies and examples provided by teams of graduate students, teacher-practitioners, and community members. Finally, a series of appendices with ideas to scaffold the approaches demonstrated in Part 2 to the reader’s local context.
Chapters stand alone, and could be used individually as provocative essays in a teacher education classroom. When read in serial, there is some repetition between chapters in Part 1; this arisebecause the field is new (at least to literature), such that foundational references repeat.
Resources in the appendix could be used independently as tools for lesson planning and course design.
Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The text is well organized and can be read from front to back with a reasonably narrative progression. What is lacking, if read that way, is a concluding chapter reconnecting the examples in section two with the literature and concepts surveyed in Part 1.
Organization Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
The text is premised on a “printer-friendly” format and is very readable. Graphics include illustrations of activities (both traditional and pedagogic), reflective artwork, and data summaries.
Interface Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
I did not encounter grammatical errors.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
Knowing Home focuses on integrating Indigenous worldviews and activities with current K-12 science curricula in Canada. It discusses the challenges of presenting Indigenous Knowledge as a contemporary as well as historic tradition, and disconnects between Western science as a tool for generating knowledge and Indigenous knowledge as a worldview embedded with decision-making and epistemological power. Discussion of Métis, and blended Indigenous community perspectives is limited. Literature focused on Indigenous communities outside of Canadian is cited for conceptual reflection (examples from Australia, Africa, etc.). Alternate traditions of integrating scientific knowledge with reflection, action, and decision-making are not discussed; excluding student- and teacher-specific variables related to political, religious, popular, neoliberal, settler, and diasporic traditions.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
What is silent in this discussion (which grew from a graduate course in an Educational College) are the voices of both non-academic Elders and Science Faculty. A foreword, or documented dialogue, between authorial ‘sources’ to each knowledge tradition would offer rich perspective to the experiences of teachers acting as ‘translators’ in the K-12 classroom.