Adapted from AcademIK Connections: Bringing Indigenous Knowledge and Perspectives into the Classroom by Khanjan Mehta, Theodore R. Alter, Ladislaus M. Semali, and Audrey Maretzki (December 2013)
AcademIK Connections is a video series developed at Penn State that seeks to introduce indigenous perspectives into the classroom. The purpose of the series is to incorporate alternative ways of knowing, learning, and understanding into the university setting. By providing an expansive range of perspectives, AcademIK Connections can enhance and diversify classroom discussion and encourage students and faculty to reflexively examine their own perspectives.
The AcademIK Connections video stories show how faculty members stumbled upon, discovered, or leveraged indigenous knowledge while working with a community to address its challenges. We believe that such stories can help overcome the resistance of students and some faculty members to critically examine dominant ideological assumptions that owe their genesis to the privilege enjoyed by Western models of thought. The series is comprised of 12 video clips, each 5–8 minutes in length, featuring compelling stories from the field of how indigenous knowledge can be leveraged to develop feasible, problem-oriented, culturally sensitive, entrepreneurially-focused solutions to real-life community problems that have a reasonable probability of successful implementation.
This is an innovative way to introduce indigenous knowledge concepts into classroom settings. The video clips will enable students and faculty to objectively consider the source of their own knowledge, compare and contrast indigenous ways of knowing with Western, academic ways of knowing, and discuss the value of each epistemology. Our team has developed the video series into learning modules, where each video forms the nucleus of a rich discussion for a typical 50–75 minute class. The learning modules employ a format adapted from other media materials designed for teachers.
Read more about the series in the ICIK Newsletter here.
Included below are links to each module's web page, video, and printer-friendly Word document.
- Module 1: Introduction to the AcademIK Connections series
- Module 2: Grassroots Sustainability
- Module 3: Rethinking Education
- Module 4: Self-Determined Development
- Module 5: Gender, Agriculture, and the Environment
- Module 6: African Cuisine
- Module 7: Music
- Module 8: Indigenous Ways of Knowing
- Module 9: Multi-Million Smile Enterprises
- Module 10: Nutri-Business
- Module 11: Sustainable Forestry and Livelihoods
- Module 12: Student Perspectives