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Course Syllabus


Indigenous and Postcolonial Perspectives in Education

Fall 2004

University of Hawai‘i at Manoa



Instructor: Julie Kaomea, Ph.D.

Office: 224-E Wist Annex 2

Phone: 956-3994

Office Hours: By appointment

E-mail: julie.kaomea@hawaii.edu


Course Readings

Course readings will be distributed in class.


Course Description

Colonialism is not simply a phenomenon of the past to be condemned, justified, or entirely forgotten. This course argues that the ramifications of early colonial and contemporary neocolonial policies continue to have profound effects on the educational, social, psychological, and economic conditions of indigenous people today.


In this course we will explore how education has been used as an arm of colonialism in various colonized communities throughout the globe. We will also consider the impact of these colonial projects on educational systems of contemporary “post”colonial times. Special attention will be given to current indigenous efforts towards academic self-determination and sovereignty.


Course Format

Assignments and Expectations

Class Facilitation

You will be responsible for working independently or with a partner to facilitate 1 weekly class discussion that explores and extends the key issues and themes from the readings assigned for a given week.


Conference Attendance

In order to extend your learning beyond this class, you will be expected to attend 2 1/2 hours of an academic conference or lecture of your choice that is related to the course’s central themes of colonialism, postcolonialism, and/or indigenous education.


Course Writing

In order to give you maximum flexibility to engage in meaningful writing for this class, I will ask that you submit a total of 12-15 thoughtful pages of writing for the course, which you may turn in to me for feedback at any point during the semester.


Of these 12-15 double-spaced pages, approximately 2-3 pages will be a final self-evaluation of your learning in the course and a justification for the grade you think you deserve. This final self-assessment should be submitted on the last day of class. (See the more detailed description of this assignment below.)


Aside from the 2-3 page self-evaluation essay, the other 10-12 pages may take any form that you wish as long as it concerns a topic that draws upon or extends the major themes of the course. You may choose to submit the remaining 10-12 pages as a single paper, which you will turn in at or near the end of the semester. Or you may decide to submit a series of shorter (3-5 page) pieces every few weeks.


You writing might include:

A proposal for your dissertation or a related Plan A or Plan B master’s project.

A report on related research that you are conducting.

A draft of an article you are writing.

A reaction paper on the course readings, discussions, or class activities.

Your reaction to a conference talk or academic presentation.

A reflective letter addressed to me or to the class.

Something else. (Surprise me!)




January 15

Course Introductions


January 22

Course Introductions, Continued



1) Terry Deary, Selections from The Barmy British Empire

2) Ania Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Chapter 1


January 29

Education and the Colonial Encounter in Australia

  Video: Rabbit-Proof Fence



1) Henry Reynolds, Aborigines and Settlers: The Australian Experience 1788-1939, Introduction & pp. 66-70

2) Jan Pettman, Living in the Margins: Racism, Sexism and Feminism in Australia, Chapter 2


3) Rabbit-Proof Fence website (http://www.rabbitprooffence.com.au)


February 5

Presentation Planning and Work Period                  


Education and the Colonial Encounter in Australia, Continued



1) Review readings from the previous weeks and draw connections with Rabbit-Proof Fence video



February 12

The Magnificent African Cake: Strategies of Colonization in Africa


Video: This Magnificent African Cake



1) Bob Peterson, “Burning Books and Destroying Peoples”

2) Chief Kabongo, “The Coming of the Pink Cheeks”



February 19

Globalization and (Post)colonialism in the Caribbean

Suggested Video: Life and Debt


Suggested Reading:

1) Jamaica Kincaid, Selections from A Small Place

2) Bill Bigelow & Bob Peterson, Selections from Rethinking Globalization: Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World

Session Facilitators       1.



February 26

Native American Education and the American Indian Boarding School Experience


Suggested Video: In the White Man’s Image


Suggested Reading:

1) Margaret Szasz, Chapters 1-3 of Education and the American Indian


2) The Challenges and Limitations of Assimilation: Indian Board Schools

    (On-line Reading--http://brownvboard.org/brwnqurt/04-3/04-3a.htm)


3) Federal Education Policy & Off-Reservation Schools, 1870-1933

    (On-line Reading--http://www.lib.cmich.edu/clarke/indian/treatyeducation.htm#nas)


Session Facilitators       1.



March 4

Colonialism and Indigenous Education: The Impact on Maoli and Maori


Guest Presentation: Educational Foundations doctoral student, Kawika Makanani



March 11

Maori Education and Colonization/Decolonization


Suggested Reading:

1) Judith Simon and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Selections from A Civilising Mission? Perceptions and Representations of the New Zealand Native Schools System


2) Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn, Selections from Culture Counts: Changing Power Relations

in Education


Session Facilitators       1.




March 18   

The Hawaiian Renaissance and the Hawaiian Studies Curriculum

Julie’s Slideshow Presentation: A Curriculum of Aloha? Colonialism and Tourism in Hawai‘i’s Elementary Schools


1) Julie Kaomea, “Reading Erasures and Making the Familiar Strange: Defamiliarizing Methods for Research in Formerly Colonized and Historically Oppressed Communities”

(Available on-line at http://www.aera.net/pubs/er/pdf/vol32_02/AERA320204.pdf)


2) Julie Kaomea, “ Dilemmas of an Indigenous Academic: A Native Hawaiian Story”

(Available on-line at http://www.triangle.co.uk/ciec/content/pdfs/2/issue2_1.asp#5)



March 25

Spring Break Holiday



April 1

Hawaiian Education and Colonization/Decolonization, and

Hawaiian Studies at the University


Suggested Video:  Then There Were None, or
                              Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation


Suggested Reading:

1) Selections from To Teach the Children: Historical Aspects of Education in Hawai‘i


2) Maenette Benham and Ron Heck, Selections from Culture and Educational Policy in Hawai‘i


3) Sovereign Stories website (http://www.sovereignstories.org)


Session Facilitators       1.


April 8

Colonization/Decolonization in Early Childhood Education and

“Decolonizing” the Standards


Suggested Reading:

1) Eric Burman, Selections from Deconstructing Developmental Psychology


2) Beth Blue Swadener & Sally Lubeck, Editors, Selections from Children and Families “ At Promise”


Session Facilitators       1.




April 15

Language and Colonization/Decolonization


Suggested Reading:

1) Bill Ashcroft et. al., Introduction to Part IX: Language in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader


2) Lois Yamauchi and Puanani Wilhelm, “E Ola Ka Hawai‘i I Kona ‘Ölelo: Hawaiians Live in Their Language”


3) Sam No‘eau Warner, “Kuleana: The Right, Responsibility, and Authority of Indigenous Peoples to Speak and Make Decisions for Themselves in Language and Cultural Revitalization”


Session Facilitators       1.





April 22

Perspectives on Colonial & Indigenous Education in the Pacific: A Case Study of Guam & New Caledonia


Suggested Reading:

1) Vicente M. Diaz, “‘Fight Boys, ‘til the Last . . .’: Islandstyle Football and the Remasculinization of Indigeneity in the Militarized American Pacific Islands” 


2) Senator Pilar C. Lujan, “The Role of Education in the Preservation of the Indigenous Language of Guam”


3) Frederic Angleviel, “The Bet on Intelligence: Politics in New Caledonia 1988-2002” 


Session Facilitators       1.



April 29

Final Thoughts and Course Wrap-Up


All Final Assignments Due






Upload: 5/13/2004

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