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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

An Indigenous Education Model for Post-Secondary
Academic Writing Instruction

A Project Presented to the Faculty
of the University of Alaska Fairbanks

In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of

Master of Arts in Cross Cultural Studies
Leta Marie Young

Fairbanks, Alaska
July 2010

Master's Project


The challenge of designing a culturally responsive Indigenous education model for academic writing instruction begins with understanding Indigenous pedagogy and how one acquires the ability to write. Pedagogy is the science and art of teaching. Science informs theories about “what and why” to teach, and theories inform teaching and learning strategies. Art informs philosophy about “how” to teach, and informs how teaching and learning methods are delivered (technique, practice, and learning styles). The word “Indigenous” means “native” or “local.” So an “Indigenous pedagogy” in our context means pedagogy that has emerged from the local context of practice.

I hope to explore the art of writing in the classroom, modeling techniques, teaching complex language patterns, and providing guided practice, teaching through audiation, voice, and multiple intelligences theories. Audiation includes listening, speaking, and writing “by ear.” Teaching and learning through audiation, allows students opportunities to hear with discernment the complex language patterns that enable a student to “recall” and write from memory.

Historically, Indigenous students have been marginalized in educational settings. This project is driven by the hypothesis that by weaving audiation, voice, and multiple intelligence theories from Western pedagogy with Indigenous teaching and learning styles from Indigenous pedagogy, I might be able to effectively teach academic writing in a community college setting, designing an Indigenous educational model that is culturally responsive, rigorous, and provides support for student success.


A special thank you to Dr. Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley for inspiring this journey into Cross Cultural Studies. And to the wonderful professors who guided me and invested themselves in my education, Drs. Ray Barnhardt, Beth Leonard, Mike Koskey, Steve Becker, Maureen Hogan, and Bryan Brayboy. To my loving and supportive husband, Michael Young, of almost thirty-two years, I am forever grateful. A heartfelt thank you is expressed to my editors, Catherine Puri, Ph.D. and Sandy Soren, my graphics coach, Asiqłuq Sean Topkok and Jerry Norum for recommending me to the program.




Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
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Last modified July 23, 2010