Alysa was recently interviewed by ITSG, a Chicago-based non profit that focuses on issues of equity and justice in education around the world. Her full interview can be found here: http://www.istg-africatomorrow.com/SISTEM-Loring-Dec2015.html
Below is an excerpt:
Q: : What would be your recommendations about converging Western science and traditional Alaska Native science in curriculum and instruction?
Loring: It is crucial to understand that State cultural standards for education should not be thought of as separate from and/or contrary to State science standards. Rather, culture is rooted to local lifeways and plays a crucial role in how students live, learn, and perceive the world and their place within it. As such, converging traditional Alaska Native ways of knowing and learning with mainstream classroom science curriculum and instruction is crucial to students' success.
Historically, Alaska Native wisdom was passed from generation to generation through close interaction, mimicry, storytelling, and observation. The lessons and life values learned through this method are no less important in the modern world, and elders and culture-bearers have much to teach the younger generation. Classroom teachers can tap into this knowledge by working closely with elders and community members - regularly inviting them into the classroom or on excursions outside the classroom walls, thereby reinforcing commonalities between traditional and western ways of knowing.