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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Another way to understand gifted and dyslexic: Hypothetical transformation via an indigenous worldview
by Inman, John Lawrence, Ed.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2015, 201; 3685621
Abstract (Summary)

To address the daunting challenges we face as a global community, we need people who can see the world beyond an "either-or" dualistic perspective. This dissertation presumes such a dualistic perspective has been especially damaging to the twice-exceptional (2e) or gifted and learning disabled (Gifted and LD or GLD) children of the world, children who are growing up like I did, gifted and learning disabled. These children have so much potential to see the world as connected and to teach us to honor diversity and complementarity. Yet the Western educational paradigm typically thinks of these children as broken and in need of fixing. Twice-exceptional children often find themselves separated, provided remedial programs, medicated, and made to feel broken or just ignored as they can appear average. If 2e children are noticed at all, educators usually focus on 2e children's disabilities rather than on their gifts. If the pattern of medication and behavioral modification intervention causes these children to underperform or drop out of the educational system altogether, we have lost valuable members of society who can help us solve complex challenges.

I propose adding an Indigenous framework to the multi-tiered classroom to help move toward a more holistic approach for developing 2e children and honoring their gifts, regardless of the gifts the children bring to the classroom. With the introduction of traditional Indigenous approaches to education, mindsets can evolve allowing for a rethinking of educational structures. This borderland experience takes place at the intersection of Indigenous and Western worldviews. Just as cultures collide at their borders, so do worldviews. New un-envisioned cultures and possibilities emerge at these borderlands. By Indigenizing schools, classrooms, and curriculum, we can educate children with a more dialogic, holistic, culturally and historically sensitive, and connected approach to learning. Creating such an Indigenous context for schools can prevent the lifelong damage, which often comes from a mechanistic approach to education for 2e and learning disabled (LD) children. This autoethnography "imagines" how my own life's journey might have been different had the Indigenous perspectives been operational in the educational system within which I grew up.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jocobs, Four Arrows - Donald T.
Commitee: Beaulieu, Rodney, Brulles, Dina, Kaufman, Roan, Rogers, Katrina
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: The School of Educational Leadership for Change
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Special education
Keywords: Borderlands, Gifted and learning disabled, Indigenous learning, Indigenous worldview, Twice-exceptional, Universal design for learning
Publication Number: 3685621
ISBN: 978-1-321-61953-9
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