SHI to host first culturally responsive education conference
Free event for educators to be held June 1-3 in Juneau
Sealaska Heritage Institute
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor its first education conference for teachers and administrators in an effort to promote culturally responsive pedagogy in schools.
The event, Our Cultural Landscape: Culturally Responsive Education Conference, is scheduled June 1-3 in Juneau. The conference is part of SHI's Through the Cultural Lens program, which sponsors cultural orientations for educators in the Juneau School District.
Ample research has shown the effectiveness of using culture- and place-based teaching resources and methods to improve academic achievement for Indigenous students, said SHI President Rosita Worl, noting a 2013 study on Juneau's own Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy program also found a significant increase in the graduation rate of students initially enrolled in the program.
"Studies over the past three decades have shown that Native language and culturally-responsive programs are associated with improved academic performance, decreased dropout rates and improved school attendance," Worl said.
The conference will include multiple topics, breakout sessions and keynote speakers, and will be organized around three major strands: K-12 Teaching and Learning, which will explore culturally mediated instruction and cultural responsiveness in educational organizations; Early Childhood, which will include discussion of early childhood trauma and culturally responsive programs; and Cultural Connectedness, which will include exploration of topics such as social justice principals, equity and decolonizing education. SHI will release more information in the coming weeks.
Sealaska Heritage is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research and advocacy that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars and a Native Artists Committee. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.