• Cooperative Cross-Cultural Instruction: The Value of Multi-cultural Collaboration in the Coteaching of Topics of Worldview, Knowledge Traditions, and Epistemologies

      Arevgaq, Theresa John; Koskey, Michael (2016-03-06)
      For four years (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015) two faculty members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Center for Cross-cultural Studies have collaborated to co-teach a course entitled Traditional Ecological Knowledge (CCS 612). This course examines the acquisition and utilization of knowledge associated with the long-term habitation of particular ecological systems and the adaptations that arise from the accumulation of such knowledge. Intimate knowledge of place—culturally, spiritually, nutritionally, and economically for viability—is traditional ecological knowledge, and this perspective is combined with the needs of an Indigenous research method to better understand and more effectively explore the proper role of traditional knowledge in academic, cross-cultural research. This presentation and paper explores the strategies tested and lessons learned from teaching students from a wide variety of academic and cultural backgrounds including the social and life sciences, and the humanities, and from Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural origins. The instructors, too—and most importantly for this endeavor—come from an Indigenous (John) and non-Indigenous (Koskey) background, and though hailing from very different cultures and upbringings work collaboratively and with genuine mutual respect to enable an understanding of variations of traditions of knowledge and their application to academic research.