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History of Native Education in the British North American Colonies - Essay Example

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History of Native Education in the British North American Colonies

Education was used as a tool to sideline and oppress Native people. Boarding schools played an active part in distancing Native children from their parents and traditional ways of life (Oliver, 1996). Afterwards, separate public schools were opened to fulfill the purpose of Christianizing the Natives to make them a part of the Christians’ capitalist economic system. Finally when Natives were permitted to go to mainstream schools, they were not treated parallel to White students in intelligence by school management and teachers. The education system proved a failure in not creating any consideration for traditional Native values, by not supporting bilingual language, and by not paying attention to the education needs of the Native students (Oliver, 1996). First of all, the East India School opened its door to the Indian tribes in 1621 with the aim of not only civilizing and rewarding them but introduce them their religion so that the selected students could be used like a tool to lure other tribesmen into conversion to Christianity. Undertaking of missionary work was the primary motive of educating the Indians. Such aspirations of the East India School soon dashed to the ground when in 1622 the superintendent of the school and some others were killed in an Indian revolt (Carnegie Foundation Report, 1989). Native education has been a traumatically remembered because of such experiences gone through by the Natives. The difference in the attitude has been historical between the Indian and European. Barman, Hebert, and McCaskill, (as cited in Atleo, 1991) have stated that, ”For the most part, the aboriginal population accepted the new arrivals at face value, while the Europeans assumed the superiority of their culture over that of any aboriginal peoples. Out of that misconception grew the conviction that in order for the Indians to survive, they would have to be assimilated into the European social order” (p. 2). Education being the primary vehicle of integration found the European trend exhibited in one of the on-record policy on native education in 1632 by Jesuit missionary: “Their education must…not merely training of the mind…weaning them…their ancestors and the acquirements of the language, arts, and customs of civilized life,” remarked Vallery, (as cited in Atleo, 1991). It was start of the bad experience for the native education, which could not be lessened in any way emerging from the early native education policy statement. The current education policy is totally opposite to the one pursued by the British education in North American colonies. It was taken for granted that the Native student was lacking in all aspects of education such as language, art, habits, mental acumen worth inculcating. All their community traits, gathered wisdom of centuries, their traditions were considered void until the Native student proved worthy to be ‘born again’ European. This colonial policy was proved wrong many a times (Atleo, 1991). The English used three methods of implementing this policy wherein terms. ...Show more
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In the paper “History of Native Education in the British North American Colonies” the author focuses on the drawbacks of the internal colonial model of education, which could be seen all over in the North American history of Native American education…
History of Native Education in the British North American Colonies
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