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Paper: The Power of Relationships: Indigenous and Western Science
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 41
Authors: Chavez, J. C.; Williams, J.; Scalice, D.
Abstract: Power dynamics exist in our every relationship, yet can be as invisible to us as the air we breathe. Our relationships occur across a complex spectrum of power dynamics, including neighbor, friend, boss/employee, and teacher/student; in some cases power is more balanced than others. When seen through the lens of power dynamics, we find that for education practices in STEAM, how and by whom content is conveyed may be more important than the content itself. In astronomy education, Western scientific knowledge is often conveyed in a dominant paradigm using a specific lexicon that can, for many learners, maintain the continuum of fact to fantasy through which an imbalanced power dynamic centers white normativity and supremacy, and perpetuates the harms of colonialism. In this session we will co-facilitate workshop activities that help illuminate how unhealthy power dynamics are perpetuated in our everyday working lives. We will provide an overview of how scientific knowledge is generally shared by education systems through oppressive language, examples, and methodologies. We will discuss the ways in which the co-creation model is fundamental for equitable and respectful relationships. Through this conversation we will highlight how, when humility replaces hubris, opportunities for authentic relationships open. We will demonstrate the power of relationship and the importance of initiating, establishing, and maintaining meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships with educators, students, and Indigenous Peoples as a salient tenet of reconciliation in education systems and academic institutions. We will share examples of how these collaborations have led to the development of resources and programs that center Indigenous knowledge systems in astronomy. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with digital resources and discuss delivering Indigenous Knowledge, dispelling misconceptions, and identifying ways to build respectful community partnerships.
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