The writers of the pieces in this series sought the most powerful way to express both what Etuaptmumk means to them and its pedagogical implications for re-imagining education. The narratives here express their insights and personal journeys, making connections to the Guiding Principles of Etuaptmumk.
It is instructive to note some of the words that recur across the various narratives: as you read them, you will notice the sentiments of respect, humility, gratitude, appreciation, wonder, experience, relationships, and inquiry. Consider how antithetical these words are to traditional education systems in which student curiosity is often stifled and success is based on compliance and replication.
These narratives invite you to imagine alongside us: what if education embraced Etuaptmumk so that curiosity and wonder-inspired learning and authentic experiences were the foundation of learning? What if education was an environment where kindness through genuinely helpful guidance were foundational to planning and assessment practices? What if learning was allowed to be a personalized journey through which all learners were supported in reaching their fullest potential? Imagine if education was focused on learners who learn rather than students who study and that, in turn, would place a higher value on the challenging of assumptions rather than on the acceptance of a controlled narrative? What would this educational system look like?
Perhaps generations of future learners who are able to come to a harmonious understanding of the world and the relations that live within it, detect trends and patterns, and manage problems as they contribute to building a more just and sustainable world.
-Laura Gini-Newman and Garfield Gini-Newman