A thought on Thanksgiving:
What would North America be like today if Europeans had tried to learn from Native Americans rather than to conquer and then “teach?”
If the fantasy story taught to American children on Thanksgiving – of the friendly exchange of help and ideas between Native American and European people – had really happened?
If Europeans had come here as what they really were – immigrants – prepared to learn the languages and customs of the local people, to live peacefully among them, and to exchange information, knowledge, and ideas as equals?
What would our forests and rivers and great plains be like today? What would our arts and sciences and music and literature be like?
What would education be like if that exchange had taken place? If Native American wisdom about children and learning – about the ways of teaching through storytelling rather than direct instruction, through example and experience rather than lecture and text, through immersion in community and nature rather than segregation in a school building, and through personal challenge and transformation rather than confinement and obedience – existed today side by side with European-style schools and universities as options among the commonly accepted ways for young people to learn and grow to adulthood?