Decolonization journey: nourishing the writer, learner, Montessori teacher

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Holkestad, Kirsten S.
This study utilizes narrative inquiry to illustrate my journey as a Montessori teacher who aims to challenge colonial thoughts and behaviors that contribute to a Eurocentric worldview in the classroom. Understanding my complicity in settler colonialism helps to orient my teaching practice along relational and anticolonial lines and exploring my settler identity necessitates questioning my sense of belonging on Indigenous lands. I employ autoethnographic writing to better understand my context and responsibility as a white settler Montessori teacher. Personal fieldwork tools include a Transformative Inquiry Journal and a Critical Self-Reflection Template that assist me in applying critical self-reflection to identify personal assumptions and biases, as well as those embedded in Montessori content and materials. The autoethnographic products include storied letters with two of my ancestors, poetry, and critical self-reflection that connect my personal experience to larger relational and cultural contexts. I use my experience to describe and critique cultural beliefs and practices through utilizing reflexivity to name and interrogate the intersection between myself and society by turning back on my experience, identity, and relationships and how they influence my work as a settler Montessori teacher. The personal and professional implications of this project include a commitment to lifelong learning, a pedagogy of discomfort, the practice of critical self-reflection, and the impetus for adopting an inclusive leadership style. This study is premised on the concept of the learning spirit and is intended for settler teachers who are willing to confront and challenge cognitive imperialism in their classrooms (Battiste, 2013).
Harmful Language Statement