Discussion Question 1
What are the fundamental differences between Western philosophies and Eastern ways of knowing? (Generally, how does each culture view the world and education?) How can your incorporate seemingly different ways of knowing in your curriculum?
Western mind rigidly structured into dry rational and logical patterns of thought is especially characteristic of scientific rationality which acts as a special self-contained value, and categorical thinking which tends towards creating clear distinctions. In turn, the philosophy of the East is focused on the problem of human spirituality, the need for moral perfection, and is not concerned with creating rigid boundary sets. In this sense, in terms of education, in the Eastern tradition the processes of upbringing and education come close: indeed, it is impossible to educate a person without upbringing, as well as impossible to bring up not educating one.
In our opinion, education is a complex process of formation of a person which now should involve merge and constant dialogue of the rational (West) and the spiritual (East) to generate more flexible thinking. This could be performed through unifying theory-oriented learning (“act to know”¯) with performative-oriented culture (“know to act’) in the educational process. Thus, the possibilities of intercultural philosophy in education can be considered in terms of its understanding as a strategy to create a mechanism of mutual adaptation allowing coexistence of cultural diversity in the educational reality.
Discussion Question 2
What are the fundamental differences between Western philosophies and Native North American ways of knowing? (Generally, how does each culture view the world and education?) How can you incorporate seemingly different ways of knowing in your curriculum?
Western civilization is characterized by rapid development of engineering and technology, rapid change in the world of objects, and social relationships of people, and the Western type of thinking prevails to individualistic rationality, objectivity, and certainty. At the same time, Native North American ways of knowing incline towards focusing at human-to-nature relationship, as well as the division of categories into related to the normal, natural world around us, and belonging to the supernatural world, the world of spirits. In general, the views of American Indians on the nature are much more vibrant and more filled with spiritual activity if compared with the image of the nature of the Western world. The conception of the world of American natives may in some cases be characterized as a strongly pronounced global (cosmic) harmony.
Such principles encourage studying the surrounding world through observing and investigating natural relationships found among things in the universe. The essential component of an educational experience in Native North American tradition includes practical learning, coming out of identifying one as the part of natural and natural processes and realizing the true spirit of harmony, vitality, energy and love to the world.