Scholars discuss effects of assimilationist education policies

"The Ripple Effects of Assimilationist Educational Policies and Practices for American Indian Students: From the Boarding School Era to the Present," a presentation, will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Nov. 30, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

The presentation by Kevin Slivka, doctoral candidate in art education, and Susan Faircloth, associate professor of education and director of the American Indian Leadership Program at Penn State, is part of an ongoing series organized by the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK). This event is sponsored by ICIK, the University Libraries, the American Indian Leadership Program and the School of Visual Arts.


Slivka will investigate the discourses of Richard Pratt, founder and superintendent of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and Estelle Reel, author of "Course of Study for Indian Schools" and superintendent of Indian schools from 1898 to 1910, pertaining to their philosophies of education for American Indian peoples. Both Reel’s curriculum and Pratt’s approach were paradoxical in their rhetoric, claiming to educate for independence, while setting strict limitations on socioeconomic class position, employment, learned skills and academic knowledge.


Faircloth will discuss the impact of boarding schools on American Indian students and their families today. She will also comment on current efforts to decolonize the educational system and reaffirm the place of indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing in the education of American Indian students.


For more information and to view past presentations of ICIK programs online, go to If you anticipate needing accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, contact Helen Sheehy, head, Social Sciences Library, at 814-863-1347/

Last Updated January 09, 2015