Last week, the Læra Institute took an active part in the Tenth International Congress for Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS X), convening two panel sessions on 'Innovation and Pedagogy in Circumpolar Studies', and taking part in a workshop organised by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) on 'Ensuring the Continuity of Intergenerational Knowledge'.
Our first panel session on 'Innovation and Pedagogy in Circumpolar Studies' took place on Thursday 17th June, at a time more convenient for scholars in North America and Europe. We heard three presentations at that session:
- 'Circumpolar Studies is, was, could be...' — a discussion of the past, present and future of UArctic Circumpolar Studies from Amanda Graham of Yukon University, one of the members of our Steering Committee, in which she proposed a vision to inspire not only the work of the Læra Institute but also all faculty and students engaged with Circumpolar Studies
- 'Moving from citizen science to stewardship action through scenario storytelling' — a report from Katie Spellman and Douglas Cost of the University of Alaska Fairbanks on research showing that school pupils can be motivated to think of themselves as stewards of their local environments through a combination of citizen science and storytelling about imagined futures
- 'Model Arctic Council for sustainable development' — a proposal from Anthony Speca of Polar Aspect, who also serves as our Managing Director, that experiential learning through Model Arctic Council for schools and universities can help to promote Arctic sustainable development
Our second panel session on 'Innovation and Pedagogy in Circumpolar Studies' took place on Friday 18th June, at a time more convenient for scholars in Europe and Russia. We heard two presentations at that session, with one further presentation submitted but unable to be heard due to the absence of the presenter:
- 'Circumpolar Studies in Yakutia: Innovation and perspectives' — a report from Irina Dranaeva of the Arctic State Agrotechnological University, and a member of our Steering Committee, on Circumpolar Studies teaching at the four higher-education institutions in Yakutsk, Russia
- 'Teaching native (Even) and foreign language in a nomadic camp' — a presentation from Lialko Zakharova of Seben-Kuel School and the North-Eastern Federal University on the challenges involved in teaching and preserving the Even language in a remote Indigenous community, whilst also teaching Russian and English
- 'Formation of readiness future speech therapists to use innovative technologies for teaching children with speech disorders' — from Elena Bukhtayarova and Maria Druzhinina of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University
On the same day, the Læra Institute had the privilege of participating in an ICASS early-career scholars workshop organised by APECS , on the theme of 'Ensuring the Continuity of Intergenerational Knowledge'. It was a fantastic discussion of the importance of Indigenous knowledge, and the challenges involved not only in its preservation and promotion, but also in how to hand it down between the generations from elders to youth. We're most grateful to Liisa Holmberg of the Sámi Council and the International Sámi Film Institute (ISFI) for representing the Læra Institute at the workshop, as part of a new collaboration between our two institutions. Her presentation on the work of the ISFI to document and teach Sámi knowledge, and on her own experiences as a respected Sámi knowledge-holder, was especially enlightening. We're also grateful to APECS for the invitation to our Managing Director Anthony Speca to give a brief presentation introducing the Læra Institute to participants.
We plan to make recordings of our panel session on 'Innovation and Pedagogy in Circumpolar Studies' available soon. In the meanwhile, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our ICASS X sessions, or if you'd like more information about the work of the Læra Institute.
And finally, we're grateful to IASSA, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University and the University of Northern Iowa for organising and hosting ICASS X, particularly in these challenging times.