A Lakota Bahá’í approach to applying critical pedagogy in the classroom

This presentation highlights the result of enacting three complimentary philosophies and belief systems within the high school classroom environment: the Lakota concept of the medicine wheel and the power of the sacred circle, the Bahá’í model of educational systems demonstrated in the Ruhi Institute, and the concept of education as the practice of freedom as outlined by Paulo Freire and bell hooks. Wielding these three educational approaches in tandem, a dynamic and courageous learning environment is created where students can engage in meaningful discussions on white supremacy culture.

  • Jelana Bighorn

    Jelana Bighorn has worked as an English and Social Studies teacher in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the past 14 years and is currently completing her master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership. While she grew up in the Pacific Northwest, her heritage is predominantly Lakota from the Fort Peck Tribes in Montana, USA. Using a blend of concepts and insight from the Ruhi Institute as well as from the traditional teachings associated with the medicine wheel, Jelana has established a dynamic learning environment within her classroom settings. 


45th Annual Conference

In the Footsteps of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá: Contributing to the Discourses of Our Time


The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.