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Documenting a Family Case Study: T.E.K.


The purpose of this third writing assignment is to allow students the opportunity to build upon the first two compositions completed this semester. Essay #1 provided students with a foundation in which to begin exploring key themes within a Chicano-Xicanx Research Framework. These terms include Aztlan, Identity, Performing Public Space, and New Forms of Expression (Research + Art). Explorations in multi-disciplinary fields, such as history and geography allowed students to question the factors that shape and re-shape identities over time.

Essay #2 allowed students to explore the significance of examining the ways in which colonialism/imperialism impacted sacred histories as well as the continuance of historical traumas across generations. Situating contexts, subtexts, and intertextualities was a priority in this assignment, which led to deepened understandings of self–within global and local spaces.

Currently, Essay #3 is primarily designed to allow students to feel empowered by research that centers on, oftentimes, underrepresented voices and cultural practices that adhere to the various aspects of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (T.E.K).The assignment is centered on the gathering of oral histories in order to demonstrate the applicability of T.E.K. within the sphere of each student and to allow for the opportunity to engage with qualitative research techniques, resulting in the creation and documentation of a Family Case Study.

Required Readings/Sources:

Kimmerer, Weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge (scholarly article)
Kimmerer, The Honorable Harvest (TEDTalk video)
Morales, Mama Concha (short story, ebook)
LaDuke, Seeds of Our Ancestors (youtube video of Ted Talk) (Links to an external site.)

Nelson, Grandfather, how do I learn? (Vimeo documentary)
Analysing Oral History: A New Approach when Linking Method to Methodology by Miller Rosser
One personal interview
Writing Task:

To plan, organize, and write a Case Study that includes application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of ALL THREE sources mentioned above in relation to the completed interview conducted by the student that ALSO adheres to the format described below.


To familiarize themselves with the purpose, characteristics, and format of a Case Study, students should review their lecture notes from the class discussion of the following sources as well as the brief lecture on Analysing Oral History: A New Approach when Linking Method to Methodology by Miller Rosser This reading is available under the Files tab. (Links to an external site.)

Borrowing from Miller Rosser students should organize their project in the following manner:

LEVEL 1–The Interview

Conduct an oral interview with a person you believe practices T.E.K. (based on the definitions provided and developed in the sources listed above
Record the interview, which should be based on open-ended questions (approved by the professor prior to conducting the interview)
Make observations on voice, emotions, and gestures (if possible)
Prioritize the participants unobstructed connection to their history and meaning making
Your Family Case Study can begin with a brief description of why you chose this person for the assignment, what relationship you have had with them and for how long, and basic details about when and where the interview took place (consider using this to help organize your introductory paragraph)
LEVEL 2–Portraits of Meaning (Biographies) (approximately 2 pages). Due for attendance points on 4/27 by 11:59 p.m. via Canvas Inbox.

The biography is NOT a verbatim transcript of the recorded interview but rather a RECONSTRUCTION of the story that the student researcher was provided during the interview
The student researcher should use the oral history (interview) to reconstruct, how, in detail, the social environment influenced the participant to develop T.E.K.
Living and working environments as well as social/traditional/cultural aspects of society and boundaries should be emphasized
Students should keep in mind the importance of telling a story in this section–who? what? when? where? why?
LEVEL 3-Seeds of Meaning: Telling Extracts (approximately 2.5 to 3 pages). Due for attendance points on 4/29 by 11:59 p.m. via Canvas Inbox.

In this section, student researchers focus on KEY CONCEPTS and THEMES revealed in the interview that INTERSECT with the 3 sources
The purpose of this section is to APPLY the concept of T.E.K as defined and described in the sources in relation to the interview and subsequent biography
The TELLING EXTRACTS or commonalities/intersections that the student researcher discovers should be closely examined and analyzed
At this point, it may also be necessary to expand the concept of T.E.K. and the student researcher would set the parameters for this, providing detailed explanations and necessary contexts for the reader to understand
LEVEL 4-Collective Meaning–The Historiography (1.5 to 2 pages). Due for attendance points on 5/4 by 11:59 p.m. via Canvas Inbox.

This section provides the student researchers INTERPRETATION of the ENTIRE PROCESS, from the inception of the assignment until its culmination; it is an opportunity to offer synthesizing statements with regard to all sources
The student researcher should explore what they have learned about T.E.K. by doing this qualitative research. They should also express what they have learned about the importance of research and the impact it can have when done in a respectful, reciprocal, responsible way as well as what is at stake when it is not
The student researcher should examine, deeply, how histories have intertwined as a result of this assignment and they should evaluate the process of inquiry and learning

Please read & re-read this document clearly and follow it closely; doing so will ensure an engaged process and committed response to the assignment and course.

Students have the choice of following either MLA or APA format. Please use the Owl at Purdue website for further guidance or ask for assistance. Writing Tutors are also available for this. (Links to an external site.)

Final Revisions should have an original title.