Confronting Coyote: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in an Era of Standardization

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The trickster, a crucial character in many cultural histories, often slips into our lives without warning. In the western United States, the trickster frequently manifests himself as Coyote, and is central in the oral traditions of tribal people, ranching families, and outdoor adventurers alike. Coyote is responsible for some missing turkey sandwiches. You won’t believe this, but Coyote snatched my left hiking boot from right outside my tent. Coyote tricked a man out of is best horse. No luck hunting today? Coyote scared away the game. Coyote stole grain from a shed, and then locked the door behind him when he left. Coyote is a complex character that teaches and teases: One moment he shares painful lessons with us and the next he makes us laugh at our ridiculous flaws. In today’s world of educational standardization, Coyote the trickster lurks in the shadows of every classroom. He has crept among the masses in schools under the guise of a democratic model of education. He is so cunning that many educators actually ponder his suggestions associated with no Child Left Behind, despite our simultaneous suspicion of is promises. Sometimes Coyote’s claims are alluring: If we offer the same opportunities—through the same curriculum, instruction, and assessment—it seems we are promoting equity in the classroom. Despite the bitter taste of it all, Coyote presents an enticing case.




Rogers, C. (2008). Confronting Coyote: Culturally responsive pedagogy in an era of standardization. Democracy & Education, 17(3), 46-50
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