Game Releases: http://earthworksbuilder.github.com/

This project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. A white paper describing our project is available here:


click “grant products” to see all related materials.

Christine’s quick presentation about the significance of our project at the NEH meeting, September 27, 2011:



Application of a Consulting Collaborative Approach

A Consulting Collaborative approach as understood by Lynda Tuhiwai Smith (2005) and the critical consciousness of Paulo Freire guide the process of this project. Art Education, now Art Administration, Education, and Policy, is primarily focused on visual culture and identity issues; thus, Action Research and a consulting collaborating approach were natural to our way of thinking and practicing. These approaches support building learning communities in the game as we develop the project among the researchers, consultants, Native American advisory team, youth advisory teams, and research subjects. Research subjects are also understood as contributing to the development, and their perspectives and ways of understanding are valued and will inform how the game is redesigned in the next iteration.

Our game design is an atypical bridge between the arts and sciences that embraces collaborative practices and creates coalitions. This is achieved by applying a consulting collaborative approach. By interviewing people and researching multiple viewpoints, we carry that method throughout the game design process with our multiple team approach: Native American Advisory, Content, Design, Research, and Core youth and young adult play-tester teams. Smith (2005) states that this process encourages reflective thinking and practice. “Consulting collaborative approaches include critical forms of reflective experiences, cultural studies, and research experiences that can challenge established ways of thinking and acting by encouraging a reexamination of one’s own values and practices” (Ballengee-Morris, 2010). This process builds learning communities, which support lifelong success and achievements through practices that question social problems, policies, and ethical dilemmas.


Ballengee-Morris, C. 2010. They Came, They Claimed, They Named, We Blame. Studies, 51(3), pp. 275-287.

Smith Tuhiwai, L. (2005). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books, Ltd.



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