Module #1; Post 4-Differences in Goals between ‘Mainstream’ and Indigenous Education

Recently, our school chose to meet with the different stakeholders to discuss and put together a list to show our ideas about what we believe as a school community should be the profile of a highschool graduate. There were two evenings where the school community (students, alumnae, parents, teachers, administration, board members) were invited to participate in a guided discussion about the qualities we want our school graduate to possess. Before the discussion even began, there was an obvious assumption that we are starting with the fact that the expectation is that all our students will graduate. We are known as an university preparation school, so high academic marks have also become part of the school culture. After the information was collected from these meeting, a select group of parents and staff were asked to narrow down the ideas.  Some of the core concepts we ended up deciding upon were for students to be engaged global citizens, be people of character who act with compassion and empathy, be critical, creative and reflective thinkers, show integrity, humility and resilience, be driven by the principles of inquiry, be curious, open minded and reflective in all endeavours, pursue a healthy, balanced and active lifestyle, and possess strong communication and social skills.
It is interesting to consider the qualities that different stakeholders from Indigenous communities would decide upon.  For example, the term ‘global mindedness’ might not cover really understanding and communicating with our own local cultures. As well, although it was discussed, our final list doesn’t emphasize a commitment to community, or to our environment.

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