University of British Columbia – Community Collaboration

Category — Readings and Powerpoints

Overview of PowerPoint #1

  • TRIBES – A New Way of Learning and Being Together

Approximate time to view PowerPoint is 20 minutes

Main Ideas:

  • Tribes’ engages participants in a process aimed at establishing positive cultural connections in a program and community.
  • Strategies can be woven into a pattern of interaction (with children, caregivers, parents, colleagues) that creates a caring environment.
  • Four principles guide community building and effective communication
  1. Attentive Listening — silently with full attention
  2. Appreciation – no putdowns – positive statements
  3. Right to Pass – provides courage, control, and decision making power
  4. Mutual Respect – respect for self, others, and individual qualities
  • Strategies aim to provide effective communication choices in groups—processes such as observing, listening, and reflecting on whole community concerns.
  • Aboriginal traditions and values within this program include community circle of sharing, respect, character values.

April 29, 2011   No Comments

Overview of Powerpoint #2

  • Non-violent Communication (NVC)

Approximate time to view PowerPoint is 20 minutes

Main Ideas:

  • Purpose: to empower compassionate and respectful communication: giving and receiving.
  • Nonviolence is the natural state of compassion.
  • Four components of compassionate communication aim to reach resolution through empathy.
  1. Observation – focus on what we and others are observing separate from interpretations and judgments.
  2. Feeling – focus on the feeling aroused, in relation to what is observed.
  3. Needs – be aware of the values and desires that create the feeling.
  4. Request – the concrete action that is requested in order to enrich our lives, or enhance communication.
  • Two parts of compassionate communication experienced through the four components: expressing honesty and receiving empathically.
  • Aboriginal traditions and values within this program include interdependence towards well being, connection, universal quality of ‘alive in us’.

April 29, 2011   No Comments

Overview of Powerpoint #3

  • Restitution-based communication

Approximate time to view PowerPoint is 20 minutes

Main Ideas

  • Restitution as a model of self-discipline rooted in Aboriginal practices.
  • Used as a tool to fix mistakes, gain control, and become stronger in the group without sacrificing the self-esteem of the individual.
  • Practices focused on gaining self-balance, self-discipline, and intrinsic motivation.
  • Based on Control Theory principles (now called Choice Theory) and five positions, or needs.
  • Five needs: Survival, Fun, Power, Love, and Freedom.
  • Understanding that our driving force to behave comes from genetically pre-programmed needs, we help others understand their behaviors.
  • Choosing better ways to fulfill needs is where restitution self-discipline is focused.
  • Aboriginal traditions and values within this program include the principle of non-interference, acceptance of human frailty, and self-discipline.

When you have finished viewing the PowerPoint presentations, spend some time reflecting on the following questions:

  • Each of the models presented in the PowerPoints approach effective communication from different perspectives—creating positive community, compassion/empathic communication, and responsible self-discipline. Which model has the potential to be helpful in your Head Start site? And why?
  • How could you proceed to plan and organize an effective communication initiative using the resources and information available in previous learning units?

April 29, 2011   No Comments

Reading: Circle of Courage Framework

The PowerPoint presentations introduced three models of effective communication that can be applied and practiced in families, communities, programs, schools, and caregiving sites such as Head Start. The fourth model is introduced in the reading on The Circle of Courage ©, a holistic program based on traditional Aboriginal ways of knowing, personal development, and community values.

Overview of the Circle of Courage reading:

  • Main principles of the model based on the Medicine Wheel and developed by Larry Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg, and Van Bockern (1990). The model integrates Aboriginal philosophies of child rearing, the heritage of education and youth work, and contemporary resilience research.
  • Four universal growth needs are identified in the foundations of the model: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity.
  • The ‘Spirit’ of each part of the model is explained. The table identifies characteristics of Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity when the circle becomes distorted, broken, and/or mended.
  • Note: The model is inclusive for all people, of all ages, who live in community with others, not just educational sites.

Circle of Courage Model

Maslow’s theory of human needs suggests that a sense of belonging must be attained before self-esteem and self-actualization can be realized. As children are drawn into the circle in the Spirit of Belonging, a relationship is established which is based upon mutual trust and respect. This provides the motivation to live with “a minimum of friction and maximum of goodwill” (Brendtro et al., 1990). The ultimate test of this kinship is behavior. You really belong when you act like you belong!

Spirit of Belonging Distorted Spirit of Belonging Broken Spirit of Belonging
Attached Gang Loyalty Unattached
Loving Craves Affection Guarded
Friendly Craves Acceptance Rejected
Intimate Promiscuous Lonely
Gregarious Cult Vulnerable Isolated
Trusting Overly Dependent Distrustful

Mending a Broken Spirit

  • Create a cohesive classroom environment where each child can feel like an important member.
  • Give positive encouragement.
  • Recognize individuality and creative talents.
  • Make sure teacher/caregiver expectations are very clear so children understand classroom expectations.
  • Be specific when reinforcing a child’s positive behavior.
  • With discipline and behavior, focus on the deed and not the doer.

Spirit of Mastery

Native education strives to develop cognitive, physical, social and spiritual competence. This holistic view of learning recognizes that all students can learn and each student must be given the opportunity to demonstrate competence in all areas. Without opportunities for success, children will tend to express their frustration and lack of self-worth through inappropriate behaviors. Learning that is somehow connected to the everyday life of the child and the opportunities for sharing provide very powerful intrinsic motivators. In the Spirit of Mastery, success becomes “a possession of the many, not of the privileged few” (Brendtro et al., 1990).

Spirit of Mastery Distorted Spirit of Mastery Broken Spirit of Mastery
Achiever Overachiever Non-achiever
Successful Arrogant Failure Oriented
Creative Risk Seeker Avoids Risks
Problem Solver Cheater Fears Challenges
Motivated Workaholic Unmotivated
Persistent Perseverative Gives Up Easily
Competent Delinquent Skill Inadequate

Mending a Broken Spirit

  • Connect classroom experiences with the children’s personal lives.
  • Make sure each child experiences success in something.
  • Help children set realistic goals.
  • Teach problem solving strategies.
  • Teach children to solve problems through collaboration.
  • Encourage taking on challenging tasks.
  • Consider alternative ways of knowing when designing activities.

Spirit of Independence

Native child rearing philosophies place great emphasis on “guidance without interference” (Brendtro et al., 1990). Learning then becomes the responsibility of the child who can be held accountable through appropriate learning opportunities. Child empowerment is required to foster the belief that a child is in control of the learning process. This sense of autonomy is a powerful intrinsic motivator. In Native American culture the internal locus of control must be balanced by social controls. Children first need to be dependent, learning to respect and value the wisdom of “elders”. Modeling provides a basic framework, which can be adjusted by each child to adapt to his/her particular learning style and multiple intelligences.

Spirit of Independence Distorted Spirit of Independence Broken Spirit of Independence
Autonomous Dictatorial Submissive
Confident Reckless/Macho Lacks Confidence
Responsible Sexual Prowess Irresponsible
Inner Control Manipulative Helplessness
Self-Discipline Rebellious Undisciplined
Leadership Defies Authority Easily Led

Mending a Broken Spirit

  • Model decision-making and assist children in developing their own framework.
  • Give choices for activities to recognize multiple intelligence development.
  • Involve children in participatory decision-making.
  • Encourage children how to engage as learners.
  • Help children develop internal controls—an inner self-discipline for student empowerment.
  • Teach alternative behaviors to improve personal control.
  • Model and teach personal responsibility.
  • Let children face the consequences of their behavior.

Spirit of Generosity

The highest virtues in Native culture are generosity and unselfishness. Self-esteem and self-worth are greatly increased by learning to help others. There is a responsibility to consider the welfare of everyone in the community. In a classroom or community site, peer tutoring and cooperative learning groups allow children to share their talents with others. There is a feeling of pride and joy that is experienced by helping others. Without opportunities to share their talents, students cannot become caring, responsible adults. The help given must be genuine and not equated with personal gain. Children should be encouraged to get involved in the community, and school, through a variety of service projects.

Spirit of Generosity Distorted Spirit of Generosity Broken Spirit of Generosity
Altruistic Noblesse Oblige Selfish
Caring Over involved Affectionless
Sharing Plays Martyr Narcissistic
Loyal Co-dependency Disloyal
Empathic Over involvement Hardened
Pro-social Servitude Anti-social
Supportive Bondage Exploitative

Mending a Broken Spirit

  • Foster cooperative interpersonal relationships.
  • Encourage child to be a good listener and a good communicator.
  • Encourage children to express their opinions.
  • Understand that children may express themselves in ways that may help or hurt themselves or others.


Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M., & Van Bockern, S. (1990). Reclaiming youth at risk: Our hope for the future. New Jersey: National Educational Services.

April 29, 2011   7 Comments