Emotional Health, Self-Regulation and Technology

I was quite interested in Lee Brown’s discussion of the emotional health and well being of aboriginal students. In my school, we build relationships with students and families, provide a safe environment and look for ways to help students learn to self-regulate, all before we expect any academic learning to proceed. (Students also have many opportunities to learn language, traditional skills from community members). What is happening in my school is, I think, very similar to Lee Brown’s thinking around how to produce healthy results for indigenous students in classrooms. Although they spring from different origins, Stuart Shanker’s work on self-regulation (2013) is very similar to Lee Brown’s, both aiming to create emotional health in the classroom. As Brown points out, the need for training in emotional competency, for aboriginals, is the result of the disconnect between first peoples and their cultural history. Previously, I have explored the cultural load of iPads and some applications, in the context of self and cultural expression. All of this was discussed with a concern for what conditions support success for aboriginal students.

 At this point, I am very interested in further exploring Lee Brown’s approach to student well-being (and comparing his ideas with Stuart Shanker’s). Since technology is relevant to so many aspects of life, it may be worth considering its (dis)utility in the pursuit of student success as defined by people like Brown, Battiste, Whitley or McIver.  In fact, the idea of “new media”or the flipped power structure that is available in new media may be a very effective way of giving aboriginal students their own unique cultural voices.


Battiste, M. (2005). Indigenous knowledge: foundations for First Nations. World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium-WINHEC Journal.

Brown, Lee. n.d. Lee Brown – video. Retrieved from https://connect.ubc.ca/webapps/blackboard/execute/displayLearningUnit?course_id=_61105_1&content_id=_2725247_1&framesetWrapped=true on 22/05/2015.

MacIver, Marion. “Aboriginal students’ perspectives on the factors influencing high school completion.” Multicultural Perspectives 14.3 (2012): 156-162. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/ 15210960.2012.697008.

Shanker, S. (2013). Calm, alert and learning: Classroom strategies for self-regulation. Pearson.

Whitley, J. (2014). Supporting Educational Success for Aboriginal Students: Identifying key influences. McGill Journal of Education/Revue des sciences de l’éducation de McGill, 49(1), 155-181. Retrieved from http://mje.mcgill.ca /article/view/8949/6917.

Trevor Price

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