Tag Archives: curriculum

Module 2 – Resources for Teaching First Nations Curriculum

After the last several weeks of readings and discussions, I have become more keenly aware of the resources I use in the classroom, or at least where I look for those resources. My goal is to create a bank of useful resources that are created with an indigenous perspective, or at least in collaboration with authentic cultural input. Some of these links I have posted below are not necessarily teaching resources, but ones to instil a sense of awareness for all educators to be more culturally aware in their practice.

Working Toward Transformation and Change: Exploring Non-Aboriginal Teachers’ Experiences in Facilitating and Strengthening Students’ Awareness of Indigenous Knowledge and Aboriginal Perspectives

http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1942&context=etd

This resource is a graduate thesis that includes a discussion about culturally responsive teaching for the non-indigenous teacher. The latter half of the document delves into a qualitative research study about how non-Aboriginal educators incorporate Aboriginal knowledge and perspectives into their instruction. The conclusion falls short of making suggestions or offering resources for use in the classroom (intentionally), but does offer a critical reflection and insight on practices used, including student opinions. It could resonate with many non-indigenous educators who find themselves facilitating lessons that are similar.

 

Indigenous Principles Decolonizing Teacher Education: What We Have Learned 

http://ineducation.ca/ineducation/article/view/61/547

I predominantly like this paper for its Figure 1 chart titled “Ways of knowing” which highlights the differences between Euro-American-Centrism/Neoliberalism and Indigenous curricula. However, it is also local, and created in collaboration between non-indigenous and Lil’wat First Nation educators. Figure 2 highlights the Lil’wat principles of teaching, which I see as being valuable to incorporate into a variety of classroom practices.

 

Website: ineducation.ca

After discovering a few great articles that came from this site, I realized it is a useful platform that is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, based in the field of education. It is also out of the University of Saskatchewan, offering Canadian specific content.

 

Best Practices for Teaching Aboriginal Students 

Adapted from: Best Practices in Teaching Aboriginal Children: From an Aboriginal and Non- Aboriginal Perspective. By Theresa Wilson, (Master’s Thesis: Conversations with First Nations Educators) 2001 UVic

https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/deepeningknowledge/UserFiles/File/UploadedAmina_/Best_Practices_for_Teaching_Aboriginal_Students.pdf

This short pdf doc is an easy to read, bullet pointed  document that could be shared and distributed amongst teaching staff as a daily reminder to stay mindful of how to differentiate our teaching for indigenous students. I see it being very accessible for everyone.

 

Beyond Words: Creating racism-free schools for Aboriginal learners 

http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/AboriginalEducation/BeyondWords(1).pdf

This BCTF document has a few sections I find particularly impactful for myself, and to share with my colleagues. Three sections serve as a self-reflection on one’s own teaching, as well as one’s school culture:

  • Questions for Teachers to Consider (p. 19)
  • A Self-Assessment Guide for Teacher (p. 25)
  • School Review of Inclusiveness for Aboriginal Students (p. 45)

Module 1 websites for research purposes

In thinking about what I would like to do my research on, I was brought back to a concern or sense of confusion I have about the new BC curriculum. I teach grades 2-3 in North Vancouver, and have several students with First Nations ancestry. In rolling out the new curriculum this year, I have found that the curricular outcomes targeting First Nations content in the primary years are extremely broad, and I’m finding it challenging to find appropriate relevant resources to target those particular outcomes. It would be beneficial to explore authentic, meaningful resources developed by the First Peoples for First Peoples and others.

Here are a few I have come by so far…

Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/aboriginal-education/awp_moving_forward.pdf

  • This document provides useful background information on engagement, a vision for the future, and discusses attributes for responsive schooling, including those of teachers. It falls short of providing classroom lessons and examples of how to role out the process, but offers a more general idea of the way to move forward in the realm of education.

Authentic First Peoples Resources http://www.fnesc.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PUBLICATION-61460-FNESC-Authentic-Resources-Guide-2016-08-26.pdf

  • An annotated list of resources written by First Peoples for a student audience. It is a collection of informational and fiction works, but is quite language heavy, and would work well for teaching themes and issues in the older grades.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1302889494709/1302889781786

  • Government of Canada resource with links to reading and listening activities, primarily for the younger grades.

In Our Own Words http://aboriginal.sd34.bc.ca/sites/default/files/In-Our-Own-Words-final-Apr-16-web_0.pdf

  • A collection of practical lesson ideas for the K-3 classroom by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (see below)

First Nations Education Steering Committee http://www.fnesc.ca

  • FNESC is a regional (BC) committee of First Peoples who work “at the provincial level to provide services in the areas of research, communications, information dissemination, advocacy, program administration and networking.” As they work in a multitude of areas in the public sphere, one avenue of information dissemination is through schools in the K-12 education system. As such, they provide a variety of links to curricular resources divided into relevant topic areas.

 

I will keep searching for relevant information and tailor my research interests from here.

Module 1 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

As mentioned in my introductory post, I am interested in how educational institutions may create spaces and opportunities to honour the spirituality of individuals and communities. Therefore, I am interested in researching how Indigenous people incorporate spirituality into their own educational programs.

The following resources represent my first foray into cyberspace to find out what’s going on out there. (The sites found are listed in alphabetical order by author.)

  • Battiste, M. National Working Group on Education and the Minister of Indian Affairs, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002, October 31). Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education: A Literature Review with Recommendations. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada. http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education/24._2002_oct_marie_battiste_indigenousknowledgeandpedagogy_lit_review_for_min_working_group.pdf
    • This literature review discusses Indigenous knowledge and recommends an educational framework and steps to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations peoples. It admits that in calling itself a ‘literature review’ it is a attempt to describe Indigenous knowledge through a Eurocentric lens. However one must start somewhere, so this is a review of the existing literature on Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy which the author hopes will, in turn, inform educational reform.
    • Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, pedagogy in First Nations education, epistemology, learning processes, cognitive other

 

  • Bell, N. (2017).  Teaching by the medicine wheel: An Anishinaabe framework for Indigenous education. Canada Education. Retrieved from: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/teaching-medicine-wheel
    • The Medicine Wheel is a symbol used by many Indigenous cultures to represent the importance of the interrelatedness of all things. In this article, Bell explains how the Medicine Wheel may be used as a guide along an educational journey. In fact, she describes how honouring the gifts of each of the four directions may lead us to different learning processes as we move from standard linear models to the spiraling concepts of (a) awareness (East) with the call to envision or ‘seeing it’, (b) understanding (South) with the call for interrelationship over time or to ‘relating to it’, (c) knowledge (West) with the call to reason or to ‘figuring it out’, and finally, (d) wisdom (North) with the call for movement or to ‘doing it’. Bell then goes on to describe how this pedagogy has been used in practice.
    • Keywords: aboriginal, curriculum, educational change, elementary school

 

  • Brandhagen, K. (2017, May 24). Book review. [Review of the book The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality, by Blair Stonechild. AdvanceSouthwest.com-Arts & Culture. Retrieved from http://www.advancesouthwest.com/knowledge-seeker-embracing-indigenous-spirituality/
    • This is a book review of “The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality” by Blair Stonechild. The review is helpful because Brandhagen describes its ties to education, specifically to the history of Stonechild’s experience and challenges faced in a post-secondary education environment. It also describes the ‘sacred activity’ of learning and how “creating a new First Nations education system was one of the ways to bring focus back to honouring First Nations culture, community, language, and spirituality after the residential schools had existed for generations for the sole purpose of destroying those very relationships” (Brandhagen, 2017, para. 4). The description of learning as a sacred activity is an important one, as it speaks to the impact of education on individuals and communities. Although written by a Canadian from a Canadian-Indigenous perspective, Stonechild has researched the spirituality of Indigenous cultures from around the world, giving it a relevance beyond our borders.
    • Keywords: Indigenous spirituality, education, oral knowledge, First Nations culture

 

  • McDougall, C. (2017, February 6). Shawane Dagosiwin: Faculty of Education to co-host national Indigenous education reseach forum. UM Today News. Retrieved from http://news.umanitoba.ca/faculty-of-education-to-co-host-national-%E2%80%A8indigenous-education-research-forum/
    • This is a brief announcement from the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, indicating that they would be co-hosting the Aboriginal Education Research Forum and the Canadian Symposium on Indigenous Teacher Education. It took place April 24th and 25th, 2017. Of interest to me is that this year’s theme was Embedding Spiritual and Sustainable Wisdom in Education and Research as and Act of Reconciliation. The hope is that by honouring “the need to value Indigenous knowledge traditions…will ultimately positively impact educational outcomes” (McDougall, 2017, para. 3). It is my belief that by respecting students as whole beings with spiritual needs and perspectives will support them in achieving their educational goals.
    • Keywords: Shawane Dagosiwin, aboriginal education research, Indigenous education, spiritual wisdom, reconciliation

 

  • McDougall, C. (2017, April 26). Conference showcases spirituality in reconciliation. UM Today News. Retrieved from http://news.umanitoba.ca/conference-showcases-spirituality-in-reconciliation/
    • This is the follow-up story to the above announcement. It describes how the keynote speaker’s (Dr. Chantal Fiola’s) spiritual journey not only shaped her identity but also informed her research and teaching practice. She makes the astute comment, “Many people think that spirituality is important to education. It’s just that for several generations, it was a particular kind of religion that was taught” (McDougall, 2017, April 26, para. 4). This not only refers to the sad history of Canada’s residential school system but can also be said to refer to all parochial schools and colleges with religious affiliations. Therefore, the connection between religion and spirituality is not new, it is just now being allowed to be revived in certain communities. So she asks, “What actions are we taking in our classrooms, and in our school systems to make space for different spiritualties?” (McDougall,2017, April 26, para. 6). It is a good and relevant question.
    • Keywords: Shawane Dagosiwin, spirituality in reconciliation, spirituality in education

 

  • Stonechild, B. (2014, June 12). Bringing spiritual teachings into education. Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/blog/blair-stonechild/2014/06/4/bringing-spiritual-teachings-education
    • Stonechild has seen the full spectrum of aboriginal education in Canada, from being a residential school survivor to helping develop a First Nation-controlled post-secondary institution. In this article, he summaries his view on the importance of spirituality in education. He explains that aboriginal spirituality is about establishing a health relationship with all things, especially with one’s family, nation, and Nature itself. On this physical journey, learning is a sacred mission. Those who have lost touch with their spiritual roots may forget the importance of maintaining healthy interrelationships and so turn to substance abuse, crime and gang activities. Therefore, researching, writing and teaching about the principles of Aboriginal spirituality is very important at this time.
    • Keywords: aboriginal, educational change, equity, student success, transformation

 

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Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) – Traditional knowledge in the curriculum

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Image credit: Snow-Mountains-Clouds-Arctic by Freyer, CCO (Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/snow-mountains-clouds-arctic-965524/)

I am interested in reflecting on Inuit education through my lens of living and going to school in Canada’s arctic as a child, then returning as a teacher. The resources curated here focus on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit traditional values and their integration into the curriculum in Nunavut.

  • Pijitsirarniq: Serving the community.
  • Aajiiqatigiingniq: Consensus-Decision Making.
  • Pilimmaksarniq: Skills and Knowledge Acquisition.
  • Qanuqtuurungnarniq: Being Resourceful to Solve Problems.
  • Piliriqatigiingniq: Concept of Collaborative Relationship or Working Together for a Common Purpose.
  • Avatimik Kamattiarniq: Environmental Stewardship.

1. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Education Framework

The government of Nunavut published this IQ Education Framework in order to define and frame how educators can integrate Inuit traditional principles throughout the curriculum. This document was developed with Elders, and understands the goal of Inuit education to develop wisdom (as differentiated from Western philosophy of self-actualization).

2. Nunavut Department of Education, Learning Resources

This site curates the curriculum guides from K-12. The curriculum, strands and programs of study are similar to other southern curriculums; however, within each grade there is a section that specifically points to learning resources created in Nunavut and incorporating traditional knowledge.

3. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Adventure Website

This site explores Inuit traditions through the six guiding principles and values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit through Elder voices, recorded in Inuktitut (English text translations); includes an educators guide.

4. Teacher as Researcher – leap into the void with me [blog]

This is a blog, that I want to revisit. The author, Morgan Bentham, is also a Master’s student who is interested in indigenous ways of knowing.  She has tagged several thoughful posts on IQ, which also lead to further resources.

5. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health

This site focuses on the public health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. While not specifically focused on IQ, the site does provide a useful article that helps define the importance of IQ for the health and wellbeing of northern youth.

First Nations Steering Committee

.http://www.fnesc.ca/irsr/

This video introduces teaching resources that can be used to introduce Residential Schools in British Columbia.  It includes all of the necessary teaching components needed to introduce the topic sensitively and in a culturally sound way.  

 

Module 4 post 3

Toward a First Nations Cross-Cultural Science and Technology Curriculum

http://www.duluth.umn.edu/~kzak/documents/Aikenhead97-NOS.pdf

 

This article explores First Nations science curriculum from a cultural perspective.  It documents the stark contrast of nature  as seen by science and Aboriginal people. These differences are seen both socially, intellectually and how they associate with human action.  Typically science is seen as a Western philosophy, so in order for Aboriginal students to learn about western science it is seen as crossing cultural borders for them.  Aboriginal people would rather embrace and respect the mysteries of nature rather than conquer it and explain it.

Module 4 post 2

Module 4.4 School District 34 Ab Dept

Again, I felt this link was useful toward my final project. The Aboriginal Department of my own school district is by appointment only these days. Not sure if there is some rearranging going on or if there will be a big reveal sometime later this year. In the meantime, this link from Abbotsford has some pieces that seem useful. My take on the entire electronically-mediated-education will get some more press during my project.

 

Deepening Knowledge to Inspire Action: Including Aboriginal Perspectives in Teacher Education

https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/UserFiles/File/TEACHING_GLOBAL_MATTERS_FINAL_ONLINE.pdf

The focus of this particular article is bringing awareness of Aboriginal content to new and upcoming  teachers;  to encourage teacher candidates to be willing and ready to incorporate Aboriginal knowledge and pedagogy into everyday teaching.  It addresses the main reasons why new teachers may not include Aboriginal content and realizes that when these reasons are addressed teachers are more encouraged to include Aboriginal content.  Giving new teachers the knowledge and resources to feel like they have more than just a “little” relevant and accurate information to share they are more capable of teaching the material.

Module 3 post 2

Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into Curricula

http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/docs/policy/abpersp/ab_persp.pdf

The overall goal of this article is to assist educators with integrating more Aboriginal perspectives effectively into the curriculum.  Historically, the aboriginal perspective of how Canada came to be has been ignored, and it is only recently that that is starting to change.  The Aboriginal culture is based on the view that the universe was made by the Creator and humans must live in harmony with nature.  To foster the changes in perspective and correct social biases, it is indicated that developing curricula with Aboriginal content is a start.  This document looks at all aspects of Aboriginal culture and moves into ways to make Aboriginal content a staple in the curriculum, which will benefit both non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal students.

module 3 post 1

Module 3.5 Alaska Native Cultural Resources

I should search this within the weblogs to see if it has already been posted, but I know it hasn’t been posted by me (and I am kind of psyched about it).

The link is here for Curriculum units (mostly science themed). However, BC’s new Aboriginal “themed” curriculum (their use of words) focuses on competencies instead of specific Prescribed Learning Outcomes. November 12 is the day I get to talk to my staff about how we can meet the requirements of the new curriculum. I am definitely showing them this site.