Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Teaching of Aboriginal Studies Exam Review

     Tomorrow is our final exam in our Teaching of Aboriginal Studies class. Here is my completion of our exam review, wish me luck! :)

10 Ways to Assess for Racism/Sexism in Classroom Resources
1 ) Look at the Illustrations
     - Is there "tokensim"?
     - Who is doing what in the image?
2 ) What is the Story Line
     - Does the character need to adopt "white" traits to be successful?
     - Who solves the problem in the story?
     - What is the role of women?
3 ) What is their Lifestyle
     - Can you tell their social class?
     - Employment?
     - Housing?
4 ) What are the character's Inter-personal Relationships
     - Who is the authority figure?
     - Who makes the decisions?
     - What is the family structure?
5 ) Who is the Hero
     - Whose interests does the hero serve?
6 ) What effect does the story have on a child's Self-Image
     - How would the story make a child feel about themselves?
     - Is their race portrayed positively?
     - Would they feel like they are being stereotyped?
7 ) What is the Author's Background
     - What qualifications does the author have?
     - Are they of the same race as the characters in the book?
8 ) What is the Author's Perspective
     - Cultural context?
     - Personal context?
9 ) Look at Loaded Words
     - Tricky
     - Sneaky
     - Lazy
     - Docile
10 ) When is the Copyright Date
     - Is it outdated?
     - What were the thoughts of that time period?
Things to AVOID when Picking Books
- Inaccurate Information (mixing cultures together)
- Stereotypes
- Generic Portrayals of "Indians"
- Loaded Words (see above)
- Negative Images
- Isolated Information (no context and/or background)

Things to LOOK FOR when Picking Books
- Authentic Information
- Modern Descriptions of Aboriginal People
- Diverse (shows that there are many groups of people)
- Respectful Language
- Positive Image
- Relevance (local to your area)

Chapter 7, pg 175
Kanu, Yatta. (2011). Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into the School Curriculum: Purposes, Possibilities and Challenges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

     Studies find that teachers think that incorporating Aboriginal perspective is important in the classroom but these factors create difficulty:
- lack of knowledge/understanding about Aboriginal people
- teachers are excluded from decisions on how to integrate
   Aboriginal perspective
- lack of suitable classroom resources
- lack of long-term support from admin
- school structure doesn't mesh with traditional Aboriginal
- a teacher's personal beliefs and biases

James Banks Levels of Integration of Multicultural Context

1 ) Contributions Approach
     - Incorporates heroes and holidays
     - No context for the information
     - Firm cutoff
2 ) Additive Approach
     - Incorporates a unit (April Raintree)
     - Doesn't change any of the outcomes
3 ) Transformations Approach
     - Looks at information from different points of view
     - Changes the outcomes/curriculum
4 ) Social Action Approach
     - Students learn about issues and take action to solve them
     - Decision making process

Chapter 7, pg 169
Kanu, Yatta. (2011). Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into the School Curriculum: Purposes, Possibilities and Challenges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

     Teachers believe the integrating Aboriginal perspective is crucial for these reasons:
1 ) There is a need to learn from Aboriginal peoples. Some cited examples are,
     - stories & their message
     - spirituality
     - caring for an extended family
2 ) Learning needs to be culturally relevant
     - represents our student's history, culture and experiences
3 ) Improvement of self-image & identity
     - there are many negative images in the media
     - we need to improve how Aboriginal students see themselves
4 ) Economic results of dropping out
     - Aboriginal populations are growing fast and have many young people
     - Canada as a whole is an aging population and needs more skilled people in
        the work force
5 ) Need for inclusion
     - Canada is a multicultural democracy
6 )  Need to inform Aboriginal students and other students of this
     - all students need to understand Aboriginal background & understand
        how it has shaped Canada

Chapter 7, pg 173
Kanu, Yatta. (2011). Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into the School Curriculum: Purposes, Possibilities and Challenges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

     Here are some examples of things that a teacher has done that have incorporated Aboriginal perspective into her classroom:
- displays of artifacts
- posters
- current event flyers
- books by Aboriginal authors
- sharing circles
- guest speakers
- legends
- sharing of her personal vision quests
- using Aboriginal art and symbols
- positive content
- respect and warmth
- follows the mood of the class

Chapter 7, pg 191
Kanu, Yatta. (2011). Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into the School Curriculum: Purposes, Possibilities and Challenges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

     What does it mean to be a Facilitator of Integration? How can we facilitate the integration of Aboriginal perspective? Here is what teachers said they needed in order to facilitate the integration of Aboriginal perspective:
1 ) Teachers Professional Efficacy
     - teachers need knowledge of Aboriginal cultures
     - teachers need knowledge of appropriate Aboriginal pedagogy
2 ) Resource Adequacy
     - teacher need easy-to-use materials for students and themselves
3 ) PD Opportunities
     - teachers need PD opportunities to better prepare themselves
4 ) Sustainable Funding
     - teachers need to be able to have funds so that they can draw on the
       First Nations communities around them for resources
     - admin needs to be supportive and accountable
5 ) Change in School Culture
     - overhaul
     - things can't change is the school culture wont change

Chapter 7, pg 194-97
Kanu, Yatta. (2011). Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into the School Curriculum: Purposes, Possibilities and Challenges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

     Here is a shortened version of the 12 Point list that is summarized at the end of Chapter 7 in regards to what needs to be done to be Facilitators of Integration:
1 ) All teachers need knowledge and understanding about Aboriginal:
     - history
     - issues
     - pedagogy
     - culture
2 ) School supports need to be in place (like funding & PD opportunities)
3 ) Curriculum development should include teachers
4 ) Easy-to-access resources
5 ) Curriculum/textbooks should feature Aboriginal culture, content, issues, pedagogy
6 ) High quality research on school culture (general and specific)
7 ) Strong/supportive admin who take action
8 ) More Aboriginal teachers
9 ) Funds allocated for Aboriginal integration
     - school liaisons
     - guest speakers
     - resources
10 ) Use elders to teach what you can't (or what you shouldn't)
11 ) Involvement of Aboriginal parents
      - guest speakers
      - committee members
      - volunteers
12 ) Change to the school structure
      - scheduling

MASS Position Statement on Aboriginal Education
      "The way forward must draw upon the knowledge and expertise found among Manitoba's Aboriginal people."
A ) Find ways to live in harmony & balance with yourself and the universe
      through sustainable & generative relationships
B ) Create & maintain healthy & diverse learning communities by using
      authentic learning contexts for all students
C ) Foster and support Aboriginal languages & culture
D ) Instill & fulfill the beliefs of responsibility (individually and community)
      in the classroom

4 R's of Aboriginal Education
- Respect
- Responsibility
- Reciprocity
- Relevance

The 4 Imperatives
1 ) Historical
     - Need to respect treaty obligations
     - Achieve equitable outcomes
2 ) Moral
     - Gaps in quality of life
     - Higher drop out rates
     - Higher health concern rates
     - Higher incarceration rates
3 ) Economic
     - Dwindling work force with baby-boomers retiring
     - Economy needs full participation in the work force
4 ) Demographic
     - Aboriginals are the youngest and fastest growing population
     - Over 50% attend provincial schools
     - By 2016, 45% of Kindergarten students with be Aboriginal

Good luck to everyone else out there finishing up final exams and projects!


  1. Hey! Thanks for this, it might actually help me to not fail this exam.

    1. You're welcome Dan! I'm sure you wouldn't have failed though :)


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