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Real Models of Secondary Aboriginal Education. Aboriginal Education As provinces and territories move to implement Canada- wide testing of students, the.

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Presentation on theme: "Real Models of Secondary Aboriginal Education. Aboriginal Education As provinces and territories move to implement Canada- wide testing of students, the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Real Models of Secondary Aboriginal Education

2 Aboriginal Education As provinces and territories move to implement Canada- wide testing of students, the goals of education embodied in such testing are defined by non- Aboriginal authorities. Some Aboriginal parents and communities may share these goals, but it should not be assumed that they will place them above their own goals for the education of their children. Self-determination in education should give Aboriginal people clear authority to create curriculum and set the standards to accomplish their education goals Royal Commission Report on Aboriginal Peoples

3 Where we have been… According to Statistics Canada, nearly 50% of Aboriginal youth in Canada never graduate from high school; a disproportionate number of whom are young men. That figure is even higher in Alberta, where an estimated 70% of Aboriginal youth have left high school without graduating. Its a reality that the Aboriginal education community have been wrestling with for decades.

4 Where were going! In 2011, 1299 students out of 9843 self-identify as Aboriginal when ten years earlier, 714 students out of did so. In 2011/ % of self-identified Aboriginal students met the 6-year school completion rate when in 2007/08 only 49% of our students managed to do so. In 2012, 78 out of 140 Aboriginal students finished with a BC Certificate of Graduation when in out of 108 students do so.

5 First Peoples Principles of Learning Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors. Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place). Learning involves recognizing the consequences of ones actions. Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities. Learning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge. Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story. Learning involves patience and time. Learning requires exploration of ones identity. Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations.

6 Components of Our Success The creation of successful secondary Aboriginal education models can be accomplished when: there is an intimate understanding of First People's Learning principles, there is support from a trusting Aboriginal education council, there is commitment to student engagement by district- school administration, there is skilled application of prescribed learner outcomes by a teaching team of compassionate care-givers.

7 A philosophy of education

8 Teaching should support the well-being of the self, the community, and the nation.

9 Great teaching is holistic, reflective, experiential, and relational.

10 Education must help students recognize the consequences of their actions.

11 Great teachers offer generational roles and responsibilities.

12 An educated society recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge.

13 The teaching process provides opportunity for story.

14 Teaching involves patience and time. March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path. Khalil Gibran

15 Reflective practitioners explore their evolving educational identity.

16 Discussion Question: What are some of the challenges faced by Aboriginal students in your schools?

17 The Ravens program was designed to help students demonstrate their worth; and demonstrate you did. This nationally recognized program is based on the formation of relationships that supported students in their academic growth. The teachers and administrators of this school have witnessed 150 students pass through the Ravens program and over 120 of those students have graduated from high school! With more to come… Canadian Council of Learning Sharing the Flame Award for Innovation in Aboriginal Education – 2007

18 Students in the first cycle of the program provided the name after that ubiquitous west coast symbol of teaching and learning. Raven is a trickster and a teacher who provides opportunities for growth and achievement. This initiative was designed to support Aboriginal students graduation success.

19 Program Features The G.P. Vanier Ravens is an alternative education program that combines the courses B.C. First Nations Studies 12, English/Communications 11 and Planning 10. One full-time teacher and one full-time education assistant deliver this program. two of four blocks one semester Students spend two of four blocks of time in this program for one semester then continue in mainstream secondary courses. Students receive small group instruction. Students individual learning styles and unique educational needs are acknowledged and supported. Students work habits are developed and nurtured with understanding of the challenges Aboriginal students face. Aboriginal staff are role models Content has a decidedly Indigenous character.

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21 Program Objectives To help students find their place. To help students demonstrate their unique learning spirit and find academic success. To help students use their voice to acquire knowledge concepts.

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23 Activities Students are engaged in reading, writing, speaking, viewing and doing. First Nation culture research projects Cultural presentations, Aboriginal literature annotated bibliographies, Learning by doing First Nation art projects, Individual graduation- employment readiness portfolios. Intergenerational school partnerships

24 Aboriginal Teaching The instructor acts as a mentor and authoritative curriculum guide. The instructor sets the stage for learning and guides students using traditional educational techniques such as storytelling, humor and careful use of positive reinforcement of acceptable behavior.

25 Originality and Innovation Segregated-inclusion in a mainstream high school. Research shows that Aboriginal students have unique educational needs that are better served in an all-Aboriginal classroom setting. Integrated course model. Academic reinforcement supports student knowledge acquisition and skill development. Holistic instructional approach of the Aboriginal teaching staff. Educators that are experienced with the unique educational needs and cultural realities of Aboriginal students are much more likely to develop the rapport and trust required to teach.

26 Ravens Success The influences of the Ravens program are truly infinite and priceless. By teaching young people about their culture in both a neutral and encouraging environment as well as incorporating relevant fundamental school curriculum, it allows students to learn and excel with two important subjects in mind: culture and education. For me, the Ravens program instilled a lifelong passion for both education and the diverse cultures that make up British Columbias First Nations people. Raven Graduate

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28 Aboriginal Education Council

29 Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement An AEEA is a working agreement between a school district, all local Aboriginal communities, and the Ministry of Education The AEEA is designed to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students. The AEEA is signed by the Superintendent on behalf of all school district employees and all SD 71 staff are expected to work towards meeting these goals.

30 Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement To increase Aboriginal students sense of belonging; including sense of place, identity and self esteem, in a nurturing and inclusive environment To improve the achievement of Aboriginal students To increase the awareness and understanding of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit history, traditions and culture for all students To enhance skills, qualities and confidence in leadership for Aboriginal students

31 School Administration Administrators have become more sensitive to Aboriginal cultural experience and have altered their practice to include the Aboriginal Education teaching team in matters of discipline regarding First Nation, Metis and Inuit students. Fewer suspensions have incurred and students are finding support within the school. School administrators continue to support this program by seeking funding, maintaining a specific place for instruction and promote the program goals within their networks.

32 The Ravens SD#71 Aboriginal Education Councils present SD#71 Superintendent of Schools past and present April Shopland Clyde Woolman Lynn Daniels Florence Jean Lynn Joseph Blake Tobacca

33 How does investment in Aboriginal education benefit our communities? Economic self-sufficiency for Aboriginal youth Civic pride and political participation Cultural awareness and revitalization

34 Challenges in Aboriginal Education Lack of Place within Schools Lack of Aboriginal Role models within schools Lower graduation rates than non-Aboriginal students Post-secondary upgrading of secondary content Negligible Access to cultural content in educational programs

35 Your Challenge What are some of the specific challenges for Aboriginal education in your community? List some of the things that prevents your Aboriginal students from finding success Brainstorm/Dream ways and means to tackle these challenges Consider the barriers that may arise in the implementation of these challenges…and then find creative and dynamic people who will use First Peoples Principles of Learning who will be the inspiration to accomplish what we dare to dream and be the strength to do what we know is right.

36 The Real Models of Aboriginal Education are our children.


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