Teacher experiences incorporating Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy into their practice Li, Kevin; Thomas, Catherine
The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of teachers in two Lower Mainland school districts as they incorporate Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy into their practice. The BC Ministry of Education, in the process of updating the K- 12 curriculum has stated that teachers need to incorporate ‘Aboriginal ways of knowing’ into their practice. Across Canada including the Richmond and Vancouver School Districts, students who identify as Aboriginal are less likely to graduate High School than their non- Aboriginal peers. In Richmond and Vancouver, Aboriginal students consistently report having more negative school experiences than their peers. The research consisted of eight interviews with elementary and secondary teachers from the Richmond and Vancouver School Districts. It finds that there is a widespread lack of knowledge and confusion about Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy. Experienced teachers feel overwhelmed at the thought of incorporating Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy respectfully into their practice. Furthermore, non-Aboriginal teachers have feelings of guilt about the legacy of the residential school system. An additional group of teachers was identified as those who are resistant to the incorporation of Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy. Recommendations include supporting the teachers who are interested in incorporating Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy into their practice in becoming ambassadors who will promote discussion in staff rooms and disseminate knowledge. Other recommendations are increased engagement with the Aboriginal community and the development of links between Faculties of Education, which are now including undergraduate courses about incorporating ‘Aboriginal ways of knowing’ for teacher candidates and Boards of Education.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada