UBC Graduate Research

Developing Culturally Specific Curriculum: Supporting Aboriginal Early Learners Kinzel, Cheryl Alena


This graduating paper explores a selection of scholarly articles about Aboriginal early childhood education in Canada with specific focus made on enriching ecological systems theory with Aboriginal epistemological concepts of Spirit, Heart, Mind, and Body as a foundation for the construction of a culturally specific early learning curriculum. The specific themes encountered are: Eurocentric education and assessment used as cultural suppression, the need for early childhood education to support Aboriginal children in both dominant and traditional contexts (Spirit), local community driven curriculum development and Heritage language instruction and support (Heart), and the importance of a culturally based Indigenous pedagogy and epistemology (Mind/Body). The author concludes that based upon this review it is vitally important for the success of Aboriginal children and communities that individual Aboriginal communities and Nations develop a culturally specific early learning curriculum.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada