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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A part of something much bigger : a case study of the Kwak'wala teacher training project Wild, Joy H.


The issues and factors which affected the planning, development and implementation of the Kwak'wala Teacher Training Project, a program for training Kwakwaka'wakw people to teach in the Native language programs of their communities, are described and discussed. The study focuses on the five courses oriented toward teaching methods and the development of teaching materials for the local Native language programs. The over-all purpose of the study is to gain understandings of the factors and issues in Native language teacher education. The specific goals are: 1. To gain an understanding of the factors and influences which affected the planning, development and implementation of the Kwak'wala Teacher Training Project, from the perspectives of the students and the instructors. 2. To describe the "planned instructional program" designed for the Kwak'wala Teacher Training Project, and to describe the changes that occurred in the process of developing and implementing the planned courses. Included in this is an exploration of the underlying assumptions made by the instructors in planning the program. 3. To provide a description of the process by which the KTTP program developed, and to map the parameters of the program. 4. To gain insights into: a) the characteristics of the Native students and their learning needs, b) the concerns and issues facing Native people involved in learning to become better teachers of the Kwak'wala language, c) the concerns and issues professionals working in language teachers. facing the KTTP with non-Native Native Data for the study was collected from a number of different sources. These included observations and field notes recorded during the period the program operated, a variety of documents pertaining to the program, and interviews conducted with a representative number of students from the program. A two-part curriculum-design model, proposed by Jarvis (1982), was used as a checklist for exploring various elements of both the planned instructional program and the broader context, as well as the relationship between them, and to help focus the study which showed a wide range of factors and influences affecting the program from both the broader social context in which it occurred, and from within the program itself. This included insights gained by the instructors, regarding the students perception of teaching and learning in a school setting and their orientation toward learning and teaching. Changes occurred in the program, the students, and the instructors understandings as KTTP progressed. A number of cultural value orientations held by the students, which influenced the development of the instructional program, and appear to have significance for future teacher training programs were identified and described. The findings of this study suggest that instructors and others involved in the setting up and teaching of Native language teachers can facilitate the process of Native language teacher education by: 1. working with Native teachers to explore their underlying assumptions about what constitutes teaching and learning in a school setting, 2. designing Native teacher training education programs which facilitate Native social interaction patterns, recognize the learning preferences of Native students, and seek to discover the students' cultural value orientations, 3. emphasizing the relationship of language and culture, and the importance of recognizing that language and culture are interrelated, 4. recognizing and valuing the knowledge and experiences of Native people, and 'the need for them to be involved in the decision-making process by sharing in the processes of planning and assessing the program as it progresses. The approach taken in KTTP to Native language teaching emphasized the interrelatedness of language and culture. It was not expository in nature or verbalistic in its orientation, but was activity-based and experiential. The use of social and cultural activities actually occurring in the community provided the basis for developing materials for the Native language program, and for teaching-learning activities.

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