UBC Theses and Dissertations
Grade 12 enrolments of status Indians in British Columbia: 1949 - 1985 Atleo, Eugene Richard
This study examined the nature of the apparent increases in grade 12 enrolment patterns of status Indians in British Columbia from 1949 to 1985 in the light of a theory of context. This theory assumes that education takes place in, and is affected by, a context of conditions both external and internal to education. The external factors assumed to affect student achievement are the prevailing social, political, and economic conditions while the internal factors assumed to affect student achievement are curriculum and teacher characteristics. Historical evidence confirmed that a contextual change took place within the dominant society. This change was characterized as a move from a condition in which the dominant society excluded minorities (exclusion) to one in which the dominant society included minorities (inclusion) coincident with the apparent grade 12 enrolment increases of status Indians in British Columbia during the period covered by the study. When the enrolments were subjected to time-series analysis the results showed that the grade 12 enrolments had increased significantly between 1949 and 1985. This finding supported the hypothesis that inclusion was positively associated with academic achievement as measured by enrolment into grade 12. Inclusion by the dominant society was seen to have evoked at least two responses by Indian groups. Therefore, although a positive association between inclusion and academic achievement has been established it was necessary to compare contrasting responses to inclusion. For this purpose two British Columbia bands which were similar in terms of geographic, demographic, and cultural characteristics, but different in terms of their control of education, were selected. Band A was identified as having chosen to remain under government control with respect to Indian education between 1976 and 1985 while Band B had chosen to exercise Indian control with respect to Indian education during the same period. Their respective grade 12 enrolment patterns were then subjected to time-series analysis which revealed a significant difference in enrolment patterns. Band A's enrolment pattern was both linear and stationary, indicating a consistent level of enrolment over time. Band B's enrolment pattern, however, showed an abrupt constant intervention effect (significant at the .05 level, t=7.79) beginning at 1979. Since both bands began their enrolment pattern at about the same level, Band B's significant enrolment increase supported the prediction that Indian control of Indian education was positively associated with academic achievement as measured by grade 12 enrolments of status Indians while Band A's stationary enrolment pattern supported the hypothesis that government control of Indian education was associated with no increase in academic achievement as measured by enrolment into grade 12. The findings of this study indicate the explanatory value of a theory of context for academic achievement. Not only does the study suggest that improved student achievement of status Indians in British Columbia as measured by enrolment into grade 12 is found in a favorable context of external and internal conditions, but the study also suggests the necessity for a proactive response to these conditions. One such proactive response is Indian control of Indian education.
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