Improving Teaching and Learningfor First Nation Students in Ontario By Sharon Korpan For ETEC 521 – Dec 2011
Learning Goals• Examine your own assumptions and bias‟ regarding First Nations (FN) populations and its impact on teaching and learning in your classroom / school• Explore the current demographic snapshot of FN in Ontario• Explore shifts in teaching and learning that include a FN perspective
Reflect upon your own bias‟ or stereotypesregarding the FN population - identify three. Photo Credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives
What role has the media played in shaping your perceptions of FN populations?
Exploring Facts• How large is the FN population in Ontario?• Where are the FN communities?• What does the term Aboriginal mean?• What is the post-secondary educational attainment of FN people, especially women?
Aboriginal peoples represent a small proportionof the total Ontario population. However, thereare more Aboriginal people in Ontario than inany other province in Canada, and the City ofToronto has one of the largest, if not thelargest, Aboriginal population in the country. Spotton, N. (2005).Photo Credit: vinod.sankar
Map Highlighting FN communities in Ontario Click map to enlarge to PDF posted online
Aboriginal Identity Population, Ontario, 2006This pie graph compares Aboriginal identity population and Non-Aboriginal identity population in Ontario, 2006. The Aboriginal populationis about 2% of the population of Ontario. Source: Statistics Canada, 2006
Aboriginal Identity Population, Ontario 2006There are three groups of Aboriginal peoples in Canada: North American Indian (hereafter referred to as First Nations people), Métis and Inuit. Source: Statistics Canada, 2006
Educational Attainment of theAboriginal Population (aged 25-34) Source: Statistics Canada, 2006
Breakdown of Major Field of Studyof the Aboriginal Population, 2006 Source: Statistics Canada, 2006.
Postsecondary education holds widely- recognized benefits for both the individual and society. Research has shown that achieving a postsecondary education: - increases employment opportunities, - increases income opportunities, - provides a stronger economic and community base.These relationships hold true for FN people, as they do for the population as a whole. (Hull, 2005)
FN Women andPost Secondary Education Source: Statistics Canada, 2006
• In 2006, the proportion of FN women with a postsecondary education was highest among those aged 35 to 39 (48%), whereas for women in the overall Canadian population, this proportion was highest for adults aged 30 to 34 (72%).• This suggests that more FN women may defer their postsecondary studies until later in life compared to women in the total Canadian population. Source: Statistics Canada, 2006
Provincial Breakdown of FN Women and Post Secondary EducationSource: Statistics Canada, 2006
• Factors that contribute to differences in postsecondary educational attainment across regions include: – geographic location of FN people, geographic location of postsecondary institutions, availability and types of programs, as well as the nature of labour markets in each region.• In 2006, Yukon, the NWT, and Ontario had the highest proportions of FN women aged 25 to 64 who were college graduates, while Quebec had the highest proportion with trades credentials, and P.E.I. had the highest proportion of university degrees. Source: Statistics Canada, 2006
The „warriors‟ of yesterday were „disciplined‟ and would surrender their lives to protect the land and the food supply.Todays version of the „warriors‟ are working towards goals - professionals and lawyers – and are using education and technology to fight, in their way, to protect the land and the people of the land. Source: Fraser River Video
What We Can Learn from FNPhilosophy to Improve Teaching and Learning? Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution
Research in the Walpole Island FN insouthwestern ON found an emphasis on: – inseparable relationship between people and the natural world – respect for all aspects of the environment, everywhere – not just in the community – recognition of the dependence of people on the physical environment – view of the land as sacred – responsibility to future generations – respectful and responsible use of resources – preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural environment – belief in the link between environmental quality and quality of life Source: Ontario Ministry of Education, 2011.
Shifts in Teaching and Learning1) Be open-minded and prepared – Recognize traditional and indigenous ways of knowing as valid and useful – Understand the benefits of including FN perspectives in lessons – Understand the potential of these perspectives to precipitate interrogation of current mainstream human and environmental interactions, broaden and deepen students‟ sources of information and promote social transformation
2) Avoid sentimentalism, romanticism, and stereotypes – FN knowledge should not be romanticized – FN societies do not possess a single view or type of relationship with nature or community – Recognize your own bias‟ toward FN culture based on your personal experiences – Become aware and knowledgeable of FN current and historical issues
3) Utilize aboriginal expertise - Invite aboriginal persons – including elders, local community members, parents, business and community leaders - into classrooms, live or virtually as resource persons and guest teachers - Add FN traditions, cultures and perspectives across the curriculum - Build a bank of Aboriginal books, resources, websites and classroom activities for student use
4) Meet the needs of FN students in your class / school - Plan curriculum delivery and tasks according to their individual learning style and needs - Differentiate instruction by allowing for process or product to be altered - Allow for student choice - Adopt the philosophy of “good for all, necessary for some” - Include FN perspectives to help foster FN student engagement through increased relevance to their own experiences and culture, leading to increased self-esteem and increased student success - Promote positive FN leaders and role-models
Success CriteriaAfter completing this interactive presentation and exploring links provided…1) Do your cultural bias‟ toward FN effect how you teach – how your students learn?2) Has there been a change as a result of this presentation?3) How could you better meet the needs of your FN students?4) What further questions do you have?
ReferencesChiefs of Ontario. (2008). http://chiefs-of-ontario.org/Default.aspxFaries, E. (2007). Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/research/eFaries.pdfSimon Fraser University (2007). Fraser River Video http://media.elearning.ubc.ca/det/ETEC521/FraserRiver-H.264-800Kbps- Streaming-16x9.movHull, J. (2005). Post-secondary education and labour market outcomes: Canada, 2001. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.Marker, M. (2000). Ethnohistory and indigenous education: A moment of uncertainty. History Education, 29(1), 79–85.Ontario Ministry of Education. (2009). Aboriginal perspectives: The teacher‟s toolkit. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/aboriginal/toolkit.htmlOntario Ministry of Education. (2011). Teaching for ecological sustainability, what works? research into practice. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/WW_ Teaching_Ecological.pdf
ReferencesSpotton, N. (2005). A Profile of Aboriginal Peoples in Ontario. Ipperwash Inquiry. http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/inquiries/ipperwash/policy_part/resea rch/pdf/Spotton_Profile-of- Aboriginal-Peoples-in-Ontario.pdfStatistics Canada. (2006). First Nations Women and Postsecondary Education in Canada: Snapshots from the Census http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-004- x/2009004/article/11017-eng.htm#cStatistics Canada, 2006. Census and INAC Ontario Region. http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/services/datasheets/first_nations .aspStatistics Canada. 2007. Ontario (Code35). Aboriginal Population Profile. 2006 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-594-XWE. Ottawa. Released January 15, 2008. http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92- 594/index.cfm?Lang=EStatistics Canada. 2010. Visual census. 2006 Census. Ottawa. Released December 7, 2010. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census- recensement/2006/dp-pd/fs- fi/index.cfm?Lang=ENG&TOPIC_ID=4&PRCODE=35