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Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

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The OECD has just published a report on Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students in collaboration with provinces and territories in Canada, with New Zealand and with Queensland, Australia. The publication highlights examples of Indigenous students' success and how these successes have been achieved.
This presentation provides an overview of the Study and of its key findings.

Published in: Education
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Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

  1. 1. PROMISING PRACTICES IN SUPPORTING SUCCESS FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS October 2017 OECD Study undertaken with Canada, New Zealand and Queensland (Australia) from February 2016 to August 2017
  2. 2. SUMMARY Origins of the study Objectives Conceptual frame Key findings
  3. 3. Origins of the study Initiated by Alberta Education following the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in Canada in 2015 Collaboration between 6 Canadian provinces and territories (Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and the Yukon) and the OECD to shape and implement the study New Zealand and Queensland, Australia also participated, as a further means of cross-jurisdictional peer learning Commitment of each participant to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students.
  4. 4. Objectives of the study Build an empirical evidence base on how best to support Indigenous students’ success Identify promising strategies, policies, programmes and practices that support improved learning outcomes amongst Indigenous students. Assist provinces and territories to learn from each other to achieve accelerated, sustained progress
  5. 5. Conceptual frame Student well-being Participation Engagement Achievement • An holistic approach on the well-being, participation, engagement and achievement in education of Indigenous students • These outcomes are interconnected and mutually reinforcing.
  6. 6. Four inter-related outcomes Student well-being A critical and desirable outcome, fundamental to students’ ability to participate, engage with and succeed in education Engagement A necessary precondition for student learning Achievement Required set of skills to realise ambitions and participate fully in society. Participation Students’ access to education and their opportunities to learn
  7. 7. Defining success • Success can be defined in many ways For example, in New Zealand, Sir Mason Durie defined it: “… where (Māori) can participate fully, as Māori, in te ao Māori (the Māori world) and te ao whänaui (wider society)”. (New Zealand Treasury Guest Lecture Series, Wellington, 2006)
  8. 8. Approach and methodology Quantitative and qualitative Information from participating jurisdictions: • Data on student well-being, participation, engagement and achievement • Evaluations and other research • Strategies, policies and programmes. Literature review, analysing international evidence. Field visits in each participating Canadian province and territory to meet with: • Indigenous students and parents • Indigenous teachers and Support Workers • Elders • School leaders • Teachers • Other education stakeholders.
  9. 9. A clear will to improve, evidenced by a range of new initiatives and programmes being put in place Key findings Many examples of promising practices And common threads in how these improvements and successes have been achieved.
  10. 10. Many efforts to address disparities have not succeeded. The challenges are complex Legacy of colonisation processes, including residential schools The impacts are deep and longstanding, including intergenerational poverty and trauma
  11. 11. Much activity is occurring to positively engage Indigenous students in education The findings show improvements yet much still to do Indigenous students are more positive about education than their parents Progress is visible in some areas, such as senior school retention and qualifications But improvements in achievement overall are not yet widespread. Limitations in the available data restrain jurisdictions’ abilities to monitor progress over time
  12. 12. • New Zealand reduced the gap in ECEC participation. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Differenceofparticipationratein percentagepoint Difference between Indigenous and total participation rates in ECEC Difference between Indigenous and the total children participation rate in ECEC Some system-wide improvements have been achieved
  13. 13. Some system-wide improvements have been achieved • Graduation rates of Indigenous students in Canada, Queensland and New Zealand increased over the last decade.
  14. 14. But improvement takes time • Progress can be achieved but can take time.
  15. 15. Indigenous students were clear on what they want from education • Indigenous students told us they want: To learn about their cultures, languages and histories To have teachers who care about them and expect them to succeed To feel safe and included at school.
  16. 16. The study found common elements in how improvements were achieved Building relationships with Indigenous communities, based on respect and trust Setting deliberate, measureable targets, and reporting on theseTaking multiple actions at both a system-level and local level, changing expectations and capability Ensuring the experiences of individual students are enhanced Persisting and adjusting efforts over a significant period of time. Pursuing sufficient effort to make a difference
  17. 17. And some actions have greater impact than others
  18. 18. Key priorities at a system level • Key priorities at a system level to improve education for Indigenous students are: EARLY LEARNING SUPPORTING TEACHERS AND LEADERS MONITORING PROGRESS
  19. 19. What does the study show • Indigenous children are more likely to: o Not participate in ECEC o Have a later start in school than other students Why early learning matters • Ensure the development of oral language, emotional regulation, and other skills critical for early well-being and ongoing development Pathways for improvement • Access for every child to high-quality, tailored and culturally responsive early childhood education and care. At a system level – Early learning “Starting behind means staying behind.” (Researcher, Manitoba)
  20. 20. At a system level – Early learning Example of good practice in New Zealand: Early Learning Taskforce • The aim was to increase participation rates of Māori and children of Pacific Island descent • Using a data-focused methodology, setting regional targets • Key strands: o Partnering with Māori and Pasifika communities to understand and co-construct solutions o Seeking support from the broad community o Working with other government agencies o Working with schools in low socio-economic areas to identify and reach children who are not participating in ECEC.
  21. 21. Provision of early learning Example of good practice in North Winnipeg (Manitoba) • The study found a highly successful ECEC programme tailored for Indigenous children and their families. 4.5 16.8 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Control Programme Averagepercentagepointchangein langagedevelopmentscoreby evaluationgroupstatus Evaluation Group Average percentage point change in Language development scores
  22. 22. Provision of early learning Example of good practice in North Winnipeg (Manitoba) – Further details on the programme • Based in the community the children live • Enriched, individualised caregiving • Engagement with families, through home visits and involvement of parents in the centre • Recruitment and training of local staff • An holistic approach, linked to other supports and services for families • Managed transition to the local elementary school.
  23. 23. What does the study show • Principals can make all the difference – or not • Teachers need support to develop their understanding and skills Why support for teachers and leaders matters • For Indigenous students’ experiences to change, the practices of teaching and learning also need to change • The package of responses needed at an individual school level vary, so school leaders need to be “awake at the wheel” Pathways for improvement • Specify expectations for teachers and school leaders • Provide tailored professional development • Support schools to work together to improve student outcomes. At a system level – Supporting teachers and leaders
  24. 24. • “It’s our responsibility to find the resources we need … these are children, who want to learn.” (School principal, New Brunswick) At a system level – Supporting teachers and leaders
  25. 25. At a system level – Supporting teachers and leaders Example of good practice in Northwest Territories with a programme for new teachers • A three day programme to: o Improve new teachers’ knowledge and appreciation of the local community’s historical, cultural and social context o Teach Indigenous curriculum content o Better understand the history and legacy of residential schools.
  26. 26. At a system level – Supporting teachers and leaders Example of good practice in New Zealand: Learning and Change Networks • Schools voluntarily work together to boost student achievement in particular learning areas, through: o Teachers’ working together to better understand the achievement patterns at their school and at partner schools, for different groups of students o Classroom observations by teachers within and across schools o Students providing their views on the teaching and learning at their school o Persistence in achieving mutual goals over a number of years.
  27. 27. At a system level – Monitoring progress What does the study show • Limited disaggregated data and monitoring Why monitoring progress matters • Helps to understand trends • Indicates when adjustments are needed to policies and other initiatives Pathways for improvement • An example of such a mechanism is the annual Closing the Gap report produced by the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet • Another illustration is the New Brunswick Student Wellness Survey, conducted every three years.
  28. 28. And some actions have a greater impact at a school level
  29. 29. Key priorities at a school level • Key priorities at a school level to improve education for Indigenous students are : QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF TEACHING ENGAGING FAMILIES DIRECT SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
  30. 30. At a school level – Quality and effectiveness of teaching What does the study show • Quality and effectiveness of teaching are crucial for students’ success • Teaching is more effective when cultural and linguistic differences are taken into account Why quality and effectiveness matters • Quality and effectiveness of teaching impact students’ learning • Teachers’ attitudes and expectations can also impact students in their confidence and competence Pathways for improvement • Teaching can be enhanced through the deliberate selection of: o learning activities o curriculum content o assessment mechanisms. “It’s our responsibility to find the resources we need … these are children, who want to learn.” (School principal, New Brunswick)
  31. 31. At a school level – Quality and effectiveness of teaching Example of good practice in Nova Scotia: Show Me Your Math • Students explore mathematics in their own community and cultural practices • Through exploring aspects of counting, measuring, locating, designing, playing and explaining, students discover that mathematics is all around them • Every year, students gather for an annual mathematics fair to share and celebrate the work they have done.
  32. 32. At a school level – Engaging families What does the study show • Indigenous families can be wary of engaging with schools, given past experiences Why engaging families matters • Schools working alongside parents as partners achieve gains in student well-being, participation, engagement and achievement Pathways for improvement • Engage Indigenous families in their children’s education, through: o Involving parents on education goals for their children o Supporting parents to play a very active role in their child’s learning.
  33. 33. At a school level – Engaging families Example of good practice in a school in New Brunswick: Engaging families in their children’s school transition • Each child’s transition to school is carefully managed • Staff meet parents before children start school to learn about their child’s interests, development and needs • Children and their parents: o Visit the school before the year starts o Participate in a welcome ceremony at the start of the school year.
  34. 34. At a school level – Engaging families Example of good practice in Queensland: Families as First Teachers programme • The programme aims to: o Build the capacity and leadership of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff implementing the programme o Strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership and build the capacity of parents/carers in early learning o Create resources for home use o Provide opportunities for parents to meet with and support one another o Manage transitions from home to formal education settings o Embed culture and language in early learning o Build children’s early literacy and numeracy skills.
  35. 35. At a school level – Direct support for students What does the study show • Many ways to provide direct support to individual students Why direct support for students matters • Providing customized and effective supports to students can: o Effectively address barriers faced by Indigenous students o Identify opportunities to increase their engagement and success in education Pathways for improvement • A model that works well for schools with a number of Indigenous students is appointing Indigenous Support Workers. Such staff can contribute to: o Ensuring regular student attendance o Supporting teachers in building sound relationships with Indigenous students and their parents o Initiating new curriculum resources o Leading professional development for teachers.
  36. 36. A common formula for improvement at a individual school level An inspirational leader Strong relationships with students, parents and local communities Capable and committed staff The use of every possible lever to engage and support students to be successful Sustained commitment to achieve improvements.
  37. 37. • To get further information on the study and new work on education outcomes of Indigenous students, please contact Rowena Phair (rowena.phair@oecd.org) • To consult the report, Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students. To get further information

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