Dr Jean-Paul Restoule, project leadIn the coming years, Aboriginal children and youth will make up a disproportionately large segment of the student population in Ontario.

 

 

Project Category:
Exploiting available research more effectively
Topic Area:
Aboriginal, Elementary, Science Education, Student Identity
Ministry Priority
(2011-2013):
Teaching and Learning, Equity, Engagement
Project Lead(s):

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Brief Background:
In the coming years, Aboriginal children and youth will make up a disproportionately large segment of the student population in Ontario. Using an evidence-based approach, this project will build knowledge networks to share effective teaching practices to support Aboriginal student achievement while striving for more culturally-inclusive classroom environments.
Research Context:
Surveys over the last decade indicate that student awareness regarding Aboriginal issues is low (Canadian Race Relations Foundation, 2001; Restoule, 2009). In addition, Kanu (2011) discusses that there are many benefits to bringing Aboriginal viewpoints into public school classrooms. Furthermore, Aboriginal students may not see themselves represented in the curriculum, and yet are encouraged to attend school in spite of a long, negative relationship between Aboriginal people and schooling (Dion, Johnston, & Rice, 2010). This knowledge mobilization project seeks to disseminate the information regarding integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom, as it is beneficial for all students.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:
This proposal seeks to mobilize existing knowledge on integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom in three ways: (1) by designing two full-day professional development workshops ; (2) by distributing a resource kit ; and (3) by creating a knowledge network from these workshops in order to establish an ongoing dialogue between researchers, practitioners, and teachers . The workshops will be designed to help foster the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives in elementary and secondary schools. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous worldviews and an appreciation of how this knowledge can assist all learners in their educational journey and enhance Aboriginal student achievement. The resource kit will be distributed at the workshop, and it will be available online through the Toronto District School Board and the Indigenous Education Network at OISE/UT. The network that is created will provide opportunities and information to educators to stay connected through an ongoing dialogue whether it be via social media updates, a web repository, or an Aboriginal education wiki for the group.
Outcomes:
By creating knowledge networks, this project will contribute to the establishment of ongoing dialogue between researchers, practitioners, teachers in service, and teachers in training. Research and resources on the best ways to engage Aboriginal communities in education and on improving the teaching and learning of Aboriginal issues, practices, and perspectives will be shared among the network members.