Three "approaches" to FN content in the classroom:
"Add-on" Integrated Immersion
- a unit is added to
a course which focuses on FN issues, such as FN art, etc.
- units on FN issues are included in various courses in appropriate places
- students get real-life experiences in a FN culture Best with number of students
- any number of students
- a few FN students in the classroom
- (FN a minority or majority)
- many FN students
- or when studying FN cultures
Best to use when
- studying FN cultures
- when it's hard to convince teachers to integrate the content into the curriculum
- not usually as effective as integration or immersion
- there are only a few FN students in a class
- in most classrooms in the province, this is the type that should be strived for (if few/lots of FN students) - want students to have realistic cultural experiences - if class is predominantly FN, they should experience this type once in a while-to-often
- can be added at any time
- can be added for every unit in any course
- validates FN people/history/etc
- great for any class size
- realistic experiences
- great for cross-cultural awareness
- enters a culture, including values...
- often don't have enough of them
- doesn't always address Goal #1 for FN students
- most teachers don't give the time necessary to FN issues to do it effectively
- time, and money, intensive
There are two goals for First Nations education:
The essential goals of any First Nations curriculum is to do the following:
NOTE: These goals should be the basis of any FN curriculum, be it "Added-on", integrated into the curriculum, or as an immersion activity.
Examples of add-on programs:
1. Make Prayer to Raven
a) 5-30 min videos on the Koyukon People in Alaska
This is a 5 part video series on the Koyukon people living along the Koyukut River in nothern Alaska. This series attempts to show how the Koyukon have adapted their life style and philosophical approaches to modern civilization The series shows some of the traditional activites that are done during the four seasons, and how modern conviencies are used, when appropriate. A large part of the series is spent trying to explain the core value system and philosophy of the Koyukon people. It explores the Koyulon's relationships to themselves, their community, and to the natural world.
b) Teacher's Activity Guide
David Rattray developed a Teacher's Guide to accompany the video series. The guide summarizes each video; gives suggested activities for different age/ability students; and tries to encourage making comparisons to the world today.
This type of program can be taught at any level, and when the videos, and activities are complete, little reference is made to it, unless there are "teachable moments" where connections can be further made during the year.
2. First Nations Journeys of Justice:
A cornerstone of this curriculum is based on storytelling, which is the oral tradition of all First Nations people. First Nations people taught the younger generation through the telling of stories that carried messages. As young people grew up, they would learn many different lessons from the same story.
Two Goals of First Nations Journeys of Justice
This type of curriculum, although it is an add-on can be expanded to be usable throughout the year. These concepts of justice can be taught, reinforced, and encouraged to continue long after the curriculum has been taught. Thus, an add-on program can become very valuable.
Add-on programs can be valuable if:
Assumptions, values, and beliefs of different cultures must be respected
Patronization is as wrong as omission
Grade 6/7 class
|Math||Bases other than Base 10||
|Science & CAPP||Human Body||
|Language Arts||Legends & Fairy Tales||
|Art||Based on the two stories that were being studied||
The goal of integration is to allow all students opportunities to study about their own cultural heritage and make sense of it, and to share it with others.
Example of an immersion project: Drummaking
Immersion means to immerse the students in experiences that are relevant to that particular culture. It becomes difficult to do an immersion project in today's society because whatever project is undertaken often has a "past" and a "contemporary" component. Community input is critical to decide if immersion means "in the past" or "in contemporary society". I personally believe that we need to blend them together, as this example demonstrates. This project started out as a drummaking activity which grew, and grew.....
|1. DRUM MAKING||WOOD WORKING
|2. SINGING & DANCING||
|3. MAKING REGALIA||
||All kinds of activities that relate to achieving a goal|
|7. OTHER IDEAS||
||Making snowshoes and NOT using them degrades the value of snowshoes. Snowshoes were an important way of travelling. They were also important in creating determination, character, etc. in a person. But to create determination and character, the snowshoes must be used in real life situations.|
Some people may say this is not immersion because: