AbEd- (Courtney Harpur) First Peoples Principals of Learning & How I am working to incorporate them into my classroom

Personal Understanding

I have developed a better understanding of what it means to be authentic when teaching about First Nations. I have found that integrating indigenous knowledge and perspectives into all curricular areas will require me to be constantly learning myself, and developing my own understanding.first-peoples-principles-of-learningI have found that reaching out to the community and finding authentic sources to introduce topic to the class is an amazing gateway into feeling more comfortable with not only educating the students about First nations traditions, but also to expose them naturally to the First Peoples Principals of Learning.I have been able to use presenters to have students become familiar with the Principals of Learning before using them within the classroom.

Learning is holistic, reflexive, experiential and relational.

Incorporating field trips, speakers, and reflections into lessons helps to create a holistic, reflexive, experiential and relational. Students write a reflecting on the field trips and speakers that we are able to experience, and what they liked most and what they had learned.IMG_4376.jpg Our field trip to the Lochiel School House gave the students a chance to experience what school was like in the pioneer days, they were able to relate to the experience well.


Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.

Our class was able to explore the consequences of our actions by focusing on stewardship, IMG_4509.jpgsportsmanship, anti-bullying and responsibility within our classroom.Students were being proactive by thinking of ways to make our neighborhood aware of how they are treating our environment, and how that can affect our salmon lives

Learning Involves generational roles and responsibilities.

This principle reflects the understanding that teaching is the responsibility of all member of the community. IMG_5010.jpgAs a new teacher I am trying to have the students exposed to a variety of educators with in the district and our community. Our class explored the importance of the first nations story telling with Carman. He informed us how important sharing history is. As well as listing the experienced members of our community. We put Carman’s advice into practice when we visited the Fort Langley Museum, and welcomed Langley Animal Protection Society into our class.

Leaning is embedded in memory, history, and story.

Our class explored the role of the salmon and the connection it has IMG_4345.jpgto our land, and society though the knowledge of the First Nations Peoples. We explored many stories, legions, and reader’s theatres dedicated to the salmon, its journey, and its impact on the lives of First Nations society as well as our local society.


Learning involves patience and time.

This princIMG_4406.jpgiple supports the idea that learning is an individualistic process that cannot be rushed or arrived at according to a pre-determined schedule. This refers to the understanding that learning happens when a person is ready for it, and when it needs to occur in and authentic setting. I have been able to use this in my practice, by not having timelines or due dates for assignments that we are working on. I also give the students a chance every few weeks to finish up work that they have not had a change to work on by letting them have a “Finish Up Friday.”

Learning requires exploration of one’s identity.

Students knowing their own strengths and challenges is a part of the responsibility each student has to their own education. As a part of my student lead conferenceIMG_4449 I have the students and their parents together fill out a short survey about the students strengths and things that they think they can improve on in both subject areas and social areas. This is a good way to have a small check in with the students, and their parents. If I were to continue in the classroom I would send home this check-in home a few more times.


Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is scared and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations.

Being a teacher is a great privilege and comes with a large amoIMG_4993.jpgunt of privet knowledge, lots of which is not to be shared with others in the community of the classroom. As students confide in teachers as a person of safety the stories that they share with me, I ask permission to share with others, just as I would within any other profession. (within reason/content dependent)


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