Patricia So- AbEd Inquiry

Aboriginal art

Student Re-created Animal Art Pieces

AbEd Q: How can I get students to be curious and engaged with Aboroginal culture?

This question was my attempt at taking a small step into introducing AbEd into the classroom. I wanted to be able to introduce the First People’s Principles of Learning in small steps without the subject matter seeming like it was suddenly brought on to the students. I began the incorporation of the Principles of Learning by having the students work on art projects that reflected Aboriginal Art and the symbolism behind the art. The students re-created an art drawing of the animal that they felt they connected with based on the traits of the animal and did a reflective piece on why they felt they connected to the animal the most. When I was doing this lesson, I began by bringing in the talking stick that the principal uses in the assembly when giving the acknowledgement of the land and used the talking stick as my way of introducing the importance of animals in Aboriginal culture. The talking stick was a great way to engage the students because they were being given context for why they saw the talking stick at every assembly and why it is being used. Throughout this lesson, I found that their curiosity for knowledge of Aboriginal culture was starting to build and I think that I was able to plant a seed in their head for being more aware of Aboriginal culture in the days to come. The students are now working on art pieces that will hopefully represent each of the Learning Principles in a visual and artistic way. My end goal is for them to recognize that First Nations People have brought us a new insight to our educational lives as we continue to explore a culture that has been among us all this time.

My understandings and moving forward in practice:

After having some time to share and bounce ideas with colleagues and listening to Cecelia Reekie, I have found myself more at ease with incorporating the First People’s Principles of Learning because I know that I will never be an expert in the Aboriginal culture but I can try my best to learn about their culture and in the way teach what I have learned to students. I find that I was originally setting too high of an expectation for myself by thinking that in order for me to teach/incorporate that principles I needed to be an expert in their culture before stepping into the classroom but that is not a true statement. I now know that I do not have to be an expert and that it is a learning journey for everyone. Therefore, moving forward in my practice, I plan on incorporating AbEd into the classroom as best as I can by thinking about this as an opportunity for me to learn about another culture. I find that because we live in a multicultural world, learning and exploring another culture’s belief is an outlook that will help ease students and teachers when it comes to incorporating the First People’s Principles of Learning.

This link helped me with gaining a better understanding of the First People’s Principle of Learning because it outlines the background of the Learning Principle’s.


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