What do we have to give up after being forced to give up things since before contact? Small pox preceded the arrival of Europeans to the Stó:lō territory. Since then, we have had to surrender parts of ourselves, our cultures, our lives...One of the concerns I have with the 21st Century learning proposals flying around, is that we have no idea what we will have in the end. What do we have to give up in order for this current proposed vision to fly?
I envision a world where my Indigenous students do not have to give up their identity as Indigenous people to find success in Canadian society. That isn’t possible right now. Does 21st Century Learning account for that? I do not see anything that helps non-Aboriginal people move beyond the range of semi-tolerance to barely contained hostility into acceptance of the Aboriginal worldview and understanding of that view. I liked the term personalized learning because I could see ways to blend traditional Indigenous pedagogies into the curriculum and allow our students to meet the learning outcomes while still being enriched by their Indigenous cultural learning. Interestingly enough, other Aboriginal people are opposed to that for some reason. I need to explore that at some point and find a way to reach consensus there. I like the idea of the mini-school in Vancouver, there is the possibility for real learning to take place for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, using an Indigenous focus and an inclusive, holistic atmosphere, but that, again, is another post, I guess.
The proposals tend to focus on technology as the means to educating in the future. Let’s not forget about equitable access to technology. Our poverty-stricken youth can’t afford the latest technology and the continued downloading of costs on our schools do not allow them to be up to date either. In addition, our governments, despite promising to, have yet to carry out the connecting of all reserves and rural areas to high speed internet access. I live near Hope and I do not have internet access on rainy, snowy, cloudy or cold days for some reason and it is usually slow when I do have it. Anyone who follows my twitter account will see me complaining about the lack of internet access again and again. I’m whiny that way. The cable and phone companies refuse to hook us up, because, as I understand it, we are not economically viable. Life on the Rez. Yay. How does a tech focused education plan ensure that those of us not living in a connected city will have the necessary access to get the job done? My Tourism class was project based and required regular access to the internet. I could not assign homework because many of my kids could not guarantee they could get online to do their work. I couldn’t guarantee I could either.
Just a couple of preliminary thoughts. Thanks for listening.