Sunday, January 30, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Just some random thoughts I hope to expand upon at a later time:
1) I would like to write about the FSAs here in BC but will wait until after this current round of "let's bash each other because of them" is over. I see value in them as an assessment tool but object to how they are currently used. I also dislike the fundamental bias of the test. It doesn't allow for the difference in culture and lived experience of Aboriginal students, and, as such, sets them up for failure before they even sit down to write it. Yes, I am affiliated with the BCTF and that ensures whatever I write will be questioned and/ or declared propaganda (I've enjoyed hearing and seeing all the comments surrounding the Principals' recent statements. Discourse, on either side seems in short supply).
2) I want to thank Mr. Chris Wejr and Ms. Janet Steffenhagen for sharing my recent post about the Vancouver proposal regarding an Aboriginal choice school. I cannot link to any of them, I am away from my computer again, please accept my apologies on that score, I will try to correct that oversight later. I am hoping someone will be attending the forums on the 24th and 25th of January to hear the discussion surrounding the proposal, and would perhaps be willing to share their thoughts with me? I live too far out of town and have parent meetings scheduled so am unable to. I hope to get into the city at some point.
3) On the note regarding choice schools, I received my first racist comments on my blog. In my blog, I need remind you, I was not advocating a segregated school but a school of choice open to everybody. There was no intent at segregating or developing a separate school system, as was made clear in the post. Racism in response is unnecessary. I am planning to write a post on that very topic and the response to racism (my request for assistance on how to respond went unanswered). I suspect that few who viewed the comment viewed it as anything but ignorance or snarkiness. It is the target, however who deserves the final say, and I felt hurt by it. I left it up for awhile but will be removing it.
4) Finally, I will be writing later on a presentation I saw yesterday about the ongoing language program being developed to preserve the Halq'meylem language. I've already spoken about the language app, but the rest of the program is also really exciting and includes books, computer games, education wikis and all sorts of add-ons. My Halq'meylem language is in danger of extinction, and as a spoken language there is a lot to fear, but I am thrilled to see preservation efforts are ongoing. More on that at another time.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I have some questions and am away from a computer so can't do much in the way of research at the moment.
The graduation rate of Aboriginal students seems to be hovering around 49%. Is that overall? Or is it the percentage that graduates within the standard expectation of six years, as it is measured here in British Columbia?
Who decides that graduate rates within six years is the yardstick by which we will measure student success?
Do school districts measure grad rates after six years? Does the Ministry of Education?
What is the percentage of Aborignal students graduating in seven years? Eight?
Do we consider them failures?
What about those news stories we hear periodically about the 82 year old woman who is graduating with her granddaught from high school and everybody says what a great story? What about the 79 year old war hero just finishing his high school diploma because the war got in the way so long ago and he just didn't have time to finish until now?
Do we consider THEM failures?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
- holistic learning
- inclusion of culture, family and community within the school
- a place of belonging for Aboriginal students that validates and embraces Aboriginal culture
- a greater awareness throughout the entire school community of Aboriginal knowledge and its relevance to modern society.
"I have not failed 10,000 times. I have
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Challenges of Assumption- A Meandering Stream of Consciousness on the issue of Ideological Assumptions
This particular post is sort of a meandering stream of consciousness. I am unsure how well it holds together. It will evolve as my thoughts evolve and solidify. And please don't critique the APA, or lack thereof.
Once again, I am drawn to the blog Twinkle’s Happy Place, a blog run by a friend of mine who works in the education field, whom has a particular interest and focus on Aboriginal education and the integration of Indigenous resources and pedagogy into the classroom. Her recent blog entry, -Sometimes I have to honest instead of nice - (how) can we talk to non-Indigenous people about Indigenous issues?- was a sharply worded, thoughtfully rendered piece that addressed some issues that were appearing online in Twitter. The piece is passionate, angry and rational. She was responding to assumptions that were being made online regarding success rates of Indigenous students in
and what was needed to solve the discrepancy in success rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. The comments were from non-Indigenous people who were trying to make sense of issues without understanding the issues, the contributing factors and the real specific needs of the Indigenous population of Canada . At least that is my understanding, and I do not wish to paint anybody with a broad brush stroke if it is undeserving. As well, I suspect, Starleigh will also correct me if I have gotten the essence of this wrong. Canada
Friday, January 7, 2011
One final note. My title "ch'íthométsel" is a Halq'eméylem word. It is not contained in the App, but that is okay. If you go here, you can here my Auntie, Elizabeth Herrling, pronounce it. She passed away last year and it is extraordinary to hear her voice again. Ch'íthométsel means "I thank you."
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
It lists the goals of incorporating Aboriginal perspectives:
For Aboriginal students
-to develop positive self-identity through learning their own histories, cultures, traditional values, contemporary lifestyles, and traditional knowledge
-to participate in a learning environment that will equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to participate more fully in the unique civil and cultural realities of their communities
For non-Aboriginal students
-to develop an understanding and respect for the histories, cultures, traditional values, contemporary lifestyles, and traditional knowledge of Aboriginal peoples
-to develop informed opinions on matters relating to Aboriginal peoples
As well as outcomes that they hope will come from integrating Aboriginal perspectives:
-improvement of the academic performance of Aboriginal students
-elimination of the stereotypes that exist in mainstream and non-mainstream cultures
-improvement of the quality of life of Aboriginal peoples
-increase the representation of Aboriginal peoples in post-secondary schools
-increase the representation of Aboriginal peoples in all sectors of the workforceThis is very exciting stuff to see. And I thought I would share it out with you. Please check out their websites and check out Starleigh's blog. You won't be disappointed.