Saturday, May 18, 2013

Do Your Students See Aboriginal People/Culture in the Classroom?

     During the fall semester of this past year of university I took the course, Teaching of Aboriginal Studies. For my followers who are from outside of Manitoba, this course is a provincially-mandated requirement for all educators in Manitoba as of 2008. Throughout this course I posted periodically about guest speakers we had, projects we completed, and curriculum documents that we worked with. (These posts can be found under the Aboriginal Perspective label). I really enjoyed this course and felt like it opened up my eyes and made me realize how important it is, as an educator, to ensure that perspectives of all Canadian people are represented in the classroom. There are many students at "S-School" and members of our community who come from an Aboriginal background which has influenced me even further and convinced me of how important it is to represent this in the classroom.

     While there are a lot of instructional methods and strategies that I will be consciously incorporating into my curriculum planning, an additional aspect that stood out for me was the question, "Do your students see Aboriginal people and culture represented in the classroom?" In my experiences, the answer has often been no. 


     In November, Mrs. D from Reading with Mrs. D shared the educational resource company, Native Reflections, with me. It features aboriginal perspective educational resources and has literally EVERYTHING a teacher could ever want from pencils and decorations to textbooks and supplementary materials. I ordered myself a copy of their catalogue and am happy to say that I was able to order some really neat things this week to add to my future classroom. Here is a sneak peek!

aboriginal perspective in the classroom,
School Borders SB-39. Native Reflections. Available online at: http://www.nativereflections.com/products.php?view=446&sr=borders
     The classroom I am going to be in has one full wall of bulletin boards and I can't wait to decorate them and set them up for my different classes. I ordered this set of Bulletin Board Borders featuring the four traditional colours, hand-prints and dream catcher designs. 

aboriginal perspective in the classroom
Working With Math Posters. Native Reflections. Page 176. Available online at:  http://www.nativereflections.com/catalog.pdf
     My schedule for next year includes three different math courses and I decided to order these basic mathematics posters to refer back to during lessons. They also feature the four traditional colours and aboriginal imagery.
aboriginal perspective in the classroom
Seven Teachings Kids Carpet. Native Reflections. Available online at:  http://www.nativereflections.com/products.php?view=4343&sr=seven%20teaching
     I've shared this area rug a few times on my blog and I keep coming back to it again and again. The  Seven Teachings play a big role in my classroom climate and I would love to have something vibrant like this as part of our classroom decor! Due to it's cost I haven't been able to order it yet, but have added it to my "wish list". 

     I also ordered a large dream catcher-style poster about the Seven Teachings to hang up in the classroom but don't have an available picture for it. I know that it will be a few years before I can have something like the area rug (above) so I wanted to still have the Seven Teachings represented in some other visual format.
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     Overall I definitely recommend you check out Native Reflections! What would you order for your classroom? To read more about Aboriginal perspective in the classroom, visit the Manitoba Education Curriculum Document:
Manitoba Education & Youth. (2003) Integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the curricula: A resource for curriculum developers, teachers, and administratorsWinnipeg, MB: School Programs Division

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great resource. I'm a band teacher, moving to a new school next year and hope to decorate my band with lots of multicultural items to represent all of the students that I'm teaching. I hope to find a website like this covering other cultures as well!!

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  2. Replies
    1. No problem! Thanks for sharing that resource with me, I am definitely thankful for it. I order a copy of the catalogue to keep in our school's ordering library so other teachers can utilize it as well :)

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