Discuss aspects from Tracey MacMillan’s presentation today that challenged or surprised your current understandings of teaching and learning through culturally responsive pedagogies.
I enjoyed Tracey’s presentation about teaching in the Nunavut. I feel like some of the hardest parts of moving to Nunavut would be learning the language. There is part of me that is highly intrigued with working in the Nunavut but at the same time, I’m not sure if I could do it. The biggest thing for me is that it is a long way from my family.
Something I found very interesting was the way that things are taught in Nunavut. I love the fact that their language and culture is so crucial to their schooling. Nunavut schools, including materials used in the schools, need to reflect education best practices, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. I found it quite interesting that Elders are so highly involved in the curriculum building process. Another thing I found to be interesting was the support the Department of Education has for their teachers in the Nunavut; they provide teachers with language training so they can keep the language going in their schools.
I also found it quite interesting that Nunavut has used curriculum and resources from the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. As a teacher, I would appreciate the fact that the Department of Education in Nunavut shares teaching resources with approved curriculum. I find it interesting that there are strands used; Uqausiliriniq (Communication, Language, Creative & Artistic, Expression, Reflective & Critical Thinking), Iqqaqqaukkaringniq (Mathematics, Innovation & Technology, Analytical & Critical Thinking, and Solution-Seeking), Nunavusiutit (Heritage & Culture, History, Geography, Environmental Science, Civics & Economics), and Aulajaaqtut (Wellness & Safety, Physical, Social, Emotional & Cultural Wellness, Goal Setting, Volunteerism, Survival) (http://www.gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/2016-17_nunavut_approved_curriculum_and_teaching_resources_0.pdf). I like the strands because it is a different way of looking at education and I can appreciate that.
I really like the idea of experiential learning which I feel Nunavut does a lot. I like that they bring Elders in to their classrooms quite often to show students different things. Tracey showed us a photo of the students working with an Elder to prepare a fish; the Elder even showed all the parts of the fish and what it would be used for. These kinds of lessons are crucial in Nunavut because that is part of peoples’ livelihoods there.
Nunavut puts into perspective the possibility to teach in a more experiential manner that still gets the points we feel are important across. I also like the idea that language and culture is so crucial in their students’ development.