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This document assists teachers in integrating First Nations study into the K-8 curriculum on a consistent basis, rather than teaching a single isolated unit on First Nations culture for a short period each year.
This is a comprehensive document prepared for Toronto teachers by a team of writers and reviewers for the Toronto District School Board.
The resource does not explicitly teach any skill. Instead, it provides excellent background material for teaching various aspects of Aboriginal life, particularly cultural history. It also provides detailed criteria for identifying and dealing with bias.
The resource emphasizes holistic teaching. It states that First Nations Studies should be cross-curriculum and based on accurate and current information. It is based on the idea that the study of First Nations should be a study of inclusion, not integration.
This resource is impressive in its detail and thoroughness. It stands as a compendium for Toronto teachers on First Nations study in Canada. It is also an excellent resource for teacher in other parts of Canada.
This resource is valuable in that it covers a topic in which there are few current and well-researched resources.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
This resource makes a very good case for the importance of being aware of bias in all of us. It also provides a very good outline that could be used at any level, by any teacher, regarding ways to identify and to deal with bias.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
Ensuring a systems-thinking approach is taken by the students will require preparation and planning on the part of the teacher
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The resource facilitates respectful consideration of First Nations people and their roles, both contemporary and historical. Ensuring this complexity is part of the students' experience with the resource will depend on the teacher's planning and preparation.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
This is not a document that presents actual lesson plans. There are several suggestions for action-based learning.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Poor/Not considered|
Again, this would be up to the individual teacher. The information provided and list of recommended resources are concise yet varied.
This resource investigates various perspectives, how we come to have them, and the dangers and strengths of holding such points of view. Development of the resource ideas would help youths develop their ability to express their own values/beliefs and to recognize their own biases and that of others.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
This resource has a First Nations focus but the framework could also be used for studies of other cultural groups.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
This resource is specifically developed for Toronto School District K-8 teachers but it could also be adapted to other areas, particularly in Eastern Canada. However, the resources listed do include authors from across Canada.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
The resource is built on the ideal of promoting understanding.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Poor/Not considered|
This is not a document that presents actual lesson plans. There are numerous suggestions for activities that would cover a range of student abilities and interests.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
The purpose of this resource is to raise awareness of the importance of including information and understandings about First Nations Peoples in all teaching, not just in a two-week 'unit' in Social Studies.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning||Poor/Not considered|
The resource is not a document that presents actual lesson plans. This would be left to the creativity of the teacher.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Very Good|
There are numerous suggestions for activities that would cover a range of student abilities and interests.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The recommended resources are rich with authentic First Nations work. The resource points out certain material that would benefit from meetings with First Nations Elders and citizens to share stories, crafts, and experiences with students.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Again, this would be up to teacher discretion. The resource does make references to specific lesson plans available to Ontario teachers in their provincial curriculum.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Although these are no case studies in the traditional sense, there is a wealth of information presented about many of the activities, beliefs, and teachings of the First Nations people. This information is limited, however, to First Nations groups around the Toronto area.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Very Good|
There is a plethora of suggested activities.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|