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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.
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.
Sensitivity to bias and the inclusion of other cultural considerations in our studies could and should apply to all groups. Therefore, this framework could very easily be applied to studies of/with other minority groups in our society.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Bias Minimization||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.
|Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).|
|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: |
The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include 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 problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.|
This is not a document that presents actual lesson plans. There are several suggestions for action-based learning.
|Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
|Action Skills||Poor/Not considered|
|Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).|
|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: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.|
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: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.|
|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.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary 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.
|Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.|
|Discovery 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.
|Discovery Learning: |
Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.
|Values Clarification||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 Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Differentiated Instruction||Very Good|
|Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.|
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: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
|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 used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine 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.|