From improved critical thinking to increased self-esteem and school retention, teachers and students have noted many benefits to bringing Aboriginal viewpoints into public school classrooms. In Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives Into the School Curriculum, Yatta Kanu provides the first comprehensive study of how these frameworks can be effectively implemented to maximize Indigenous students' engagement, learning, and academic achievement. Based on six years of empirical research, Kanu offers insights from youths, instructors, and school administrators, highlighting specific elements that make a difference in achieving positive educational outcomes. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, from cognitive psychology to civics, her findings are widely applicable across both pedagogical subjects and diverse cultural groups. Kanu combines theoretical analysis and practical recommendations to emphasize the need for fresh thinking and creative experimentation in developing curricula and policy. Amidst global calls to increase school success for Indigenous students, this work is a timely and valuable addition to the literature on Aboriginal education.
Yatta Kanu is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.
Acknowledgments Preface Chapter 1: Introduction: Integrating Aboriginal perspectives into school curricula: Why does it matter now Introduction The call to integrate Aboriginal perspectives Centrality of cultural mediation in human learning and development The effort to reconnect Aboriginal education to its cultural roots Integration for intimate and cultural citizenship Increasing our knowledge-base in a knowledge society Raising essential curriculum questions Organization of the book To generalize or not to generalize On the use of terminology Summary Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Chapter 2: Understanding the integration of Aboriginal perspectives through theory Introduction Role of theory in understanding phenomena Theoretical frameworks for understanding minority school performance ----Socio-cultural theories of learning and cognition ----Macro-structural theories/explanations ----Racism, anti-racism, and critical race theories Summary Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Chapter 3: Cultural mediators of Aboriginal student learning in the formal school system Introduction Investigating the influence of culture on Aboriginal student learning through a cultural-historical approach Research methods/ procedures Aboriginal students identify cultural mediators of their learning Related themes Theme 1: Indigenous approaches to learning ----Learning through stories and anecdotes ----Learning by observing and emulating ----Community support encourages learning ----Learning through scaffolding ----Learning through visual sensory modalities Theme 2: Effective oral interaction enhances learning Theme3: Concepts of self mediate learning Theme4: Relevant Curriculum increases learning Theme 5: Teacher's interpersonal style matters Summary Concluding remark Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Chapter 4: Integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the school curriculum: Layering at five levels of classroom practice Introduction Defining 'Aboriginal perspectives': The challenge of definition Guiding principles for integrating Aboriginal perspectives The context of integration Integrating Aboriginal perspectives: Layering at five levels of practice ----Integrating at the level of student learning outcomes ----Integrating at the level of content/learning resources ----Integrating at the level of instructional methods/strategies ----Integrating at the level of assessment methods/strategies ----Integration as a philosophical underpinning of the curriculum Summary Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Chapter 5: Aboriginal school success through integration? Learning opportunities and Challenges Introduction Documenting the impact of integration: Methods and procedures Results: Impact of integration: ----Impact on academic achievement ----Impact on school retention ----Impact on class attendance/regularity Challenges Concluding remark Summary Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Chapter 6: Critical elements of instruction influencing Aboriginal school success Introduction Teacher's sense of efficacy Teacher capacity Culturally compatible teaching and assessment methods Targeting Aboriginal content and resources A nurturing learning environment Summary and caveat Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Appendix A Chapter 7: Teachers' perceptions of the integration of Aboriginal perspectives Introduction Centrality of the teacher to curriculum change Investigating teachers' perceptions: Methods and procedures Teachers' perceptions: ----Teachers' beliefs about integration ----How teachers understand and approach integration ----What teachers perceive as challenges/impediments ----Facilitators of integration Summary Concluding remark Questions for discussion References/Recommended readings Chapter 8: A way forward: Lessons in implementation Introduction On the need for a reconceptualized theory of curriculum ----Curriculum as curere ----Curriculum as spiritual journey/transcendence ----Curriculum as conversation ----Curriculum as community Teachers and teacher education programs What schools should do How the Aboriginal community can help The need for systemic reform Summary Questions for discussion References/recommended readings