This book tells the story of an "unexpected partnership" initiated by an Aboriginal tribal council with the University of Victoria's School of Child and Youth Care. The partnership produced a new approach to professional education in which community leaders are co-constructors of the curriculum, and which is implemented only if both parties are present and engaged. Word of this "generative curriculum" spread to numerous Aboriginal communities and now over 60 communities have participated in the First Nations Partnership Program. Completion rates and community development indicators demonstrate the remarkable capacity built across diverse indigenous communities through the program. The program honours the knowledges residing within communities, and works with and upon diversity. It also engages communities in dialogue about research-based theories and models of early childhood from Euro-Western traditions. Evaluation research has shown how the program supports each community's unique characteristics while promoting their shared vision of promoting healthy children and healthy social structures.Supporting Indigenous Children's Development challenges and offers an alternative to promoting "best practices" devised and imposed on communities by outside specialists. The book will interest human service workers, professional educators, and community developers who know that communities' own concepts, capacities, and goals for children and families need to be the driving forces in professional education that respects and protects cultural diversity.
Jessica Ball and Alan Pence are professors in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria.
Preface Acknowledgments 1 Turning the World Upside Down 2 Harnessing the Potential of Partnership 3 Co-Constructing Curriculum from the Inside Out 4 Sitting Backwards at Our Desks 5 Grounding Learning in the Heart of Communities 6 Transforming Knowledge through Trust and Respect 7 Asserting the Power of Not Knowing 8 Supporting Children and Families with Sustained Community Transformations References Index