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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Improving Student Success Among Canada's Aboriginal People: The Aboriginal Perspective on the Education System

In this mixed-methods investigation, I examined the elementary and secondary school experiences of 5 Aboriginal individuals. Through surveys and interviews, I sought to understand the Aboriginal experience in the Western education system. Data collection occurred over a 16-week period from October, 2010 to February, 2011. The findings of this study illustrate the rich and diverse educational experiences among the First Nations participants. Based on their thoughts, beliefs, and personal experiences, five themes emerged surrounding Aboriginal education in Canada: cultural relevance, curriculum, relationships, socioemotional development, and, pedagogy. These five themes were all considered influential in improving student achievement and outcome. The findings suggest that Aboriginal people want a culturally inclusive and relevant curriculum that acknowledges Aboriginal peoplesí contributions in Canadian history and society. In addition, approaches should be appropriate in order to meet the academic and social needs of Aboriginal students in the education system, which was felt, by the participants, to be influential in determining Aboriginal student success. Recommendations for the implementation of teaching practices and an integrated curriculum that reflects both holism and worldviews of Aboriginal peoples are provided.

Presenter: Marianne Goed (Brock University) -- mg04ur@brocku.ca
Topic: Education II - Panel
Location: 102 Edwards
Time: 3:15 pm (Session IV)