The April 2007 Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead report includes the following target: "By 2020, BC will ensure rates of Aboriginal post-secondary participation and attainment are equal to the rates for the general population". The report further recognizes that this target is “ambitious,” given the demographic realities of Aboriginal learners, and the current trends that show only 4 out of 10 Aboriginal people in British Columbia complete post-secondary education. One solution points to an increase in online course delivery and connectivity across campuses and remote communities. Along with this transition is the need to prepare instructors to integrate elements and strategies that embrace aboriginal values and ways of knowing. Our preliminary research shows that very few resources exist that will guide instructors in effectively implementing learning opportunities for aboriginal learners.
Traditional educational approaches are profoundly different from those of the mainstream educational system. Holistic (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional) growth and development of the person, experiential learning, oral tradition, and student-centeredness are key elements of the traditional approach. The pedagogical activities include teaching in a way that learning includes respective relations, building on experiential learning, listening well, allowing space, story-telling and story-making, supporting quaternity, dialogue, positionality, relevance, reciprocity, and reflectivity. Examples of ways to incorporate these elements include circle talks, story telling, and cyclically organized, repetitive, and centre-focused discursive patterns of writing.
Instructors will have access to professional development resources that will enhance their knowledge about First Nations pedagogy. Students will benefit from instructors who have an understanding of how to designing curriculum that considers the needs of Aboriginal learners.
The First Nations Pedagogy for Online Learning website contains visual and descriptive materials that can be used in several ways:
As such, they may be downloaded, copied, printed, and manipulated according to the context that they will be used. Any fully online activities, workshops, or learning resources that are intended for use and reuse in a learning manage system or other platform will be contributed to the Shared Online Learning Resources (SOL*R) website and referenced on this website.