Embedding aboriginal perspectives from K-12October 22, 2013
One significant change in the proposed K-9 curriculum released this week is the inclusion of aboriginal history, culture and perspectives throughout.
“Many years ago, classroom resources had few references to Aboriginal people or, if they did, it was often superficial or incorrect. As curriculum processes evolved, resources began to include some information about Aboriginal people but not how Aboriginal perspectives and understandings help us learn about the world and how they have contributed to a stronger society. Now, with the education transformation, the province is attempting to embed Aboriginal perspectives into all parts of the curriculum in a meaningful and authentic manner.”
“This means that from kindergarten to graduation, students will experience Aboriginal perspectives and understandings as an integrated part of what they are learning. . . . Aboriginal perspectives will also influence assessment practices.”
Details of the proposed curriculum revisions for social studies, language arts and science can be found here. More are on the way.
Coincidentally, the ministry released the draft curriculum on the same day that the UBC Sauder School of Business admitted at a news conference that its students don’t know enough about aboriginal issues and culture.
The school announced measures to address that shortcoming, which was noted in a report about frosh events last month that included controversial chants by students based on the Disney movie Pocahontas.
“The report we are releasing today shows us there is very little awareness of indigenous peoples and their concerns among the students we interviewed,” vice-president Louise Cowin stated in a release. “Clearly, UBC has a role to play in educating student to become more culturally competent.”
Read more about the UBC news conference here.
(Photo credit: Vancouver school board)