On December 11, 2017, Math 101 students held a mini Math Fair, presenting their posters which reflected the Indigenization of mathematics concepts. (see photos above)
The concept of Indigenization is identified as “one of the University’s two overarching areas of emphasis” within the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan (https://www.uregina.ca/strategic-plan/priorities/indigenization.html). Depending upon the definition consulted, Indigenization may or may not be considered the work of settler/immigrant Canadians for it involves first-hand revitalizations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages, legal systems, and ceremonies, among many other aspects. Indigenization, however, lies in relation with decolonization and thereby challenges all Canadians to work at disrupting and changing current institutions and systems, including those educational. Thus, as a doctoral candidate of mathematics education, Shana Graham has been studying Indigenization and decolonization so as to inform her dissertation research which involves (re)imagining possibilities for mathematics education.
The idea for the implementation of a Mathematics 101 final project as poster and Mini Math Fair was informed by Show Me Your Math: Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities, a program developed by Dr. Lisa Lunney-Borden and Dr. David Wagner (http://showmeyourmath.ca/). While a final poster project is not unusual within education courses, it is unique to a Mathematics 101 course. Decolonization, however, encourages considerations of context/community, which for this particular mathematics course involved only preservice teachers from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP-Regina). Thus, in adapting/decolonizing curricula for context/community, the arguments presented for changing the Mathematics 101 final evaluation from exam to project were accepted by Dr. Shaun Fallat, Head of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. The support of Dr. Fallat and the Dean of Science, Dr. Farenick, need be acknowledged for reconciliatory acts may not otherwise be possible without the support of such powerful individuals.
in education is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that is based in the
Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada. The
journal has been in existence since 1993, but published its first issue as
an online journal in December of 2009. The editorial board invites scholarly
articles and reviews of works that explore ideas in teacher education, as
well as broader and more inclusive discussions in education.
We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our web
site to review articles and items of interest.
Thanks for the continuing interest in our work,
Val Mulholland, Acting Editor-in-Chief
Patrick Lewis, Editor-in-Chief
Shuana Niessen, Managing Editor, in education
Mollenhauer’s Representation: The Role of Preservice Teachers in the Practices of Upbringing (pp. 3-24)
Andrew Foran, Daniel B. Robinson
Story as a Means of Engaging Public Educators and Indigenous Students (pp. 25-42)
Patterns in Contemporary Canadian Picture Books: Radical Change in Action (pp. 43-70)
Beverley Brenna, Shuwen Sun, Yina Liu
Early Career Teachers’ Evolving Content-Area Literacy Practices (pp. 71-86)
Anne Murray-Orr, Jennifer Mitton-Kukner
A Review of The Way of the Teacher: A Path for Personal Growth and Professional Fulfillment by Sandra Finney and Jane Thurgood Sagal (pp. 87-88)
Graduate students with diverse backgrounds have come together with a common goal of decolonizing adult learning.
The graduate course, Trends and Issues in Indigenous Adult Education, explores research, theory, and the practice of trends, issues, and perspectives in Indigenous learning.
Students from six countries were in the class from Brazil, Canada, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The diversity speaks to the higher number of international students who are choosing to further their studies at the University of Regina.
Having such a mix of backgrounds and viewpoints in one class made for some eye-opening perspectives on trends and issues involved in decolonizing adult learning in order to improve Indigenous education.
The class was led by Dr. Cindy Hanson, Associate Professor of Adult Education/Human Resource Development in the Faculty of Education.
“The class was important in this case because it was a coming together of international and Indigenous students in a very organic way and with a broad range of understandings regarding history, culture, and politics in Indigenous Adult Education,” says Hanson. “The course offered an opportunity to put this into practice. Experiences from the field of adult learning were built into the content.”
Many also feel little has been done to build structures and programs in communities for adult learning about decononization and Indigenous issues. They see this class as a good start. The students appreciated the participatory approach to Hanson’s class, allowing for discussions.
José Wellington Sousa is from Brazil and is working on his PhD in Adult Education at the U of R. He has earned a BA in Economics and a Masters of Science in Administration at the University of Amazonia in Brazil.
“The class was a great example of what is going on in Canada right now. I can see the diversity in the classroom. We can learn from each other. We had many nations and sharing and reflecting on Indigenous education,” says Sousa. “In Brazil, we are kind of behind in the discussions of decolonization. So we are not even talking about reconciliation and addressing the injustice. I see this class as an opportunity to understand and learn.”
Issah Gyimah, who earned his Bachelor of Education at the University of South Africa, grew up in the post-Apartheid era. He’s taught in South Africa, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. He started his studies at the U of R in September.
“Coming from Africa and knowing about Apartheid, colonization, and racism, I have learned a lot from here and this class,” says Gyimah. “It has changed my perspective on how I see things. This class is a good foundation.”
Gyimah points out that adult education in South Africa is a growing area and a field that is not completely developed.
“We’ve been looking at children, but adults have influence on the children. There is a backlog of adults who did not get an education so this has left a big gap in South Africa,” he says.
Pauline Copland earned her Education Degree from Arctic College in Nunavut. She’s working towards her masters in curriculum and instruction at the U of R. Her first language is Inuktikut.
“From the readings and talking to my classmates, I learned things about our Canadian history, even my own history, like residential schools. It affected who I am without knowing,” says Copland, who appreciates the class diversity. “Compared to where I went to school, coming here looks like the whole world is here. The diversity is really nice, meeting people from different countries.”
The class includes one student from Saskatchewan, who sees her experience and diverse views as an asset that will help her down the road.
Chantelle Renwick has a Business Degree from the U of R and a graduate diploma in teaching from New Zealand. It was her experience in New Zealand that started her passion for Indigenous education. She’s working on her masters in Indigenous Education.
“What we hear over and over is that colonization has happened in so many part of the world and that Indigenous people have been dealing with the loss of culture and language,” says Renwick, who is an instructor of Office Administration at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Regina.
“You realize with such a diverse class the different history and different feelings and perspective that the adult learners bring to the classroom. You become more conscious about the impact colonization has on people.”
The final class December 5, in the presence of elder Alma Poitras, featured a discussion about what the students learned and how it could be applied to their workplace or personal lives.
The classes also featured speakers including elders, a speaker from the Office of the Treaty Commission, a Metis lawyer storyteller, a talk by the U of R’s James Daschuk author of Clearing The Plains, and a fieldtrip to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum led by curator Dr. Evelyn Siegfried.
“Decolonizing adult education is a current theme in the field of adult education and a critical perspective on how to do this with a range of learners is important,” says Hanson.
The University of Regina has enjoyed an increase of graduate students. As of the Fall 2017, 1,902 graduate students are furthering their studies at the University.
On Wednesday, December 6th, Education students attended an Education Internship Fair, with Alumni and School Division Panels discussing diverse internship placements. (See below pre-intern Janae Prediger’s comment posted on Twitter)
Attended @URFacofEd Internship fair today and learned so much about interning in rural areas! I’ve lived in a city my entire life… Can’t wait to request to intern in small town Sask and experience something new!😌👩🏫 #education#internship
On Tuesday, November 28, Dr. Alexandra Stoddart successfully defended her dissertation, “Physical Literacy: A Journey of Understanding and Development” at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Louise Humbert served as Alex’s doctoral supervisor and the committee members were Dr. Adam Baxter-Jones, Dr. Kent Kowalski, and Dr. Sarah Oosman. Her external examiner was Dr. Lynn Randall from the University of New Brunswick.
Alex will be joining the faculty in the HOPE Subject area as of January 1, 2018.
Dr. Hanson is the successful applicant for a SSHRC Insight Grant. Co-applicants on the grant include Dr. Leah Levac (Guelph), Dr. Amy Bombay (Dalhousie), Dr. Raven Sinclair (U of Regina), and Cynthia Stirby (SFU). The study – Reconciling Perspectives and Building Public Memory: Learning from the Independent Assessment Process – received $268,000.
The study proposes to address knowledge gaps regarding the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) – a compensation policy that emerged from the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) signed in 2007. The IAP involved hearings for serious physical and sexual abuse claims that emerged from Indigenous Survivors of Indian Residential Schools (IRS). The Supreme Court voted that month, in a controversial decision, to destroy most of the records of the IAP. The study will use theatre and public pedagogies to make knowledge about the IAP – the largest compensation process in the world – known to a wider public.
Programme du baccalauréat en éducation faculty member Dr. Joël Thibeault was selected by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) as a representative of Canada and the University of Ottawa’s Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute to take part in think tank discussions for developing language awareness in subject classes, within the ECML’s “Languages at the heart of learning” programme 2016-2019. The gathering, held November 16-17, was located in Graz, Austria.
Q & A with Dr. Joël Thibeault
The ECML views language education as key in responding to linguistic and cultural diversity, in achieving intercultural dialogue, democratic citizenship, and social cohesion.
What was the specific focus of the discussions you were part of?
Through this think tank, the ECLM gathered an array of educational professionals – professors, teachers, and policy makers – to engage in discussions on the inclusion of linguistic content in different school subjects. The goal of this initiative is to provide practical procedures that will help teachers in the identification of their students’ needs in different subjects and to provide examples of scaffolded materials which, based upon the learner’s language awareness, will address their needs in different disciplines at school.
In what ways is the University of Regina, Faculty of Education, (Bac programme) working to address/redress the issue of quality language education?
The Bac program aims at offering a quality education to future teachers, most of whom will teach in French immersion. As such, in their career, these teachers will not only have to worry about teaching their subject (mathematics, history, etc.), but also they will have to do so in their learners’ second language. Therefore, future teachers must consider the linguistic structures through which content is taught and, if need be, help students develop the linguistic knowledge they will need to construct new competencies in these disciplines. Of course, every teacher, whether in immersion or not, should always worry about language in the teaching of a non-linguistic discipline. However, this focus on language should probably be more present when the language of schooling is the learner’s second language. The Bac program, therefore, puts a lot of emphasis of articulating content and language, and my participation at the ECML’s workshop will help us expand on this topic.
Does this opportunity promote international connections and research?
This was probably the best part of this workshop; I got to meet more than 30 educational experts who came from all across Europe. It was also great that ECML invited people in academia, such as myself, but also invited teachers and decision makers. Everybody came with their own perspective, which contributed to rich discussions and group work.
What was the value of this experience for yourself, for Canada, and for the field of study?
Academics have been talking about the integration of language and content for many years now, but there seems to be a lack in concrete resources for teachers. I think that by bringing different perspectives together the ECML will be able to provide a wide variety of resources which, on the one hand, will be based on the most recent research on the topic and, on the other, will rely on the heterogeneity of expertise that was gathered during the workshop.