Deepening Knowledge to Inspire Action: Including Aboriginal Perspectives in Teaching Practice

Angela Nardozi, Jean-Paul Restoule, Kathy Broad, Nancy Steele, Usha James


Deepening Knowledge Project, through Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), undertook research within the Initial Teacher Education program to explore the relationships between teacher candidates and Aboriginal content. Our research question was, "Which strategies used within OISE’s Central cohort are most powerful in increasing teacher candidates’ willingness and readiness to incorporate Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogies into their classroom practice?" Data consisted of surveys administered to approximately 70 teacher candidates at three key points in their program as well as two rounds of interviews with five purposively selected participants. We found that teacher candidates most appreciated the inclusion of First Voice perspectives, in-depth instruction on current and historical events, and a continuous examination of privilege as means to prepare them for incorporating Aboriginal content into their future practice. While most students reported feeling more confident and willing to include Aboriginal perspectives near the end of their program, there are three commonly stated questions, reported on preprogram surveys that lead to inaction on Aboriginal inclusion. Addressing these questions directly should help encourage more teachers to take up Aboriginal perspectives in their classrooms.

     Keywords: Indigenous knowledge; teacher education; teacher resistance


Indigenous knowledge, teacher education, teacher resistance

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