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MERN Abstract id=44
Source : MERN Forum #14, Session 3C
Date: 4/25/2008
Author: Chris Brown and Helen Armstrong
Title : Community-Based Aboriginal Curriculum Initiative: Emergent Responses to Community Needs
Text : During the SSHRC/CURA research project entitled Community-Based Aboriginal Curriculum Initiatives: Implementation and Evaluation, researchers have found that there is currently insufficient access to and use of resources written for, by, and about Aboriginal people within the participating First Nations communities. The importance of developing and supporting a wide variety of resources that will allow students to discover and develop their cultural identity as Aboriginal children and youth is critical. As well, researchers have found that formal professional development that would support integrating cultural knowledge into the curriculum and classroom needs to be enhanced. This situation is part of the legacy of systemic oppression, which has also resulted in widespread poverty that further disadvantages students in First Nation schools. The importance of supporting Aboriginal literature will be discussed as it pertains to enhancing the development of cultural identity among children and youth in First Nation communities. In the absence of plentiful, quality Aboriginal literature, combined with explicit, integrated cultural instruction, students may move away from developing a positive Aboriginal cultural identity. If that happens, they may be at increased risk of identifying with the alternative, the culture of poverty, which often manifests itself in terms of disenfranchised youth who may be drawn into negative and antisocial lifestyles. The presenters will engage the participants through dialogue that addresses and elaborates the importance of emergent responses to fulfill community needs.
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