MERN Forum Presentation id=733
MERN Forum # 47
Session: 2B
Author: Diane Brown, Holly Kalyniuk, Tim Skuce
Affiliation: Brandon University
Title : Healing relations through the land (1) & Transformational nature of journey in self-identity (2)
Description : (1) How can a public school educator seek to enhance the advancement of understanding between students from diverse cultural backgrounds? In particular, what point of commonality can be used to promote positive relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students? For a Social Studies classroom, the answer may be found in fostering an appreciation of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal beliefs specific to the natural world. Inviting all students to inquire into Aboriginal perspective regarding lifeforms, the environment, and human-nature interactions may prove to be an effective link to collective accord while at the same time increasing the positive self-identification of Aboriginal students by creating relevancy within the subject area. Endless opportunities exist to question, observe, and explore this complex and valuable cultural way of knowing through the lens of history, traditional practices, and the wisdom of elders. (2) Sometimes the smallest journeys have the most profound impact on who we become. Rather "insignificant" journeys of this nature punctuate and compose the nature of education as an institution, experience, and lifelong pursuit—either through physical displacement and travel or figurative, psychological movement through the lives and experiences of others entombed in literature's tales. Within the classroom, journey is most powerfully apparent in Social Studies, a discipline where teachers regularly encourage students to abandon their preconceived notions of themselves and their world for internal growth through the learning process. Although painful at times, journey, and the learning it provides, dramatically transforms us, creating the very fabric of our lives. Grappling with the astounding extent to which journeying, and more specifically education, affects our humanity, this essay explores how many contemporary scholars understand journeying while inquiring into the heart of the transformational nature of journey in the learning process.
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