Perceptions of education : voices from an isolated reserve community in Northern Canada
Master of Education
SubjectIndians of North America Education Canada
Multicultural education Canada
Indians of North America Ethnic identity
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This qualitative study describes the perceptions held by the stakeholders of education in a self-governed northern isolated community of the goals of education and curriculum for Aboriginal children. The study recognizes the uniqueness of individual Aboriginal communities and represents a departure from previous studies which attempt to attribute a common educational/curriculum base for all Aboriginal children. Eight respondents were interviewed. Four themes emerged from the analyses of the data: general perceptions of education and curriculum, concerns and issues, goals for education and curriculum, and dimensions of curriculum. The study found that the school is the heart of the community. Respondents were unsure of the teaching methods, curriculum and policy-making procedures used within the school. Respondents indicated that there is a need for updated resources and a curriculum which is relevant to Aboriginal culture and which focuses on the unique needs of the community. The respondents were unanimous in their hopes that the students would finish secondary school and continue some form of post-secondary education to enable them to make career choices. The researcher anticipated that the Christian fundamentalist roots of the community would influence the perceptions of the goals of education and curriculum. Although the Christian roots were evident, the influence was not pervasive.