In the Media: Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Connecting textbook skills with real-life situations has a powerful effect on learning for Aboriginal students in BC.

Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, Associate Dean, Indigenous Education, was featured in a story about how culture is being used in the classroom to facilitate better learning for Aboriginal students.

From the Globe and Mail, October 13, 2012 edition:

The Haida First Nations band school on Haida Gwaii, Chief Matthews Elementary, offers all sorts of cultural activities including Haida singing and dancing, berry picking and skinning the spoils of a deer-hunting trip.

Chief Matthews, which covers kindergarten to Grade 4, is challenging the conventions of B.C.’s public education system. Research shows that students are more likely to succeed if their culture and surroundings are represented in their school, says Jo-Ann Archibald, a professor of education at UBC.

Archibald worked with the teachers at Chief Matthews to develop a culturally responsive math curriculum. For example, students learn to count using ravens, a Haida clan symbol. She also developed similar methods for public secondary schools, in which students learn physics by observing how a canoe slices through water.

Read the full story here.