Teachers study First Nation learning principles

Teachers will spend part of their first day back at school next week studying traditional First Nations learning principles.

Teachers will spend part of their first day back at school next week studying traditional First Nations learning principles.

Students don’t return to school until Wednesday, Sept. 7, but educators in School District 27 are back in the classroom on Tuesday, Sept. 6 for their annual curriculum implementation day.

Director of instruction Jerome Beauchamp said one of the Ministry of Education’s goals is to include more Aboriginal history and teaching principles in the school curriculum.

During a teacher education day last May, Beauchamp said teachers did some work around expanding their knowledge on how to incorporate more First Nations history and traditional teaching methods into their curriculums.

Continuing with those studies, he said the district has invited Jo-Anne (Jo) Chrona, the curriculum co-ordinator for the First Nations Education Steering Committee, to be the guest speaker at Tuesday’s curriculum implementation day.

Chrona will speak to educators in 100 Mile House on Tuesday morning and give her presentation in Williams Lake at Lake City Secondary School’s  Williams Lake Campus in the afternoon.

Beauchamp said Chrona will focus her presentations on three areas of the First People’s Principles of Learning: learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place); learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions; and learning requires exploration of one’s identity.

Her biography highlights a long and varied career in education.

She has previously worked as policy analyst with the steering committee and served as a faculty associate in Simon Fraser University’s teacher education program.

Her professional experience includes 14 years teaching in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 system (English 12, English First Peoples 12, Social Studies 8, and Communications 11/12), and three years teaching in post-secondary education (Writing).

During the past 20 years she has been actively involved in the areas of curriculum development, resource development and writing, professional learning through inquiry networks, literacy, and First Peoples education.

Recently, she has been involved in supporting the development of the Positive Personal and Cultural Identity and Social Responsibility Core Competencies with B.C. school districts, and was a part of the English Language Arts K-9, ELA 10-12, and English First People 10-12 curriculum revision teams.

Chrona is a member of the Kitsumkalum Band of the Ts’msyen Nation on the northwest coast of B.C.

She is of the Ganhada (Raven) clan and is passionate about helping create systemic change in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system to help create a truly inclusive, strength-based education for all learners.

Regular school sessions for the 2016/17 school year begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7 with a half day of classes for students.

The times will be different for each school depending on the start time at each individual school.