Experiential learning paving paths to the future
This week, King’s Education students had the privilege of being taught by Veronica Graff, the Cultural Liaison for M.E LaZerte high school and Londonderry School, as they tackled Indigenous issues in the classroom. The week started off by helping to set up a tipi in the North Academic Building that will remain a feature for the next few weeks, and participating in the blanket exercise.
“Having this tipi on campus is an honor for King’s,” shares Graff. “It is a symbol of reconciliation and shows how King's embraces the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
King’s After Degree in Education is known for its week long intensive modules that are unique to Alberta. One of which, is the Indigenous Studies module that focuses on Aboriginal relations. A week of focusing solely on the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the current stresses of First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students is invaluable to equipping teachers to best serve the students that walk into their classrooms.
“We initially started this module because we knew that every teacher would have Aboriginal students in their classroom,” explains Dr. John Hull, Emeritus Professor of Education. “As with any element of our program, student takeaways vary. Most of our students come out of this module more aware of the challenges that FNMI students face in the classroom, and many have old biases and assumptions refuted.”
This week long intensive preparing for future FNMI students has involved a presentation from a survivor of Residential schools, a visit from Graff’s students, conversations with Anglican Archdeacon Travis Enright and much more. "These pre-service teachers are gaining so much knowledge through experiential learning," shares Graff. "They come out of this week with more knowledge than some of the teachers I work with currently in the school system."
"This module has taught me what it means to have an open heart," says Bianca Dublois, first year Elementary Education student. "It has shown me how to authentically empathize and practice forgiveness in the most difficult times."
Education at King’s is divided into two streams. Students choose to focus on elementary education or secondary education. Learn more about the Faculty of Education at King's by checking out the Education program page.