Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

An Impact Assessment of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (AESN)

1.0 Introduction

This document reports on the work of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (hereafter referred to as the AESN ), a professional learning network for teachers, principals, vice principals and support professionals who are employed in British Columbia’s (BC ) public schools, including both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators. The purpose of the AESN is to improve learning results for Aboriginal learners and to increase understanding of genuine Aboriginal culture and history for all learners. The Network is designed to build the capacity of teachers and principals through an annual cycle of inquiry, the application of current research, including Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogy, with an emphasis on classroom based performance assessment as a means for determining success and improvement. This Network has been in operation since 2009 and is effecting change in many BC schools, school districts, classrooms and communities. The research project was designed to identify effective practices of the Network; in other words, it seeks to quantify its impact on students, teachers, principals, vice principals and communities in reaching its goals.
The AESN has four major components:

  1. An annual cycle of inquiry at the individual level connected to the collaboratively developed Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements
  2. Regional meetings to share resources, research, and findings
  3. Submission and publication of inquiry reports
  4. Public sharing of such reports at regional and provincial forums