Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

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

8.7 An initiated impact on understanding learning as a community based educational partnership

We saw in the review of the AESN case studies that more inquiry teams are venturing beyond the formal classroom walls into the broader community and looking to find partners in completing their inquiries. We see this as a particularly positive development. In districts like Prince Rupert where Aboriginal peoples have been deemed partners for more than 20 years, the approaches to integrating services and support systems is deeply embedded and District leaders, teachers, non-teaching staff and community members (Elders and other leaders) are genuine partners in planning and delivering education in ways that embrace the potential that their Aboriginal students clearly possess. We are reminded in particular of the inquiry in Vanderhoof where an Aboriginal Network leader is actively working in both formal school and pre-school learning activities and is carefully tying together the strands of life-long learning with Aboriginal pedagogy and culturally inclusive strategies that engage learning support wherever it exists in the community: it is becoming a much more seamless and integrated approach to thinking about the learning needs of the family. There are other communities and schools around the province where this work is also in its early stages. This work needs to be more fully valued and recognized as a part of Network inquiry processes and believe that the Network structure could be altered so as to more deliberately support and encourage teachers to name how and who they are involving as partners in their work. Supporting community members to participate in showcases at the regional and provincial level might also be a tool through which this could be achieved. This could be accomplished by supporting community members who travel to share their learnings with teachers and leaders across the province.