Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Perceptions of Aboriginal Students (Radio documentary)

Summary: Albee, Kamila, and Kurt look the perceptions of aboriginal students through research, interviews, and our own opinions.  Included is an interview with Verna Kirkness, Manfred Hildebrandt, and Questions and Answers with Albee and Kurt.  This 25 minutes radio show incorporates some trendy Aboriginal electric music fused with intriguing theory’s behind the perceptions of Aboriginal students.

Producers Involved: Albee Eisbrenner, Kamila Cecelon, Kurt Hildebrandt

Songs Used:
A Tribe Called Red – Electric pow wow drum
A Tribe Called Red – Look at this
A Tribe Called Red – Electric Instrumental 
To Learn More (Radio Documentary)


  1. As a teacher candidate, I am increasingly becoming aware of the importance of incorporating Aboriginal culture into the classroom. Through this course and through readings (such as In Their Own Voices by Kanu, 2002) I am gaining many great perspectives and ideas on ways that Aboriginal culture and education can be an essential part of learning in the public school system. In my practicum classroom, there is one Aboriginal student in the class and I hope throughout this semester to be better able to incorporate aspects of his culture into the classroom.

    In the article, In Their Own Voices, it states the difficulties that can arise when childrens' cultural needs are not being met: “...difficulties in classroom learning and interactions arise when there is a mismatch between a child's culture and all the intricate subsets of that culture and the culture of the teacher and the classroom, setting up that child for failure if the school or the teacher is not sensitive to his or her special needs” (Winzer and Mazurek as quoted in In Their Own Voices, 2002, p. 99). Teachers play a crucial role in transferring cultural knowledge to their students. If Aboriginal culture is not incorporated into the classroom, I believe many students will never get to experience the richness and deep significance of this wonderful culture. For this reason, teachers must take seriously their responsibility to incorporate Aboriginal culture into their classrooms.

    In the article, students expressed the importance and desire of being positively represented in schools: “they overwhelmingly agreed that seeing positive representations of themselves (Aboriginal people in general) more regularly in the school curriculum would validate their identity, motivate them to participate more in class, and help them develop pride in their own culture and people (In Their Own Voices, 2002, p. 114). Even if there are no Aboriginal students in the class, I believe it is still very important to incorporate Aboriginal education into the curriculum to help all students be aware of this wonderful culture.

    As a future teacher, I am realizing the importance of becoming aware and knowledgeable of Aboriginal culture to be able to incorporate Aboriginal education into my future classrooms. Although I realize I will continuously have much to learn, I hope to continue my learning journey by experiencing Aboriginal culture with my future students.

    Kanu (2002): “In Their Own Voices: First Nations Students Identify Some Cultural Mediators of Their Learning in the Formal School System” in Alberta Journal of Education Research, 48(20): 98-121