Multicultural Education

Kelsey and Wendell show grade 3/4 students how to set up a tipi.

One of the initiatives of our school division and our school’s specific Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) is multicultural education.  Many teachers already combine various multicultural lessons in their specific units of study, especially in ELA and social studies.  In our division, this approach continues but has also been expanded to a more school wide approach.  This particular initiative is titled, “A Time For Significant Leadership.” (ATFSL)

Each year schools in PVSD set a ATFSL goal for their school.  One of the primary aims is to take school wide approaches to understanding First Nations culture, but to also look at understanding and appreciating the unique aspects of all cultures.  With a school wide approach, all students can take part in acitivities that fosters the understanding of other cultures on a yearly basis, rather than “snapshots” every year or so.  Saskatchewan has also made the teaching of Treaties mandatory for all grade levels each school year.  Treaties are specific agreements made between First Nations bands and The Crown just after confederation in 1867.  More info. on the numbered treaties can be found here.

It has taken some time for us to get used to multicultural education initiatives, on a school wide level, but we are getting there.  As educators, we want these types of initiatives to succeed and have great impact.  Our school intends to hold a multicultural awareness day this year.  Last year, we were treated to a great display of First nations culture featuring singers, dancers and drummers, who also performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

I would love to hear about other school wide initiatives that other schools plan.  Please comment if you have anything to share.

This was cross posted on Bircher’s Banter

7 Comments

  1. Mary said:

    I think the bigger question should be..”how are you making multiculturalism a fabric of your academic institution?” It shouldn’t just be a day or week or month but rather how are all of the learners in the building (including the adults) teaching students how to see the world from a different perspective be it class, race, gender and/or sexual orientation? These are the stories that I would love to hear.

    Mary
    @Edu_Traveler

    January 31, 2011
    • Dave Bircher said:

      I agree Mary.

      We can have the specific days for celebrations, etc. but what we implement in the day to day instruction is very important. I think the move (by our Ministry) for mandatory tretay education was a positive step as not all Canadians realize we are all treaty people.

      Thx. for the comment and have a great week.

      Dave

      January 31, 2011
  2. Dave –
    This sounds like a step in the right direction. I appreciate your understanding that our work related to intercultural responsiveness runs far deeper than a day or a unit. It’s indeed work requiring an ever expanding understanding, appreciation, and celebration of self and others. I would love to have you check out my blog when you get the chance to see more about what I mean by this. Thanks for sharing your work through this post.
    @tomaltepeter

    February 1, 2011
    • Dave Bircher said:

      Thx. Tom for your input. I will check out your blog as well as i am sure you have some good ideas for me.

      Taker care.

      Dave

      February 1, 2011
  3. Ashley Welch said:

    I am a college student at the University of South Alabama, and I was given your post as an assignment for my Educational Media Class. I really enjoyed this post about Multiculturalism in the schools. At my high school, we had a week where we had an International Festival all week. It would be set up with food and music from all different countries and the students would put on the festival. That’s really awesome that you go to see the dancers from the Olympics! Thanks, I really enjoyed this.

    February 4, 2011
    • Dave said:

      Ashley,

      Thank you for your comment. I believe the success of many festivals/showcases in schools depends on the involvement of students. Cultural “mosaics” are great so we all can learn more about each other.

      Thx. for stopping by. I hope my little post was deemed “worthy” by you and your professor! 😉

      Dave

      February 6, 2011

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