Dynamics of Education Policy and Practice for Urban Aboriginal Early School Leavers

  • Diane Wishart University of Alberta


In this study I explore a lack of cohesion between two Alberta government policy documents that are intended to address the problem of early school leaving of disenfranchised urban Aboriginal youth. The research explores the question of whether this lack of cohesion is reflected in educational practice for this population of learners. This issue is further examined through exploration of an inner-city high school that is designed to meet the needs of a disenfranchised urban population generally while meeting the specific educational needs of Aboriginal students who constitute most of its student population. The need for this analysis is given context by the relatively few disenfranchised urban Aboriginal youth who complete high school in Alberta. Although this study focuses on an Alberta inner-city school, the low completion rates for this population are in evidence throughout Canada and elsewhere across the globe.

Author Biography

Diane Wishart, University of Alberta
Diane Wishart is an adjunct professor with the Department of Educational Policy Studies. Her areas of research interest include high school completion, disenfranchised urban youth, Aboriginal youth and schools, alternative pedagogies, and educational policy.