Wandering With/In the University of Alberta: Teaching Subjects & Place-based Truth & Reconciliation Education

  • Brooke Madden Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Policy Studies Department,University of Alberta
  • Craig Kenneth Michaud University of AlbertaEdmonton Public School District https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5245-2223
  • Tarah Edgar PhD Student, Elementary Education, University of AlbertaGrad Teaching Assistantship • Faculty of Education - Elementary Education
  • Jennifer Jones University of AlbertaEdmonton Public School District

Abstract

This manuscript unfolds in the context of a Faculty of Education course that was designed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to post-secondary institutions to identify and meet teacher-training needs relating to the history and legacy of Canada’s Indian residential school system. The course instructor (Madden) begins by tracing how she is theorizing truth and reconciliation education through engagement with literature produced by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and those who respond to their efforts. The pedagogical activity Wandering With/In the University of Alberta animates how she attempted to mobilize these emerging understandings through course design. We then introduce the collective processes we carried out as co-authors (i.e., course instructor and three graduate students who completed the course): creating, analyzing, and representing data, as well as generating the knowledge claims offered throughout. Next, data fragments that weave photographs of and narrative writing about campus sites anchor exploration of three central themes: wandering in relation to (a) evolving understandings of self, (b) a situated and significant historical moment (i.e., Canada 150), and (c) the (imagined) classroom as a site of reconciliation. We conclude with a discussion that explores the relationship between Faculty of Education coursework, identity, and place-based pedagogies for truth and reconciliation education.

Keywords: truth and reconciliation education, higher education, decolonizing, place-based education, teacher identity

Cette étude s’est déroulée dans le contexte d’un cours offert par la Faculty of Education et développé en réponse à l’appel de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada aux établissements postsecondaires pour qu’ils identifient les besoins en formation des enseignants quant à l’histoire et les séquelles du système des pensionnats indiens au Canada et qu’ils répondent à ces besoins. La chargée de cours (Madden) débute en expliquant ses démarches pour théoriser l’éducation de vérité et réconciliation en se penchant sur la littérature produite par la Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada et sur la réaction des gens aux efforts de la commission. L’activité pédagogique Wandering With/In the University of Alberta est une animation de ses efforts pour mobiliser ces nouvelles connaissances par la conception de son cours. Ensuite, nous présentons les processus collectifs que nous avons entrepris comme co-auteurs (c’est-à-dire, la chargée de cours et les trois étudiants aux études supérieures ayant complété le cours): la création, l’analyse et la représentation des données, ainsi que l’élaboration des déclarations présentées dans l’ensemble du cours. Par la suite, des fragments de données tissent des photos et des récits narratifs portant sur des sites sur le campus et offrent des balises pour l’exploration de trois thèmes centraux: errer par rapport à: (a) une compréhension en évolution de soi-même, (b) un moment historique significatif (par ex., Canada 150) et (c) la salle de classe (imaginée) comme site de réconciliation. Une discussion portant sur le rapport entre les cours de la Faculty of Education, l’identité et les pédagogies reposant axées les lieux au service de l’éducation de vérité et réconciliation vient terminer l’article.

Mots clés: éducation de vérité et réconciliation, études supérieures, décolonisation, identité des enseignants

Author Biographies

Brooke Madden, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Policy Studies Department,University of Alberta

Dr. Brooke Madden is an Assistant Professor appointed across the Department of Secondary Education and the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program at the University of Alberta. Brooke’s research focuses on the relationship between teacher identity and teacher education on the topics of Indigenous education and truth and reconciliation education. Brooke has also published on whiteness and decolonizing processes, school-based Indigenous education reform, and Indigenous and decolonizing research methodologies. She works to acknowledge both her Indigenous and settler ancestries in complex ways that acknowledge privilege and resist appropriation.

Craig Kenneth Michaud, University of AlbertaEdmonton Public School District

Craig Michaud, M.Ed, is a graduate of the Masters of Education in Educational Studies Program at the University of Alberta and an Elementary School Teacher for the Edmonton Public School Board. Craig’s graduate research focused on the perspectives held by gay teachers in Alberta, Canada and he has published on the experiences and relationships of gay and lesbian parents with/in schools.

Tarah Edgar, PhD Student, Elementary Education, University of AlbertaGrad Teaching Assistantship • Faculty of Education - Elementary Education

Tarah Edgar is a Doctoral Student in Elementary Education at the University of Alberta. Tarah's research interests relate to how teacher identities are shaped through the inquiry into their experiences in and out of classroom spaces. Her research focuses on narrative inquiry as pedagogy, Indigenous pedagogies, epistemologies, and ontologies, and the subsequent possibilities for decolonization within teacher education.

Jennifer Jones, University of AlbertaEdmonton Public School District

Jennifer Jones is a graduate of the Masters of Education in Emergent Language and Literacy Program at the University of Alberta.  She has been an elementary school teacher for Edmonton Public School Board for over ten years.  Jennifer is interested in working with our youngest learners to understand the history and legacy of Canada’s Indian residential school system and our potential roles and responsibilities alongside reconciliation.

Published
2020-02-12
Section
ARTICLES