First Peoples Perspectives of Education and the Core Competencies

As we know, the BC education system is undergoing change. The process includes a move toward teaching and learning that is more responsive to the contexts and needs of the learners, and (finally) the explicit inclusion of “core competencies”. These are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all people need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning. The broad categories includes more specific competencies: communication, critical thinking, creative thinking, personal awareness and responsibility, social awareness and responsibility, and positive personal and cultural identity. The illustrations (examples) of these competencies are worth checking out.

It is interesting to note though, that while the increased emphasis on personalization and the recognition of the importance of paying attention to more aspects of self may be new to being explicitly included in the provincial education discussion, these ideas are not new to indigenous peoples in Canada. These initiatives echo what has already been known by First Peoples – that education is a complex process that is personal, holistic, embedded in relationship, and is most effective when it is authentic and relevant. The more one examines the First Peoples Principles of Learning, the more one is able to see how these beliefs about teaching and learning have so much to offer our education system.

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