Decolonizing Education Through Outdoor Learning: The Learning Story of an Indigenous Kindergarten Teacher
This study examined the decolonizing pedagogy and practices of a First Nations kindergarten teacher. Indigenous communities across Canada and the world are currently affecting transformation in their schools by turning systems of colonial domination to education that is locally controlled, culturally relevant, and empowering. The study investigated the teacher’s learning story, including her personal experiences with education throughout her life, as well as her current practice as an educator, through both an Indigenous and non-Indigenous lens. The author and the teacher acted as coresearchers in this collaborative project. The exploration of this pedagogy and practice through these two perspectives sought to gain insight into potential solutions for decolonizing education. This research is thus shared in the hope of bringing Indigenousdriven reconciliation into our classrooms by providing a decolonizing framework that can be imparted to fellow educators. The researchers observed that decolonizing pedagogy, in this instance, occurred through outdoor learning, culturally centred practices, as well as family and community connections. Such practices were determined to be deeply rooted in the teacher’s personal identity and experiences, stemming from an Indigenous epistemology and ontology.