• Aboriginal Parental Involvement/Engagement for Student Success

      Moses, Mark; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-08-30)
      An increasing body of knowledge links parental involvement with student success but few studies address Aboriginal parental involvement in urban settings. While some critics argue traditional Aboriginal knowledge is best delivered at home, Aboriginal children who share parents’ stories in the classroom benefit other children who draw connections to these stories. Moreover, Aboriginal learners need to function in mainstream Western society and in public school settings in which educators often have a difficult time engaging Aboriginal parents. Consequently, this research sought to explore the perceptions and sense of engagement of parents/caregivers in the Aboriginal Student Program (ASP) in a publicly funded secondary school in Ontario. The study was an extension of the researcher’s existing work and focused specifically on a sample of parents/caregivers taking part in an Aboriginal feast at an Ontario secondary school. Nine individuals accepted an invitation to participate in a Talking Circle and shared perceptions of their children’s educational experiences. Data were collected and coded, and findings indicated that parental involvement in children’s educational journeys contributed significantly to a sense of parental engagement in the school and in Aboriginal programs. Results also suggest that Eurocentric pedagogy can be modified in mainstream secondary schools to directly involve Aboriginal parents/caregivers. Although many participants’ stories revealed they experienced racism during their own schooling, study findings demonstrate that the parents/caregivers want to be involved in their children’s education nonetheless. This thesis discusses the data that were grounded in the participants’ voices that in turn led to several key recommendations.
    • Imagery, Technology, and Remote Adult Aboriginal Teacher Candidates: A Brock University Pilot Project

      Trudeau, Lyn; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-09-05)
      The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between imagery, technology, and remote adult Aboriginal teacher candidates through the computer software Elluminate Live. It focuses on the implications that the role imagery plays in third generation distance education with these learners and the new media associated therein. The thesis honours the Medicine Wheel teachings and is presented within this cyclical framework that reflects Indigenous philosophies and belief systems. In accordance, Sharing Circle as methodology is used to keep the research culturally grounded, and tenets of narrative inquiry further support the study. Results indicate there are strong connections to curricula enhanced with imagery—most notably a spiritual connection. Findings also reveal that identity associated to geographical location is significant, as are supportive networks. Third generation distance education, such as Elluminate Live, needs to be addressed before Aboriginal communities open the doors to all it encompasses, and although previous literature peers into various elements, this study delves into why the graphical interface resonates with members of these communities. Of utmost importance is the insight this thesis lends to the pedagogy that may possibly evoke a transformative learning process contributing to the success rate of Aboriginal learners and benefit Aboriginal communities as a whole.