Focussed Collaborative Inquiries
What are Collaborative Inquiries?
The Near North District School Board, through various Collaborative Inquiries, engages educators as researchers to enhance both teacher and student learning. Our Indigenous Focussed Collaborative Inquiries seek to explore strategies to provide more culturally relevant instruction for our Indigenous students.
This year’s FNMI (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) collaborative inquiry focus was about connecting the math curriculum to Indigenous ways of knowing, our wonderings around cultural connections to math, and how we could be more culturally responsive in our instruction and assessment practices as educators. This year we invited teachers and principals from 7 schools within the Near North DSB and also invited schools from Wasauksing First Nation and Nipissing First Nation to participate.
By starting with the notion that we needed to improve our cultural understanding and experiences of our Indigenous students, we embarked upon a journey to connect mathematics with our students' learning styles, their cultural experiences, and traditional perspectives. By getting to know our learners better, we hoped to plan mathematics lessons that would engage our Indigenous learners and allow them to better access learning activities by presenting learning with a different cultural lens.
The results of this approach were overwhelmingly positive. Students who previously seemed disengaged became fully immersed in the lessons and activities. The cultural connections they made allowed them to better relate to mathematical concepts in the curriculum and learner confidence grew exponentially.
As educators we reaffirmed the importance of getting to know our learners; both who they are as people and their cultural backgrounds. By presenting curriculum, lessons, and activities in a relevant cultural context we were able to fully engage our students and see them thrive.