ERIC Number: ED452398
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Informal Learning: Cultural Experiences and Entrepreneurship among Aboriginal People. NALL Working Paper #04.
Wotherspoon, Terry; Butler, Joanne
This discussion paper explores interactions among formal learning, informal learning, and life conditions and opportunities experienced by aboriginal people in Canada. The contradictory importance of education for aboriginal people is examined with respect to three related aspects of these relationships. First, the paper summarizes students' accounts of their experiences in conventional and alternative school settings in three Saskatchewan communities, exploring how these relate to the students' broader cultural and home environments. Second, it examines the formal and informal educational experiences of a small group of adults surveyed in an urban Indian and Metis Friendship Center. Finally, the paper explores issues that arise around the emergence of entrepreneurial training and entrepreneurship, areas posed by many commentators as a possible way of bridging formal and informal learning and overcoming the longstanding marginalization of aboriginal people from labor market and economic participation. The paper concludes that gaps remain in the attainment of educational success by aboriginal people, relative to the general population, when viewed in terms of conventional educational indicators. However, the aboriginal youth and adults involved in the study place a high value in formal schooling, mainstream economic activities, and entrepreneurial opportunities to provide routes for individual and community advancement. The study suggests that the aboriginal peoples could benefit more if the educational system better integrated their skills and culture and acknowledged the strengths that the aboriginal people bring to learning. (The paper lists 40 references.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Education, Canada Natives, Cultural Context, Cultural Influences, Cultural Isolation, Cultural Relevance, Cultural Traits, Economic Opportunities, Education Work Relationship, Educational Attitudes, Educational Demand, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, Foreign Countries, Indigenous Populations, Informal Education, Outcomes of Education, Social Values
NALL: New Approaches to Lifelong Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1V6. Tel: 416-923-6641; Fax: 416-926-4725 ($3). For full text: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/04infor mallearning.htm.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.
Identifiers - Location: Canada