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ERIC Number: EJ994400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Identity and Knowledge in Indigenous Young Children's Experiences in Canada
Ball, Jessica
Childhood Education, v88 n5 p286-291 2012
In Canada, as around the world, large numbers of Indigenous children encounter culturally dissonant learning environments in preschools and schools. Many of these children experience serious challenges, in part because of a striking mismatch between their early learning experiences in the family and community, and the expectations, perceptions, and task demands of non-Indigenous educators. These mismatches undoubtedly contribute to frequent identification of First Nations children as having learning disabilities, and to consequently high rates of early school failure and drop-out (Assembly of First Nations, 2005; Richards, 2008). Thus, it is crucial to understand the ways in which Indigenous children are ready to learn, and to acknowledge the skills, interests, and knowledge they have developed in their families and communities during their early years. This article highlights First Nations children's participation in family and community activities in order to learn such time-honored concepts and skills as the heritage Indigenous language, a literacy of the land, and the right time and place for different kinds of activities and expressions. The discussion emphasizes how these early learning opportunities stimulate First Nations children's cultural identity and spirituality and concludes with how teachers can create a culturally safe environment for building children's self-concepts as capable learners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada