School Name: Savory and Sooke Elementary
School District: SD#62 Sooke
Inquiry Team Members: Kerry Arnot – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Marle – email@example.com
Lisa Stuart – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiffany Adam – email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Transitions (focus on Indigenous learner transitions)
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Community-based learning, Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Land, Nature or Place-based learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? In what way(s) will building a district network deepen/expand/grow/impact the use of the POL as a lens through which we plan our lessons/teach? How will this network allow teachers to feel more comfortable with including Indigenous ways of knowing in the classroom?
Scanning: We met and looked at practices at both sites. We then talked about what differences there are when using the FPPOL and not, as well as what impact we felt it would have on the students and how does it connect to the Core Competencies. As our year progressed we started looking at other classrooms within the district which were not part of the inquiry. Our greatest wondering is how does using the FPPOL as a lens impact our ways of knowing/teaching in the classroom.
Focus: In what way(s) will building a district network deepen/expand/grow/impact the use of the POL as a lens through which we plan our lessons/teach? How will this network allow teachers to feel more comfortable with including Indigenous ways of knowing in the classroom?
Hunch: At both sites we have some ‘traditional’ teachers, with practices that have been around for a long time. One site has now expanded the lens of the FPPOL to four classrooms, with other classrooms interested, and the other site now has grown to 4 classrooms practicing FPPOL. With our new curriculum we see a need for more land-based learning and core competencies with an emphasis on local knowledge; this is counter intuitive to our more traditional teachers.
New Professional Learning: Using our collaborative network, we have been increasing the amount of lessons/knowledge/land-based learning we are sharing/using in the classroom. We have already participated in several after school virtual sharing meetings with a new FPPOL district network, and plan to share more within our group and others. We are hoping to have in-person learning this year, especially outside in our environment.
Taking Action: We used the FPPOL as our foundation for the way we look at our teaching. We started with “Learning requires exploration of one’s identity” talking to the students about who they are, how they learn and that learning takes patience and time. We then added in “Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors” + “Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities”. We bring in Elders and Knowledge keepers to help the students, and adults, understand what has/is happening in our area. The students learn through experience. Finally we use “Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)” to emphasize our community and its history. Each of these principles allows us a myriad of choices for lessons, and helps our students understand that their actions have consequences.
Checking: We are still learning. We believe our students have a deeper understanding of the history of our area and they are able to share that knowledge. We also see the students take more responsibility for their learning. The biggest impact is our staff. The interest in using the FPPOL has grown across our own sites, and we are seeing interest in other buildings.
Reflections/Advice: We are planning to continue spreading the word about using the FPPOL as a philosophy for teaching. Our next step: One of Lisa’s ideas is to create a resource or Pro D series that we can use to share what we have learned/are doing. We are hoping to do this as a network. It is important to start small. Using the Identity principle is a great place to start. Wrap that around land-based learning and you have the basics of this philosophy.