School Name: Valleycliffe Elementary School
School District: SD#48 Sea to Sky
Inquiry Team Members:Carol Zuckernick, email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: AESN (focus on Indigenous learners or Indigenous understandings)
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Arts Education, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Science
Focus Addressed: Aboriginal understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Community-based learning, Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Flexible learning, Growth mindset, Land, Nature or Place-based learning, Self-regulation
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Learning about the impact of Growth Mindset through drawing or carving with a Squamish Nation lens.
Scanning: During a school survey (student, staff and parents) we found the need for improvement in the following areas: resilience, confidence, connections, curiosity, mindfulness (manage anxiety), risk taking and choice.
Focus: As a staff we came to the agreement that our school goal is to focus on Growth Mindset under the umbrella of Critical Thinking. After looking at the results of the school survey (above), the pieces link together. I would love to delve deeper with this background information involving an Aboriginal view.
Hunch: Through bringing in an Aboriginal artist, books and other staff in this project, I believe that we will be able to positively affect the Growth Mindset. The students and staff will be learning new skills together. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students will get a broader picture of authentic Aboriginal culture.
New Professional Learning: By making authentic connections with an Aboriginal artist, I know there will be areas that I will want to research and present to staff and students. As a staff we are reading A Mindset for Learning, Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth. Through the reading and discussion there will be other areas of professional learning that come up as well.
Taking Action: In January we hadArt Harry (See Appl-tun) visit each class at Valleycliffe for 2 sessions each, 45 minutes each session. They drew, then coloured or painted their picture. The discussion focus was on Growth Mindset and aboriginal ways of Knowing, Being and doing. The students were coached when things got difficult, different strategies on how to continue (take a deep breath, ask for help, take a break, just keep going, discover ways of making a mistake into part of the art.
A bulletin board was put up at the front of the school with photos, art and interviews the students did with Mrs. Zuckernick on the process and their experience with Aboriginal ways and / or Growth Mindset.
On the bulletin board was a plain paper post questions or comments. In March and April these questions were answered by See Appl-tun and put in the announcements.
Checking: During the interviews, the students verbalized what they learned or discovered about themselves during the project and the teachings from Art Harry. They discovered where they felt strong or not as confident in their skills and how to work with that. Growth mindset and Aboriginal Ways are a journey. The staff are continuously working to model and bring learning forward for the students.
Reflections/Advice: As above, this is a journey that will be continued by the staff and students here. Unfortunately, I am moving to Calgary this summer, so will not be a physical part of that process. However, I know the staff supports Growth Mindset and Aboriginal Ways and will continue the work with the students and community.
Advice, clear communication and alternate plans always need to be thought of!