Paying Attention to Place

“Learning from Place” demonstrates excellent use of place in pedagogy. Through the narrative, the positive experience for the Mushkegowuk Cree people being on their land, practicing their traditional ways, learning in their traditional ways provided a special, engaging experience for the students and adults who participated in the canoe trip. This experience is an excellent example of reinhabitation. Individuals were able to identify with each other, with Elders, the land, and gain a strong sense of identity, culture, and pride. Through the narrative, decolonization occurs as these individuals come together on their land, experiencing it together traditionally, discussing and travelling using their Cree language.

It is essential to be aware of place when teaching. I have learned the importance of fostering a relationship with nature and the positives that come from the relationship. Further, there is great knowledge that is only available outside the classroom walls. As a teacher, I am able to provide the opportunity for students to develop and respect the land and environment.

I believe to further develop a relationship between my students and nature, it is important to invite First Nations’ Elders to participate and provide authentic teachings of why it is important and how we can foster this relationship. In providing these teachings from Elders, and bringing the traditions to my outdoor classroom, I am taking a step towards assisting in the decolonization of the classroom. To simply stand in front of a group of students and regurgitate text book information in the classroom does not provide enough; in fact, it maintains the colonial mindset. It is time to step outside of the box that is the classroom, and allow place to influence the education provided to students.

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One thought on “Paying Attention to Place

  1. Very well written, Jasmine! I especially like your ideas regarding bringing in an elder. More specifically, I like how you said that you were trying to teach to the students WHY having these interactions are important. I think this needs to be the teachers job to guide the students to this solution and unlike many of these posts, you seem to be able to take it a step further by making the WHY important

    Liked by 1 person

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