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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

EDFN 4201: Aboriginal Teaching and Learning

Students are given an overview of the history of Aboriginal Education in British Columbia and Canada. The course focuses on effective teaching and learning practices for Aboriginal students including developing relationships with parents and extended family members. Teacher candidates examine how to enrich the regular school curriculum by adding Aboriginal content and including the cultural background of their Aboriginal students. The class format is presentation and discussion based on articles and videos provided by faculty, presentations from other Aboriginal educators, community members, and teacher candidates. Virtual field experiences could include visits to local band-operated schools, Aboriginal museums, residential schools and/or Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Discover the Secwepemc people and the territory of the student's respective regional and cultural context.
  • Outline the history of Indian residential schools in Canada and British Columbia.
  • Develop and use effective strategies to learn and teach Aboriginal content.
  • Identify, evaluate, and use Aboriginal learning resources.
  • Develop and identify indicators of student success.
  • Identify effective strategies to address contemporary challenges and opportunities in Aboriginal education.
  • Outline contemporary policies in Aboriginal education.
  • Describe the relationships among Elders, parents, and community members and the traditions and protocols of your students' respective regional and cultural context.

Course topics

Course topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Weikt-Welcome to Secwepmecul'ecw
  • History of Aboriginal Education
  • Indigenous Pedagogy
  • Aboriginal Learning Resources: Research and Implementation
  • Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities in Indigenous Education
  • Aboriginal Policy Today
  • Relationships with Aboriginal Elders, Parents, and Community Members

Required text and materials

This course does not require a textbook.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.

Assignment 1: Critical Reflective Writing and Research 8%
Assignment 2: Historical Chronology of Aboriginal Education 12%
Assignment 3: Critical Reflective Writing 10%
Assignment 4: Part A - Quality Learning Resources 12%
Assignment 4: Part B - Quality Learning Resources 8%
Discussion 8%
Assignment 5: Critical Reflective Writing 12%
Final Project * 30%
Total 100%


Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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