One of the initiatives of our school division and our school’s specific Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) is multicultural education. Many teachers already combine various multicultural lessons in their specific units of study, especially in ELA and social studies. In our division, this approach continues but has also been expanded to a more school wide approach. This particular initiative is titled, “A Time For Significant Leadership.” (ATFSL)
Each year schools in PVSD set a ATFSL goal for their school. One of the primary aims is to take school wide approaches to understanding First Nations culture, but to also look at understanding and appreciating the unique aspects of all cultures. With a school wide approach, all students can take part in activities that fosters the understanding of other cultures on a yearly basis, rather than “snapshots” every year or so. Saskatchewan has also made the teaching of Treaties mandatory for all grade levels each school year. Treaties are specific agreements made between First Nations bands and The Crown just after confederation in 1867. More info. on the numbered treaties can be found here.
It has taken some time for us to get used to multicultural education initiatives, on a school wide level, but we are getting there. As educators, we want these types of initiatives to succeed and have great impact. Our school intends to hold a multicultural awareness day this year. Last year, we were treated to a great display of First nations culture featuring singers, dancers and drummers, who also performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
I would love to hear about other school wide initiatives that other schools plan. Please comment if you have anything to share.