The Role of Self-Reflection in an Indigenous Education Course for Teacher Candidates
This paper explores the role of self-reflection in a teacher education program. In a mandatory Aboriginal Education course in northwestern Ontario, teacher candidates participated in a variety of self-reflection activities that included two reflection papers, non-traditional sharing circles, and lectures, and classroom discussions that challenged common myths, stereotypes, and prejudices about Indigenous peoples. In a survey with open-ended questions administered at the end of the course, 36 teacher candidates shared their perspectives about self-reflection at the end of the course. Findings from the survey were correlated with seven teacher candidates’ reflection papers and with my personal reflections as a participant-as-observer in two of the mandatory courses. The themes that emerged from analysis were placed into three categories; these categories described the role of self-reflection as a process of (1) self-evaluation, (2) establishing personal connections with course theory, and, (3) developing a culturally inclusive pedagogy. The findings suggest that self-reflection in an Indigenous Education course can provide teacher candidates with an effective approach to uncover, identify, and examine internal biases that impact their understanding of teaching Indigenous students and integrating Indigenous content into the curriculum.
Keywords: Indigenous Education; self-reflection; teacher education
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