Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Research Provocations Series—Creating Trans-systemic Spaces in Critical Literacies Education for Indigenous Adolescents

Alexis Brown presents Creating Trans-systemic Spaces in Critical Literacies Education for Indigenous Adolescents as part of the Research Provocations Series presented by the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

Abstract

Culturally responsive curriculum for Indigenous learners means creating trans-systemic spaces—a space that places Indigenous knowledges at the centre alongside Western knowledges in order to open up new understandings and dialogues that challenge the assumptions and values of participants (Battiste, 2013).

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss what characterizes trans-systemic spaces in critical literacies education for Indigenous adolescents.

This research is part of a larger study in which an embedded single-case study approach (Yin, 2014) was used.

The participants in the study included 16 Indigenous adolescents (ages 15-18), one non-Indigenous teacher, one Aboriginal Education Support Worker, and two Indigenous community members (a local artist and an Elder).

Data collection occurred during a Critical Media Literacy 11/12 course and included the use of field notes, classroom artifacts, student projects, and semi-structured interviews (Creswell, 2013; Yin, 2014).

The analysis and findings are in a preliminary stage. Current emergent themes include the significance of the inclusion of family and community members; high expectations and challenging projects; personal choice and relevance of content; and personal conflict with sharing information.

About Alexis Brown

Alexis Brown is a PhD candidate in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria, and is working on her dissertation titled Creating trans-systemic spaces in critical literacies education for Indigenous adolescents.

Her research interests include critical literacies, dialogic pedagogy, adolescent literacies, decolonizing education, and culturally responsive curriculum.

She has also taught in SD 73 for nine years as a high-school social studies and English teacher, working in urban, rural, and alternative classroom settings, including working with youth in the justice system.