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NSITEP Supports Cultural Collaboration in the Classroom

By Suzanne Depeel & Desirae Barker

Nov 2, 2021

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Educators have been known for incorporating engaging and educational content into classrooms through bulletin boards. These boards outside of the classroom often reflect what is happening inside, display student work, and make learning visible. This year, the Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NSITEP) has taken its bulletin boards to a new, cultural level.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the faculty and staff at NSITEP created the bulletin board content. After a year of online classes, NSITEP returned to in-class learning this fall. The shift from learning at a distance to learning together has been an adjustment, so the staff and faculty wanted to find a way to initiate community, belonging, and hands-on learning throughout this academic year. This is where the idea to have students create the bulletin board content began!

Each month, students are given a theme for their bulletin boards and time to collaborate and create. This monthly project will help NSITEP students start experiencing the teacher mindset while building a portfolio of board ideas they can take with them once they have convocated.

“These bulletin boards are a way for students to build culture by integrating their native tongue into their board presentation. They also promote subject matters that are not fully developed in the curriculum, give inspiration to students, create conversations, follow the seasons, and add culture to the beautification of the school environment,” explained Morris Cook, NSITEP Program Head.

Bulletin boards are a means of building community in a friendly competition between the NSITEP cohorts. “It is a way for students to incorporate what they are learning in the classroom to outside the classroom through the collaboration and interpretation of what they are learning and sharing it with others. Ultimately we want to initiate students engaging in the learning process,” said Nancy Lefleur, NSITEP Faculty.

Once the bulletins boards for the month are complete Elders come in and vote on the billboard they feel encompasses the theme of that month and the winning class gets a treat from the staff. In September, the theme of the month was in honour of residential school children. Each class did a magnificent job on their interpretation of the theme.

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