Explorations into narrative assessment and Indigenous ways of knowing
Using an Indigenous research methodology, this research examines how educators in British Columbia use narrative assessment as a more inclusive, strength-based approach to assess learners and intends to uncover teacher perceptions on the connections between narrative assessment and the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning / Indigenous ways of knowing. As a self-identified Métis researcher, my intention is that this study will contribute to a growing body of research that is framed using an Indigenous methodology and recognizes the significance of co-creating knowledge through reciprocal relationships. This research utilized collaborative methods with educators sharing alongside a Kwakwaka’wakw Elder in the form of a ‘talking circle.’ Qualitative data was collected on participant perceptions of their personal experiences using narrative assessment in the classroom and its connection to Indigenous ways of knowing. The main themes that emerged from the data were: Responsibility and Action, Relevance and Well-being, Reciprocity and Being-together, and Respect and Stories. While each distinct, these four themes are interconnected and represent the relational nature of Indigenous knowledge which includes community, family, students, and self at its core. Central findings of this study suggested that a narrative assessment approach enables educators to shift their practice toward a more inclusive and joyful process which invites reciprocity, relationship building, and co-learning opportunities.