Two worlds of knowing: Examining the use of Aboriginal ways of knowing in the high school context
Aboriginal students who walk the hallways in British Columbia’s schools may wonder what the purpose of a western education is. These students walk in two worlds of knowing with one foot heavily submersed in a Eurocentric Western way of knowing in school, and the other, an Aboriginal way of knowing at home. These unique students represent a large body of learners who leave school and are “push-outs” in our Eurocentric and bureaucratic education system. The research presented in this paper examines the use of Aboriginal ways of knowing incorporated in an Aboriginal Support Block (ASB) funded by School District 72 in Campbell River, British Columbia. The purpose of the ASB was to support at-risk Aboriginal students academically and emotionally while attending Carihi Secondary School. The researcher presents eight case studies from a variety of students that included both Aboriginal males and females, ranging from Grades 9-12. 30 minute semi-structured interviews were facilitated by the researcher. Data was coded for themes, links and patterns from each. The data was analyzed to address how the ASB and the incorporation of Aboriginal ways of knowing affected Aboriginal student-participants’ perceived academic and emotional experiences.