New post-baccalaureate diploma in Indigenous education hoped to create ‘educational leaders’
Cohort unique in part because it's open to educators in numerous school divisions
The introduction of a post-baccalaureate diploma in Indigenous education in the Faculty of Education has been a success, says Frank Deer, the faculty’s director of Indigenous initiatives.
The Louis Riel School Division PBDE (post-baccalaureate diploma in education) Cohort, entitled “Indigenous Perspectives in the Curriculum” was launched in winter 2014 following discussions between Deer and the Aboriginal consultant at the Louis Riel School Division about providing further education on Indigenous issues for teachers. “Louis Riel is one of the school districts that have done very progressive things,” says Deer. “They have a variety of programs to support Indigenous education.”
The PBDE allows both Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators to take courses in topics such as integrating Indigenous perspectives into the curriculum, building relationships with Indigenous families and communities and Indigenous perspectives in math and science.
The cohort is unique because it is open not only to Louis Riel teachers but to teachers from other divisions as well. Educators from St. James Assiniboia and River East school divisions have taken part, along with others from divisions outside the city, including Roseau River First Nation, “which is fantastic,” says Deer.
He adds that the hope is that those who have taken the PBDE will “become instructional leaders of sorts in their schools.”
“We are really excited about the future with these people who will be working with their school groups in this area. Many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have come through the doors in this program.”
Moving forward, Deer says there is also a discussion of the development of a Masters program in Indigenous instructional leadership, although that may be some years away.
He says he has enjoyed being part of the inaugural PBDE.
“It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve had the pleasure of learning many things myself.”