Gifted Outreach Conference explores Aboriginal culture
An in-depth, hands-on approach to teaching social studies
2 min. read
December 16, 2013

Last December, teacher candidates from Redeemer University College held its third Gifted Outreach Conference. This annual event is planned by Redeemer’s Department of Education in cooperation with the Interboard Network, a collection of educators from the Hamilton Wentworth Public and Separate School boards as well as the Grand Erie District School Board. In the fall, Redeemer Education students took a course, “Teaching Social Studies,” that focused on the theme Exploring Aboriginal Culture and History. Throughout this course, the candidates explored different aspects of Aboriginal literature and art, and visited the Woodland Cultural Centre and Residential School in Brantford, ON. The Conference that was held at Redeemer was the culmination of the course. At the conference, Redeemer students led gifted students from the public, Catholic and private schools from across Hamilton through workshops that focused on Aboriginal arts, media and stereotypes, land claims and resources, recreation and sports, and oral storytelling. Phil Teeuwsen, Assistant Professor of Education, teaches the course within which this conference was developed. “This conference provides education students with an authentic opportunity to put all that they have learned into action,” says Teeuwsen. “By guiding Grade 7 and 8 students through a day in which an issue of great importance is addressed, our candidates are provided important teaching experiences. It also gives them important community contacts.” One of those contacts for this project was Ben Nywening ’02, the Gifted Assessment Co-ordinator for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board. The Gifted Outreach Conference is one example of how the Department of Education seeks to prepare teachers for their calling. “Through rich educational experiences, grounded in practice, flowing through service to students and community, events such as this Conference provide an avenue for community connections and networks that are linked authentically to our program of study,” notes Teeuwsen. There is more on the Conference in a story on the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board website: http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/blog/hwdsb-gifted-students-explore-aboriginal-culture-at-conference/

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