Professional Development Bibliography 2015


Babakiueria (1986)–This film is a fictional television documentary presenting a view of what it would have been like if roles were reversed and Aboriginal people landed in late 20th century Australia and immediately colonized the white Australians living there. The Aboriginal settlers force the white families to hand over their children to be placed in residential schools, for example. Their rights are restricted, they are forced into reserves and patronized with government “assistance programs” aimed at assimilating them into Aboriginal culture.

Although the film is ironic and thus there are moments of dark humour, overall it is not meant to be humorous but rather provide an opportunity for members of the majority settler group to put themselves in the positions of indigenous people who were colonized.


Boy (2014)–This film depicts a slice of life in a New Zealand Maori community in the 1980s. It deals with themes of growing up, being a member of a minority culture, experiencing intergenerational effects, and maintaining ties to family and traditional culture.

Duff, Alan (1990). Once Were Warriors. This is an unsentimental novel about the lives of modern day Maori people in New Zealand, also set in the 1980s. It details substance abuse and domestic violence, and life in a time before Maori people were granted recognition and respect by the settler government.

Bishop, R., et al., Te Kotahitanga: Addressing educational disparities facing Maori students in New Zealand, Teaching and Teacher Education (2009), doi:10.1016/j.tate.2009.01.009

ABSTRACT: The major challenges facing education in New Zealand today are the continuing social, economic and political disparities within our nation, primarily between the descendants of the European colonisers and the Indigenous Maori people. These disparities are also reflected in educational outcomes. In this paper, an Indigenous Maori Peoples’ solution to the problems of educational disparities is detailed. Te Kotahitanga is a research and professional development project that seeks to improve the educational achievement of Maori students in mainstream secondary schools. Students ‘voices’ were used to inform the development of the project in a variety of ways: firstly to identify various discursive positions related to Maori student learning; secondly, to develop professional development activities, and thirdly, to create an Effective Teaching Profile. The paper concludes by identifying how implementing the Effective Teaching Profile addresses educational disparities.


An Introduction to the Sami People–this is a fascinating website maintained by Sami people, the indigenous population of Lapland. The site’s curator (A. Anta) emphasizes that it is not an official website intended to represent all Sami people, but it does provide a good overview of the history and current issues affecting Sami people. Many of them overlap with issues facing Aboriginal people in Canada and elsewhere: for example, forced assimilation, cultural appropriation, and land rights.

Unrelated to the topic of indigenous peoples in other countries, but still professional development:

Blunt, A. (2000, March). Literacy research and policy development: Mapping the dominant discourses. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Research Network on Education and Training, Vancouver. BC. Vancouver: University of British Columbia.

ABSTRACT: Discourse analysis reveals how the meanings of literacy are both socially produced and variable between different discourses. A recent consultation with researchers is used to demonstrate how the outcomes were influenced by the discourses of participants and organizers. An argument is made to establish a literacy discourse analysis tradition to make effective use of existing knowledge, to assist those without a policy voice to be heard at the table, and to democratize and legitimize policy development processes. In particular, public literacy policy needs to address a broader range of needs than the technical-rational needs of the labor market and the economy.

Yetman, G. (2010). The attrition problem in adult basic education: A literature review. (Unpublished project, Master of Arts). Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB.

ABSTRACT: This literature review explores the possible reasons why Adult Basic Education (ABE) students experience such a high rate of attrition and suggests ways to remove barriers to graduation. A significantly large portion of Canadian adults do not have sufficient literacy skills to function in a knowledge based economy, and ABE is one potential avenue of improving these skills. Despite the advantages and low cost of graduating from an ABE program, attrition rates remain as high as 50 percent or more in some programs. It is difficult to characterize ABE students since they are a very heterogeneous group, but they are all motivated, atleast initially, to complete their high school equivalency diploma. There are numerous reasons given for leaving ABE, but most can fall under one of five barriers to success: situational, institutional, attitudinal/dispositional, pedagogical, and academic. Women and men face the same barriers, but not in the same proportions. The literature suggests various ways of removing barriers, such as increasing childcare availability, assisting with financial difficulties, improving the learning environment, and ensuring that instructors utilize appropriate teaching techniques. However, removing barriers does not guarantee success, since it is only when adult learners make a strong commitment and the appropriate supports are in place is there a possibility of success (Thomas, 1990).

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