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Indigenous Education Network

Dr. Sandra Styres, PhD

Sandra.Styres@utoronto.ca

 

Photo of Dr. Sandra Styres

Sandra Styres is of Mohawk, English and French descent, and resides on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario. She is actively involved in her community facilitating research and working with language councils and various community and scholarly experts in the field of language and Aboriginal education. Sandra joined OISE in January 2014 and teaches Language, Literacy and Curriculum in Aboriginal Education in several programs and is Chair of the IEN. Her research interests include: teaching and learning in Indigenous contexts; Land-centered approaches to language, literacy, and curriculum; as well as, integration of Indigenous teaching and learning in higher education with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

Teaching Overview

CTL3023H Introduction to Aboriginal Land-centered Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

This course is designed as an introductory course for both Aboriginal (FNMI) and non-Aboriginal educators and professional practitioners focusing on issues related to teaching and learning in Aboriginal contexts in both urban and rural communities in Canada and more generally across Turtle Island (North America). We will be examining Indigenous ways of knowing and consider the ways this knowledge may inform teaching and professional practices for the benefit of all. Historical, social, and political issues as well as cultural, spiritual and philosophical themes will be examined in relation to developing culturally relevant and responsive curricula, pedagogies and practices. There is a particular emphasis placed on understandings of land and culture as it relates to constructions of the self in relation to education. The course is constructed around three modules. The first module focuses on exploring historical, social and political contexts, background and related factors that have and continue to influence current realities of FNMI students in Canada. The second module of the course focuses on examining where we are now – here in this time – particularly with regard to educational considerations which includes constructions of the self and community engagement. The third module explores some of the ways we might all move forward together in respectful relationships.


CTL 3038H Aboriginal Civilization: Language, Culture & Identity

This course is designed for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators and professional practitioners and examines Aboriginal (FNMI) perspectives on language, culture, and identity while looking at how this knowledge can inform teacher and professional practices to the benefit of all learners. In relation to developing culturally relevant and responsive curriculum, pedagogies and professional practices we will explore some of the tangled historical, socio-cultural and -political issues.  We will also develop an understanding of FNMI peoples as a complete civilization (a complete way of being in the world) that includes the complex interplay of various aspects of civilization such as culture, literacies, language, arts, architecture, spiritual practices, and philosophical themes. Educators and professional practitioners will come away with enhanced critical thinking skills and active engagement with the issues through discussions and hands-on learning opportunities in order to move forward and be able to create more inclusive, fulfilling learning environments in both urban and rural contexts.


CTL3039H   Literacies of Land: Narrative, Storying and Literature

This course is designed for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators and professional practitioners and examines Aboriginal (FNMI) perspectives on literacies grounded in understandings of Land (capital “L”) while looking at how these literacies can inform teacher and professional practices to the benefit of all learners. In relation to developing culturally relevant and responsive curriculum, pedagogies and professional practices we will explore some of the various literacies and ways to support literacy success in classrooms.  We will explore culturally aligned texts, stories, and oral narratives together with symbolically rich themes that support literacies of land as living and emergent. Educators and professional practitioners will come away with enhanced critical thinking skills and active engagement with the issues concerning literacies through discussions and hands-on learning opportunities in order to move forward and be able to create more inclusive, fulfilling learning environments in both urban and rural contexts.

 

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