COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAM DELIVERY:
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND YOUTH CARE

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Student testimonial regarding Community-based Delivery of First Nations Partnership Program.

Accessibility: Closing the Gap Between Education and Community

For so many years now we've sent so many of our young people away for further education, and we're STILL waiting for them to come home.

Marie Leo, Elder, Mount Currie First Nation

A guiding principle of the Generative Curriculum Model is that capacity building initiatives are delivered in the community. In all of the First Nations Partnership Programs to date, students have not been required to travel to the university campus to attend courses. In some communities, students have traveled for a few days at a time to access suitable child and youth care programs for practica. In one partnership, involving six geographically dispersed communities, students chose to move to a town that was centrally located among the participating communities in order to avoid hazardous winter driving.

Because they didn't have to leave to take their training, the students never forgot that their community needed them to complete the program. And what they learned fit with the community, because they had the community right here to test out their ideas and get feedback.

Amelia Stark, Administrator, Tl'azt'en Nation



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Community participants in the evaluation project helped us to see that for many members of rural communities, 'distance education' is really the opposite of how it is conventionally defined. For them, distance education occurs when community members have to leave their communities -- travelling distances in order to access education and training. Using the Generative Curriculum Model, education is both spatially and socially 'closer to home', keeping students in close proximity to sources of knowledge and support in their own ecologies.


Student testimonial regarding Community-based Delivery of First Nations Partnership Program.

Community-based education: What's in a name?

First Nations child
In order to ensure that our culture will be reflected in the structure of children's services, we had to bring the training program to the community and bring the community into the training program. It was like a big circle.

Louise Underwood, Intergenerational Facilitator, Cowichan Tribes

The implications of basing a program in the community and involving the community throughout the delivery emerged in the evaluation project as one of the most distinctive features of the Generative Curriculum Model -- distinguishing it from 'good, constructivist, participatory pedagogy.' Instructors at mainstream campuses who were asked to comment on the model and compare it to their own teaching experiences pointed to the difficulty of 'doing' generative curriculum in programs where students are at a distance from their home communities.

The absence of community in traditional university education - and the exclusion of community even in some programs that are physically located in the community - create major challenges for making professional training relevant: students are not practicing with and receiving input and feedback from the people who they are training to serve. This comparative view of varying educational terrains came sharply into focus through the evaluation project.

In their accounts, many participants in the evaluation research pointed explicitly to the links between community-located program delivery, which enabled community inclusion in the education process, which led to community development. When the community is allowed entry into the education process and invited to play meaningful roles, the impacts of the training do not end inside the classroom; community members carried the training program with them into the broad ecology of children's lives.

I believe that if I had taken these 17 students and offered the program off reserve, we would have had a success rate of 20 or 25 percent. So what is the difference? Is it because we offered it here? That's one reason, but I think it is mainly due to the generative curriculum. What that implies to me is more than just a book curriculum, much more than academia. I think it is a total involvement of the community in ways such as bringing in Elders, making the community part of this. The way it was offered was unique.

Jenny Whitstone, Post-secondary Coordinator, Onion Lake First Nation

See also
       Personal and Cultural Healing
       Program Outcomes
       Vocational Outcomes
       Educational Outcomes

Community-base delivery Community-base delivery Community-base delivery
Community-base delivery Community-base delivery Community-base delivery
Community-base delivery Community-base delivery Community-base delivery