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Assessing Bilingual Education in Nunavut; Has Mother Tongue Instruction Decolonized Our Minds - Research Paper Example

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This paper aims to assess whether the aims of such reforms have been achieved, to note any unintended consequences of the policy and to assess the potential of future reform policy. This paper advances the argument that bilingual education had limited success in achieving its original aims…
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Assessing Bilingual Education in Nunavut; Has Mother Tongue Instruction Decolonized Our Minds
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Download file to see previous pages In many cases, Bibles translated into local tongues were the first, primary or only tool for instruction.
The history of “native” education in Canada is no exception to this overall pattern. The first schools in the Canadian North were residential mission schools established by Anglican and Catholic missionaries. These early schools carried out instruction and religious education in local languages. As government education policy regarding First Canadians consolidated and government support for education in the North increased, there was a resultant shift toward English only instruction in schools that served Inuit students (Patrick, 250-254). At the time, this was viewed as a solution to unemployment and lack of economic integration (Patrick & Shearwood251, Aylward).
By the 1960’s a global push was underway for “decolonization” of the education of indigenous communities, which included instruction in native languages (Patrick & Sherwood 255). The reasoning behind this shift was that students would be more successful in their academic pursuits when instructed in their native languages, while such instruction would provide avenues for advancement among adults in indigenous communities. At a deeper level, decolonization of education was linked to the broader political and cultural effort to “decolonize the mind” of indigenous communities, a phrase made popular through the writings of Franz Fanon. Instruction in Inuit languages would allow students to avoid the destructive colonial condition of viewing oneself and one's communities through the eyes of colonial authority and instead promote the development of a sophisticated, literate Inuit subjectivity.
Now, forty years later, bilingual education and other anti-colonial educational reforms have had a chance to take on this enormous task.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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