Strategic Plan Project
A combination of individuals from Nunavut and elsewhere worked on this project, each with excellent experience in education and other kinds of aboriginal consulting projects.
Dr. DenisWall, lead consultant
A. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
This Project will result in a Strategic Plan for Curriculum and Resource Development for Education Nunavut - the Territorial Department of Education.
Other results of the Project will be a renewed, restructured, energetic and comprehensive process for the development and implementation of curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12. That process will itself result in program content that is developed and implemented locally; in other words, formal school programming will be Nunavut-based as well as community- and student -focused.>
This Project represents the first phase in the larger development process that will see residents of Nunavut in control of the content of school curriculum and resources, a responsibility that parallels provincial control over education.
The first phase of curriculum and resource development and implementation is the Final Report of this Project which will include a Strategic Plan. The contents of the Final Report are described next.
B. FINAL REPORT CONTENT DESCRIPTION
Section One: Literature and Document Reviews
Section One of the Report will provide a comprehensive overview of curriculum policies, strategies and content from school jurisdictions where local control of curriculum and resource development is a high priority.
Section Two: Community-based Research
This Section will report on the results of opinions provided by Community individuals and groups, through interviews, discussions, or surveys.
Section Three: Summary of Issues
A summary of issues identified in the previous two sections is important to understanding why the Strategic Plan is structured in a particular way.
This section will provide insights into a. the strengths of the current curriculum and resources, b. the gaps in the current program, c. the issues facing restructuring, and d. the challenges that may be expected during curriculum development and implementation.
Section Four: The Strategic Plan
Section Four will describe in detail the structure of a process for curriculum and resource development and implementation. It will include proposals for the organization of the process, the support resources required, timetables, and brief discussions explaining why certain approaches are suggested. It will include:
Section Five: Appendices
Education Nunavut Manager
2. PROJECT RESEARCH PRINCIPLES
One key to providing a community-relevant, clear and focused Strategic Plan is the initial development of research Principles. This section outlines some of the principles on which the Final Report will be based.
The Principles described here are in addition to those identified in the RFP; both will guide the research and development of the curriculum and resource Strategic Plan.
Central to these Principles is the imbedding of curriculum and resource development in the community for which they are intended. In addition, the Education Nunavut curriculum and resource development approach will need to be:
Principle 1: Curriculum and Resource Development and Implementation
a. Community members and Education Nunavut staff should be provided with training in the development and implementation of: curriculum, resources, and the Strategic Plan.
b. The Strategic Plan should outline a process that
c. Curriculum, and the processes of development and implementation, should be platforms for the integration of the school into the community.
Principle 2: Capacity Building
a. Curriculum and resource development and implementation should be a venue for building the capacity of Inuit to lead the process.
b. It is important that Inuit teachers and teachers-in-training be encouraged to participate in the process of development and implementation. It may be appropriate to provide participants with credit toward teacher certification or some other form of recognition for their work on the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
Principle 3: Balancing Community Needs and Standardization
a. Standardization and modularization may be necessary aspects of curriculum and resource development and implementation; but these must also be flexible enough to meet and respect diverse community, cultural and regional needs.
b. Delivery methods (e.g. use of communications technology) need to account for diverse community and cultural needs.
Principle 4: Accessibility to Curriculum Information
Residents of Nunavut must have access to the curriculum and its components. The language must be appropriate to various groups.
Principle 5: Curriculum Delivery
All school staff (elders, principals, teachers, instructors, assistants etc.) and community members will require time and support to learn and implement new curriculum and resources.
Principle 6: Use of Communications Technology
a. Communications technology should be used wisely. It should be a support to community, students and education staff members.
b. It should NOT be used to help replace individual involvement or community and personal expertise.
c. Communications technology must be monitored and evaluated for impact, acceptability, and cost.
Principle 7: Understanding the Nunavut Education System
a. Education Nunavut is a complex system. Each point in the system will influence others. As a result, a co-operative set of working relationships should be established in the Strategic Plan.
b. The Strategic Plan must recognize the need to enhance teaching in, and the use of, Nunavut languages.
Principle 8: Research, History and Records
a. Records of effective, promising and best curriculum development practices should be maintained (possibly as a database) and be available to Nunavut residents.
b. The Strategic Plan must recognize the continuing need for research into Inuit and community cultures.
Principle 9: The Management of the Curriculum and Resource Development and Implementation
a. The Strategic Plan should describe the requirements for Nunavut leadership and decision-making in the curriculum development process.
b. The Strategic Plan should identify points of formative and summative evaluation.
3. RESEARCH ACTIVITY
Community members such as teacher-assistants, students, and consultants, who will be identified as community-based activities are undertaken, will provide assistance with various activities.
Throughout the project communication will be maintained with the Advisory Committee - Nunavut Education project management staff - and the team working on the Language of Instruction study.
PROJECT ACTIVITY STAGES
Stage 1: Orientation Meeting in Iqaluit
The Stage is orientation meetings between Dr. D. Wall, Bryan Robinson, Carol Orr, Patrick Cummins, Education Nunavut staff and many other community members in Iqaluit and Arviat to discuss major elements of project including research plans, research questions, as well as approaches to curriculum and resource development processes.
These meetings took place in March.
Stage 2: Literature, Document and Interview Reviews
A document and literature review will outline Nunavut, national and international curriculum development, inservice/training and delivery approaches and issues. Not only will it include a priority focus on circumpolar approaches but it will include also a secondary focus on international approaches which may be relevant. The following are the subsections of this stage:
Stage 3: Development of Community Research Questions
It is critical that the research questions be developed in conjunction with the Education Nunavut Team and others, including the Language Development Team. The broad questions will lead to the development of questionnaires for personal interviews, and for community surveys.
Stage 4: Community-based Survey Research
To gain an understanding of community views and to ensure that community views are incorporated into the Curriculum Strategic Plan, The Team will conduct surveys in all communities.
1. Surveys of students
Surveys for selected samples of students will be faxed to the school, administered confidentially by teachers and returned to DWRG from the school. The questionnaires will be developed during Stage 3 above.
2. Surveys of teachers
Surveys of all community language teachers, teacher assistants, teachers, adult educators will be faxed to the principal of the each school and administered confidentially by him or her. The completed surveys will be returned to DWRG.
3. Surveys of DEA members
Surveys of all community DEA members will be faxed to the principal of the each school and administered confidentially by him or her. The completed surveys will be returned to DWRG.
4. Surveys of parents and elders
Surveys of parents and elders will be faxed to the principal of the each school. Inuktitut surveys will be available. The assistance of the DEA will be needed to successfully administer these surveys.
Stage 5. Telephone interviews
Sixty telephone interviews will be conducted with individuals identified in consultation with the Education Nunavut Management Team. These interviews will use questionnaires developed in Stage 3 and will be conducted in Inuktitut, where necessary.
Stage 6: Community Visits
This Stage consists of four community visits of 4 days each to hold meetings with elders, community members, students, principal and school staff members.
Stage 7: Report Delivery and Writing
The Draft Report will be discussed with the Education Nunavut Management Team prior to October 20.
The Final Report will be delivered to the Education Nunavut Management Team on or about October 31. The meeting will include a debriefing report on the process and issues related to the implementation of the Final Report.
4. THE CONSULTING GROUP
Consulting assistance and translators will be required at the community meetings. These individuals will be identified as the project progresses with advice from the Project Management Team and others based in Nunavut.