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Monday, May 11 • 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Place based assignments and Intercultural learning: Sharing our stories.

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Title: Place based assignments and Intercultural learning: Sharing our stories.

From an educator’s perspective, the myriad of world views and experiences of students in the classroom provide opportunities for new ways of knowing, seeing, and experiencing the world. Place-based education has the capacity to extend the learning community beyond the parameters of the university and to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous, domestic and international students into conversations about the local landscapes we occupy.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) report included “Calls to Action” inviting post-secondary institutions to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in order to build capacity for understanding, empathy, and respect. This invitation is important and at the same time intimidating: as a non-Indigenous instructor, Indigenous histories, knowledge and stories do not belong to me.

But what if we begin the conversation with intercultural learning, and make room for multiple narratives and perspectives of place that include Indigenous-non-Indigenous, domestic, and international students? A common theme arising from intercultural and place-based pedagogies is the importance of understanding histories and the political and cultural context in which world views of individuals and societies have emerged. Perhaps my role as a non-indigenous instructor is to create a safe environment and hold space for difficult conversations to take place.

Often students arrive on our campuses with limited knowledge or preconceived notions of the places they have come to live and study. Place-based assignments that challenge or stimulate reflection on previous assumptions enable global and local perspectives to inform each other. When students are given opportunities to share and reflect upon different world views, an opportunity arises to shift attitudes and build intercultural understanding particularly in context of local and global Indigenous and colonial histories.

In this session I will draw on student reflections of colonial histories and contemporary Indigenous issues to illustrate how Indigenous focused place-based pedagogy can create “aha” moments for students and instructors. While the reflections are selected from undergraduate courses in tourism, this session is designed to engage faculty and practitioners across disciplines in conversations about how to situate Indigenous histories and place knowledge at the center of intercultural learning and teaching.

avatar for Robin Reid

Robin Reid

Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism, Thompson Rivers University
Robin Reid is an Assistant Professor in the Tourism Management Department at TRU. Her involvement with TRU’s Pedagogy of Place Research Group and TRU’s Interculturalizing the Curriculum program provides a background for pedagogical re-visioning and curriculum development that... Read More →

Monday May 11, 2020 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Ballroom 1
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