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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/14

Title: The Hollow Bone Hunter's Search for Sacred Space in Cyberspace: A Two World Story
Authors: Helmer, Joyce M.
Supervisor(s): Hoven, Debra (Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Johnson, Leslie (Centre for Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Athabasca University)
Willet, Cameron (Laurentian University)
Hart, Michael (University of Manitoba)
Degree: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: Indigenous education
Indigenous pedagogy
Issue Date: 29-Feb-2012
Abstract: The goal of this study was to examine Indigenous Teaching Circles and their applicability in an online Distance Education setting. The objectives were twofold (1) to define Aboriginal Teaching Circles as a formal method of instruction for cultural teaching in a post-secondary environment, and (2) to identify what elements of Indigenous Teaching Circles would be possible to translate into an online environment. In order to gain a better understanding of the aforementioned I interviewed seven Indigenous Knowledge Keepers who worked in post-secondary institutions and were keepers of the traditional Indigenous values and beliefs. Drawing on the stories from the participant Knowledge Keepers I define the various Indigenous Circle pedagogies and their subsequent compositions. This thesis confirms that Indigenous Teaching Circles can be conducted in a computer mediated environment with specific instructional design strategies. The most compelling finding in this thesis was the exploration of the inclusion of spiritual entities as participants in the Circles. These presences are referred to as unseen “helpers” and each of the participants interviewed commented on their existence in various ways. This concept is particularly important as these helpers were identified as residing in a virtual world therefore making teaching and learning that much more significant if one believes in this phenomenon. There is no doubt from the data collected that cultural teaching requires a shift in planning and implementation and this thesis offers some suggestions for planning and designing culturally accurate teaching and learning activities.
Graduation Date:  -1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/14
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