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Alberta's Aboriginal Teacher Education Program: A Little Garden Where Students Blossom

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  • Abstract: Aboriginal teacher education programs have existed in Canada for four decades. Their primary purpose is to increase the number of Aboriginal teachers in Canadian schools so more relevant and effective education can be provided for Aboriginal children than what federal and provincial schooling has offered them in the past. This article presents the results of an examination of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) at the University of Alberta tlrat took place between 2011 and 2015. The study examined the reasons why people enrol in ATEP, their experiences both in higher education and in ATEP specifically, the perceived adequacy of their preparation as teachers, and their experiences as beginning teachers in both provincial and band-controlled schools. It continues and expands on previous work with the Indian Teacher Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan. Our findings suggest that Aboriginal teachers often enter the teaching profession in response to the need for more effective and appropriate education for Aboriginal children, and that ATEP is adequately preparing them to provide culturally relevant and equal educational opportunities for Aboriginal children. Our participants' experiences as students in ATEP were overwhelmingly positive and culturally affirming. We conclude that ATEP is a high-calibre program that is making important contributions to improving education for Aboriginal peoples at all levels, and that it can serve as an exemplar for teacher education programs across Canada that have the same goal.
    Note: ERA deposit requested by 2 authors (Steinhauer, Wimmer) for course use because e-copy is unavailable and the journal is on hiatus (2021) so there is no one to confirm who can give permission to reproduce.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Martineau, C., Steinhauer, E., Wimmer, R., Vergis, E., & Wolfe, A (2015). Alberta's Aboriginal Teacher Education Program: A little garden where students blossom. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 38 (1), 121-148.