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Teachers and principals' perceptions of citizenship development of Aboriginal high school students in the province of Manitoba : an exploratory study



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This study sought to describe the congruence between Aboriginal student citizenship development, as manifested in behaviour, and the prescribed outcomes of Canadian citizenship for selected secondary schools in Manitoba, as perceived by secondary principals and teachers. Citizenship, the condition of living in a shared society and the standard of conduct that allows those in a particular society to live harmoniously and prosper, has become an important goal for public education in the Province of Manitoba. Citizenship is also prevalent concept within many documents and policy developments.The values of Canadian citizenship used in this study were derived from the framework of six values used in the development of Manitoba’s most recent Social Studies curriculum (2004b; 2004c). These six civic values are equality, respect for cultural differences, freedom, peace, law and order, and environmental stewardship. These same values were employed in the development of the survey to acquire quantitative data using Likert-scale items. Qualitative data were acquired through a set of open-ended questions on the survey and through interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed with the use of chi square analysis and descriptive statistical measures including ANOVAs. Qualitative data were analyzed through a method of constant comparison in order to establish themes.For the most part, Aboriginal students from Manitoba high schools do behave in a manner congruent with the values of Canadian citizenship. There were some differences in the way principals and teachers perceived Aboriginal student behaviour, that Aboriginal students family backgrounds presented challenges to educational attainment, and that educational administration was a subject that can be dealt with in numerous curricular and extra-curricular forums. There were some exceptions to these findings manifest in both the quantitative data and qualitative data. Amongst other things, the qualitative data suggested that citizenship development should be a localized process with genuine community involvement. The implications of these findings suggest a need for the development of curricula that is congruent with traditional Indigenous ways of learning, provision of opportunities for practical experiences in the area of citizenship development, and increased research into schools on First Nations communities in the area of citizenship development. Such developments may facilitate citizenship development for Aboriginal students through the provision of education that is sensitive to Aboriginal perspectives and circumstances.



Social Studies, Native Studies, Aboriginal Education, Education, Citizenship Education, Curriculum Studies



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Administration


Educational Administration


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