To Be or Not to Be Decolonized: A Medicine Wheel Healing Education Model

Theresa A. Papp


Colonization has created a sea of troubles for Aboriginal learners through Eurocentric practices and principles that have marginalized learners resulting in lower educational attainment levels. The best reconciliation approach would be to decolonize classrooms so non-traditional learners who fail in mainstream classrooms can excel. This qualitative case study of a high school, mainly consisting of Aboriginal students, presents a medicine wheel healing education model that has decolonized and indigenized the classrooms resulting in improved educational outcomes, increased credit completion, attendance, and graduation rates. More important, students felt pride and improved self-esteem to be Aboriginal. The teaching style emulated traditional Aboriginal teaching by being hands-on, experiential, wholistic, personal, cooperative, flexible, and self-paced while incorporating Aboriginal culture and knowledge into the curriculum.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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