Back to Peer Presentation
Slides of PowerPoint
Outline of Discussion
Reflection on feedback:
I am glad to see that the points I discussed were relevant to the experiences
and ideas of the group. From the feedback provided, I believe that my
presentation and portfolio raised awareness of the dropout situation
Discussing cultural differences in a mixed cultural group can be difficult
especially when there may have been clashes in the past. Fortunately,
those in the group were open to understanding cultural differences and
welcomed information on cross-cultural communication.
The discussion on downshifting also seemed to connect for some members
of the group. Feedback shows that the experience of downshifting is
common and members of the group were able to see why downshifting can
One member of the group, who had helped me with the editing of the
capstone project, reported that I had covered the salient points without
missing important details. This was important to me; there is so much
information on the topic that it was difficult to know what points to
discuss. The mixed makeup of the audience dictated the need to cover
issues that were relevant to more than one stakeholder group. Had the
group been composed of only community members or only educators, the
presentation points would be different.
I am glad to know that the presentation format (PowerPoint presentation)
was interesting and eye-catching. This is a new mode for me and I learned
a great deal about this software by putting the presentation together
PMI Feedback Comments and Reflections
(P=Positive, M=Minus, I=I Wonder or
Audience participants were asked for
feedback the morning after the presentation. It was hoped that by waiting
until the next day for comments, participants would have more time to
consider the presentation and to consolidate their learning. They were
told at the end of the presentation that feedback was welcomed.
A PMI form was provided for feedback
but feedback in any other form was readily accepted. Below are the comments
that have been categorised together according to their connections.
My reflections on the comments are written to the left of the feedback.
Comments are grouped by author.
Positive (on Content)
- did not present a romantic idea of
why Inuit drop out
- good recommendations
- Your session synthesised your project
- You covered the salient points and
kept it brief without missing important details.
- You left us wanting more or certainly
interested in your project as a whole.
- I especially found the "Looking
at Cross-Cultural Differences" very interesting.
Growth of Understanding section really made me reflect on my own
teaching practice here in the Arctic, as well as my own set of values
and beliefs vis a vis the Inuit culture and the students I serve.
- interesting about parental involvement
- I felt your presentation was both
interesting and informative.
- I feel your information would benefit
teachers new to the area, as there is little information available
on Inuit students. I especially liked your points on Cross-Cultural
Differences. Eye contact, silence - the use of were two things I had
trouble with or I should say understanding when I first started teaching
this year. Your presentation brought a little more understanding to
me, of why, we as educators need to be aware of cross-cultural differences
and how they affect those involved in the education system.
- You did a wonderful job presenting
your portfolio. It was interesting and easy to understand!
- I feel that same way about this topic
as you do!
- good insight into dropout - reasons
and cultural aspect
- A lot of the presentation deals with
culture which no one seriously doubts as an important issue. It appears
though that the needs of Canadian society at large could be ignored
in an educational sense unless proper guidelines are established.
In other words culture should be used as a tool to further a good
education and not an excuse for watering down important subjects.
- Although it is popular these days
to slam the residential school system it appears that this experience
has not been all doom and gloom. A disproportionate amount of native
leaders have been produced by this system and not all comments from
involved parties have been negative. This success if one can call
it that has been probably due to single cultural entities being taught
together so perhaps lessons can be learned from their experiences.
For sure avenues should be explored in promoting the involvement of
Inuit students in southern educational facilities.
- With regard to grade grouping, while
most authorities do not appear to subscribe to this it would appear
that the alternative would put a lot of strain on the teaching staff.
Besides having to put up with the usual different levels of motivation
and intelligence the cultural background would tend lead to a bit
of chaos in the classroom.
- The British experience in dealing
with education in their now defunct empire may well be worthy of study
given that our experience in the arctic is not unlike the problems
they had to deal with in a cultural sense. The experience of India
in particular appears to show they made their association with the
British something positive.
- Culturally in the Canadian Arctic
knowledge and experience were what was mostly the prerequisite to
leadership a position which although not always sought was assumed
- You did raise some key points - ie.
Hiring practises and dropout dilemma
- you looked good and the format for
the presentation and the web site were attractive and interesting
- Your handouts were very helpful too.
- Presentation smooth, well prepared
- Graphics good - effective
- slides and handouts really added
to the presentation
- You spoke loud enough for everyone
to hear, and you stood off to the side so everyone could see.
- The graphics and font size on your
presentation were really good.
Reflection on feedback:
I could take some pointers on colour and font size when using the PowerPoint
presentation format. Apparently for a video type presentation darker
colours for the background are easier on the eye than brighter ones.
For overhead presentations backgrounds of lighter colours are easier
to read from than darker ones. I think the comment about the green slide
colour was a bit of humour because I had commented on the colour during
I checked the spelling problems thoroughly but I am sure that there
may be a few I missed. So sorry.
- the green colour in the slides is
really bright (Slide #44)
- You have a few spelling problems
in your capstone.
Reflection on feedback:
I hope that my presentation encouraged teachers to investigate their
own practices in terms of cultural dissimilarities as well as incompatibilities
of learning style. This awareness was what I was after.
I did not do a full blown research study on the factors contributing
to dropout. I did consider such a study but I wanted to focus on the
ways to reduce dropout rather than simply investigate the factors. A
next step would be to do such a study so that the factors that contribute
to the decision to leave school made by youth of Taloyoak can be determined.
I think that a study of this sort will find many of the factors that
I researched; as well, I suspect that the factors will overlap much
like what is illustrated by the clusters
I hope to have this portfolio posted on the Nunavut Department of Education
web site in the near future. Hopefully, this will help initiate further
study on the topic of Inuit dropout. A web posting will also allow prospective
teachers to become more knowledgeable about the challenges of teaching
in the north while at the same time, provide a resource for them.
I Wonder /
- I wonder if some of the staff who
were present thought of their own practice in terms of cultural dissimilarities
- I wonder now but should have wondered
earlier - did you interview any dropouts?
- Perhaps your project could have included
a section dedicated to interviewing Inuit Youth (those currently in
school and/or these who have dropped out) for rich qualitative data
to support your research. Not so much as actual research study per
se, since it could certainly be a thesis or back it in its own right.
- Create a feedback" section
on your web page.
- links to other journal or sites of
interest to readers
- Curriculum from Inuit source should
- transition from the land to town
usually loses 1 or 2 generations
- womens rights - expectation
for women lack of support
- Is there pride in accomplishment?
- I would have liked to have seen some
statistics on (for example) what for the last five years - the grade
12 grads and the dropouts of Netsilik School have been doing. (Just
because your presentation sparked interest.)
- Is it possible that the Nunavut Government
could get a copy and do further studies to educate the public on this
- with the world becoming such a small
Global Village we need to educate our children to communicate and
function within the new boundaries
- Teaching styles and learning styles
are not compatible for a variety of reasons in Nunavut. The correlation
between these two variables and dropout rate begs further explanation
Reflection on feedback:
The factors contributing to dropout are many but some comments that
came out of the presentation feedback made me curious. For example,
the communication topic that I discussed in the presentation basically
focused on the communication challenges between Native and Non-Native
members of the school community. One comment made me consider the impact
of the generation gap and language problems between young people and
older family members and other people in the community. The mixed messages
and confusion that teens in Taloyoak face are complicated by a language
gap and by a generational gap. Young people are slowly losing their
ability to speak Inuktitut and the older generation are unilingual in
Inuktitut. The world today is far different from the world with which
parents and elders had to content. There are few Inuit role models for
these children to follow; they are making their own way. Traditionally,
elders may have been able to provide guiding direction, through role
modeling, and now there is a lack of this type of communication between
the youth and the community.
The comment about dropouts of the past who were tolerated was particularly
interesting in when one considers the social acceptance of dropping
out of school in the present day.
Many of these comments can be grouped within the categories but a few
definitely shed more light on the topic. A full study begs to be done!
Factors - brainstorming
- They don't feel confident.
- teen pregnancy
- taking the roles and responsibilities
at home who have elderly parents
- they dropped out because they may
find a job
- tired of teacher
- no baby-sitter
- teens are getting mixed messages
because they are living in a different world that the last generation
- lack of communication with the community
for help to understand about their future
- Other factors include: drugs/gas
sniffing, drink (FAS/FAE), violence/abuse
- As there is no clear picture as to
what the future holds no relationship can be formed between education
and any career.
- No backup provided by parents
- Cultural drawbacks, i.e. non-involvement
- Generally Arctic communities are
too small to give proper perspective via a vis benefits of education.
- As a footnote it should be noted
that historically there were dropouts within the Inuit culture. These
are represented by groups or individuals less motivated than the real
movers and shakers in the hunter and trapper fraternity. Although
tolerated and supported these people tended to be marginalised within
their group as a whole.
- Of the many categories put forward
to explain this phenomenon the following appear to be the most crucial:-
- Lack of parenting skills based on
a general reluctance to adjust to the here and now as opposed to what
- Lack of home/school communications
- Home responsibilities
- Differing cultural backgrounds
- Low parental support
- Uncaring/untrained teachers
- Note: The above is not to imply that
culture is a drawback in the context of northern education but by
understanding its place in a modern society communities can look forward
to a more positive future.
- Racism: Not a great factor in this
community and possibly elsewhere in the arctic. However since the
creation of Nunavut it seems unfortunate that race has been factored
into the equation probably because expectations were too high resulting
in culture in a traditional sense being front and centre to far too
many issues. In many ways this has not helped the cause of education.
I am sure there are more ideas and suggestions to reduce dropout than
these two. It is interesting that these two suggestions are moves away
from traditionally stressed areas of education and academia. Interesting
thoughts when one considers that current push to 'back to the basics'
education and standardization. The 'basics' for Inuit may not be the
same 'basics' as what is determined by the mainstream society. Again,
food for thought. . .
Suggestions to reduce
- need more Cultural Inclusion in school
- teach a trade program in school