Back to Peer Presentation


Slides of PowerPoint Presentation and Outline of Discussion Points


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 inhibit learning.

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 I Wish)

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 very well.
  • 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.
  • Your 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 by default.
  • You did raise some key points - ie. Hiring practises and dropout dilemma

Positive (on Presentation format)

  • you looked good and the format for the presentation and the web site were attractive and interesting modes
  • Excellent presentation!
  • 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 the presentation.

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 diagram.

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 Wish

  • 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 change also
  • transition from the land to town usually loses 1 or 2 generations
  • women’s 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 topic
  • 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 and research.

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 had
  • 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 etc. etc.
  • 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 has been.
  • 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 Inuit dropout:

  • need more Cultural Inclusion in school
  • teach a trade program in school