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Curriculum Learning Wheel

The Curriculum Learning Wheel Medicine Wheels are schematics that portray various aspects of First Nations’ world view perspectives and consciousness. The Medicine Wheel is a circle which forms the basis for all teachings. Learned Elders share teachings orally and the process of relaying information and guidance to the listener forms an important component of the Anishinaabek oral tradition. Four is an important number within most Medicine Wheel teachings to represent things that have four elements (eg. four seasons, four directions, four elements of nature, four sacred medicines, four races of people). There are many Medicine Wheel Teachings and in each, the hub or circle is used to represent concepts, shown visually, such as the Stages of Life, Seven Grandfathers, Four Aspects of a Person/Wellness Wheel. Usually the circle is comprised of four parts. The circle demonstrates a balanced state among all four components and how a change in one area affects change in all of the other areas. Inter-relationships and balance within the circle are important. The Curriculum Learning Wheel represents a holistic approach to learning. As one acquires new knowledge each aspect of the learner is involved. Learning is a life-long process. Learner/ teacher roles and relationships are interchangeable. Both the learner/teacher share a strong commitment to their relationship, that is based on mutual respect. All aspects of the learner are addressed within the classroom and Aboriginal Perspectives (Grades 1-8) curriculum. The Spiritual (spirit) aspect of learning has to do with personal connections, values, and intuition about a topic. The learner’s deep, often intangible connections to natural elements lead them to new understandings and realization of special gifts and talents. The learner places these in their “bundle” for future reference and the bundle benefits the learner and others that they come into contact with as the process of life-long learning unfolds.

Introduction


Curriculum Learning Wheel The learner’s insight from their story/life path is blended with novel understandings and skills to create a personal vision. The Physical (body) aspect of learning involves physical engagement of the learner and purposeful behaviour that relates to the topic. Students acquire or refine skills and demonstrate understanding about how something is done. The Emotional (heart) aspect of learning taps into the student’s personal feelings and self- knowledge as they process and relate to a classroom topic and interact with others. A person tends to remember and learn from experiences that tap into the emotional aspect. Each individual is part of the learning community and so relationships and expression of personal reactions and feelings are spontaneous. The Mental (mind) aspect of learning engages the learner to think about, visualize, reflect on, make meaning, and remember new information. This forms the learner’s attitude towards a topic. The colours and placement of things on the medicine wheel vary from community to community. There is no one way that is considered “the correct way”. What is important for you to know is that the Medicine Wheel represents a wholistic perspective and by including it in this curriculum framework, we are ensuring that each aspect of the learner is being nurtured.

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