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Teaching in a Cold and Windy Place

Teaching in a Cold and Windy Place: Change in an Inuit School

Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 163
  • Book Info
    Teaching in a Cold and Windy Place
    Book Description:

    In 1987 Joanne Tompkins travelled to the Baffin Island community of Anurapaqtuq to take on the job of principal at the local school. This is the story of the four years she spent there and the many challenges she faced.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8039-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Prologue
    (pp. 3-4)

    School-based education, in the form of federal schools, has only formally existed in the Eastern Arctic for the past thirty-five years. There were schooling efforts by the Roman Catholic and Anglican missionaries beginning in the late 1800s (Blacklead Island). Although most schooling was largely catechetical in nature, there was a high degree of literacy achieved among the Inuit during this period (Hinds 1958). Compared to many other native communities in Canada, formal education here is still barely out of its infancy. However, in thirty-five years the pattern of evolution of formal education there has not differed greatly from that in...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Telling the Story
    (pp. 5-11)

    This chapter describes the methodology that I used to create this story so that the reader will have a rationale and an understanding for what is to follow in the next five chapters.

    Narrative is the study of how humans make meaning of experience by endlessly telling and retelling stories about themselves that both refigure the past and create purpose in the future.

    Connelly and Clandinin (1988, 24)

    It became clear to me very soon after I arrived in Anurapaktuq (meaning ‘place that is usually windy’) in 1987 that I was involved in an incredibly interesting journey, personally and professionally....

  6. CHAPTER TWO The Context of Anurapaktuq
    (pp. 12-36)

    This narrative is written about a part of Canada that is far away in distance and sometimes in time from mainstream Canadian life. It is important for the reader to understand the context in which this story takes place; hence, I have included this chapter as a means of trying to situate the reader in my shoes. I describe the history, ecology, and sociology of the community itself and I also try to describe my own history, which greatly influences the ways in which I was and was not able to interact with the community. For purposes of this monograph...

  7. CHAPTER THREE On Change and Changes
    (pp. 37-48)

    Having set the context for the narrative in the last chapter I will now begin to tell the story. It is constructed around major themes taken from Cummins’s (1986) framework. In this chapter I will provide evidence of the changes that did occur in the school from 1987 to 1991. The notes that follow this chapter represent my analysis of my understanding of the change process in light of the literature reviewed.

    Change did occur over the period from 1987 to 1991. Comparing that four-year period to the previous eight years in Anurapaktuq, or to the same four-year period in...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR The Program
    (pp. 49-88)

    In this chapter I discuss the strategies that occurred at the classroom and school level that I feel led to change in the school. I use the work of Cummins (1986) as a template for looking at four major strands of instructional intervention. For the purposes of writing this monograph I have separated issues of instruction (chapter 4) from issues of staffing (chapter 5). Obviously, in real life schools do not divide in such a neat manner; personnel and school program and programming interact and influence each other. Under ‘Pedagogy’ I examine teaming and theming, the use of learning centres...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Staffing
    (pp. 89-110)

    In this chapter I will deal with the important issue of staffing. A key issue to creating schools which reflect the culture of the Inuit is to have staff who reflect the culture of the community working in the school. Much of this chapter deals with issues of training and developing Inuit educators; skills training as well as empowerment are discussed. In addition, as with chapter 3, there is another stream running through the chapter that deals with issues related to teacher development generally, be it in the Baffin or in southern Canada. The relationships between Qallunaaq teachers and Inuit...

  10. CHAPTER SIX The Role of the Principal
    (pp. 111-126)

    In this chapter I examine my role as principal and how I think I influenced change in the school. I have divided the chapter into three sections. The first looks at the philosophical orientation that I think a principal needs to have – faith, vision, and patience. The second section looks at time and how I tried to use it. The third explores the ethic of caring in relation to the role of principal.¹

    When I talk to others about my work in Anurapaktuq, I am often asked two questions. The first is ‘How did you find time to do...

  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 127-132)

    The process of writing this monograph was a challenging one. It was difficult to use writing as a medium for describing such a complex, interwoven organism as a school. In the writing, I acted as if I could simply take a piece of the school and examine it in isolation, yet at the same time show how that piece acted in a dynamic, interactive fashion as part of the whole. However, the act of writing helped me to clarify, and also gain insight into, what I really thought and understood about each component of the school. In spite of a...

  12. APPENDIX ONE: Anurapaktuq School Goals, 1987–1988
    (pp. 133-136)
  13. APPENDIX TWO: School Discipline Policy
    (pp. 137-140)
  14. References
    (pp. 141-144)
  15. Index
    (pp. 145-153)