Skilling Up Teachers in Land-Based Education: A Micro-Credential Opportunity
December 8, 2021
Micro-credentials are a relatively new concept, but they are quickly becoming the latest and most valued solution to upskilling, reskilling and building news skills among the employed and unemployed. We shared some of the benefits of micro-credentials in a recent blog post.
As part of our work at Actua to empower educators with practical tools and resources to support youth in building skills and confidence in STEM, we are now offering educators opportunities to gain micro-credentials as a way to recognize and develop their skills portfolio.
Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin InSTEM Teacher Training
In June 2021, Actua, in partnership with network member Canadore College, hosted the Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin InSTEM Teacher Training. This five-session training course was Actua’s first micro-credentialed program. Participants had the opportunity to earn a series of digital badges, which culminated in a full Actua InSTEM Teacher Training Micro-Credential.
The training program was developed and delivered by Indigenous community leaders, knowledge keepers and STEM content practitioners and focused on highlighting the important link between Indigenous Land-Based Knowledge and STEM education. Specifically, participants discovered how to align STEM with Indigenous ways of knowing through land-based learning, which engages participants in experiential learning that builds knowledge and fosters curiosity about the interconnections between land and people.
In the end, participants gained a greater understanding of:
- their own personal educational and cultural journey;
- awareness, empathy and compassion, all of which are important for teaching, sharing and learning with students;
- knowledge of Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous world-views;
- the relationship between Indigenous languages and the land;
- inter-connectivity and holistic approaches to teaching and learning;
- self-care (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual);
- the impact of colonialism on Indigenous Peoples;
- sustainability and environmental stewardship;
- how to build community;
- how to share vision and knowledge with the next generation; and
- how to integrate STEAM into Indigenous understanding and local knowledge.
By completing all five training sessions, participants earned two digital micro-credential badges – the Indigenous Knowledge Discovery badge and the Integrated Knowledges digital badge. The two were linked together to complete the full micro-credential. Actua was able to issue these verifiable credentials to successful participants through our micro-credentialing platform, Badgr.
Here’s what a few of the participants had to say about the program:
This program has given me the courage to start important conversations with Indigenous people that I wouldn’t have had in the past. It has given me tons of questions to ask, and the curiosity to learn more.
Even though I do not currently teach students with an Indigenous background, I really believe it is important to incorporate Indigenous contributions and land-based education, and I’m very excited to implement these practices into my classroom.
Actua is now building on the Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin InSTEM Teacher Training Micro-Credential for future delivery through our summer InSTEM program. Our expanded training efforts will enable large numbers of teachers and educators to participate across the country.