Academic persistence of Inuit students



There is a growing body of research attempting to identify the "causes" of academic failure.

The most frequently mentioned factors are the environment, socioeconomic factors, family, language and culture. These are presented as gaps to be filled, differences to be corrected, problems to be controlled. But the historical and social experiences of young people also demonstrate their great adaptability and resilience, which often go unnoticed.

We must recognize the different roles of the school and its staff in the lives of young people.

We must recognize the different roles of the school and its staff in the lives of young people (academic, cultural, identity, relational, emotional). Teachers are very sensitive to the difficulties experienced by students and, as a result, invest heavily in relational issues and behaviour management in the classroom, to the detriment of education and learning. But the two areas influence each other: academic success provides students with a positive sense of control and self-efficacy, which in turn affects their behaviour and self-esteem.

Contrary to what may be suggested by their behaviour, as perceived by their teachers, the majority of students have the desire to succeed, or at least to try. Despite their motivation (will), they do not always have the necessary knowledge background or a clear idea of the requirements of class projects and activities, and do not know how to approach them in a methodical way (power/know-how).

While expressing the difficulty of being on the edge of two worlds (Inuit and non-Inuit), the students nonetheless attempt to bring these two worlds together, and recognize the necessity of the school curriculum in addition to an excellent knowledge of their language, their culture and their traditions.

Main researcher

Tatiana Garakani, ÉNAP

Summary

Research report

Appendices

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: March 2015