In Fall 2021, only days after UBC commemorated Orange Shirt Day and the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, What I Learned in Class Today: Educational Experiences and Institutional Responses released the first article in their new Student Perspectives series. The remaining articles will be published throughout the 2021-22 academic year in tandem with the projected release of a film highlighting student experiences in Spring 2022.
A key takeaway from the original project that is explored in the new iteration is that events and conversations happening in society directly impact student experiences of classroom content and campus climate. This observation is addressed in the Student Perspectives article series through the project’s central research question:
How has the campus and classroom climate related to Indigenous topics changed since the original project debuted in 2007?
The series will explore nuanced answers to this question by turning to student stories. We also invite our readership to reflect on their relationship to this question through opportunities for deeper learning at the conclusion of each article.
From gathering student stories to the Student Perspectives articles, students are guiding this iteration of the project as they did in the original project. This article series highlights firsthand accounts of student experiences with the intention to shape and change the classroom and campus climate at UBC. The articles will invite learning at all levels and while this iteration is more student-focused than the Faculty Perspectives series, all members of the UBC community–staff and administrators, faculty and instructors, TAs, and alumni–will also learn from these materials. From 2007 to our present moment, WILICT has centered student voices with the intention of calling UBC leaders and educators in positions of power to mobilize from within their roles to create more supportive campus and classroom environments for all.
The articles will explore key themes including:
- The importance of centering Indigenous student voices
- People & place: learning locally and relationship building
- Knowledge gaps and a lack of Indigenous content outside of Indigenous Studies
- The ‘Indigenous student as expert’ trope
- Indigenous student advocacy and resistance in the classroom
- The relationship between silence & power
- Campus-wide impact of Indigenous initiatives