Strength in Numbers: Learning Together in Online Communities – A Learner Support System for Adult First Nation Students and Practitioners

Heather Sanguins


Longstanding calls for return to self-government and continuing alienation of First Nations’ youth from mainstream educational systems point to the need for provision of adult education that serves First Nations’ needs. An adaptable and culturally coherent learner support system for adult education programs for First Nation students and practitioners is proposed that can be adapted for use by different groups and for different subjects to support self-determination and self-government. Using online Communities of Interest (for learners) and Communities of Practice (for practitioners) is culturally appropriate and would facilitate engagement of students and practitioners, particularly in view of the importance that First Nations place on community. Establishment and evaluation of a pilot project to test the approach is recommended. Because of its relevance to self-determination and self-government, bookkeeping is recommended to be the first curricular subject to demonstrate the learner support system.


Adult education; Bookkeeping; Communities of Interest; Communities of Practice; Constructivist learning; Sociocultural theory

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