Talking Circles originated with Aboriginal leaders. The process was used to ensure that all leaders in the tribal council were heard without interruption. Talking Circles are a foundational component of Aboriginal pedagogy. They provide a framework that promotes dialogue, respect, interconnectedness, and socially constructed meaning. They are constructivist in nature and offer a framework that fits very well with the tenants of the new provincial curriculum.
Talking Circles will provide students in our district with an opportunity to express themselves in a safe and respectful environment. In taking part, students will find their voice and become more confident. As well, participating in Talking Circles will give all students the opportunity to listen and learn from each other.
Our district WellAhead team believes that Talking Circles will be impactful on student mental wellness in that they allow people free expression. Those in the circle are empowered to find their voice, to feel heard, and to feel supported. It also allows individuals the opportunity to hear learn from others and to display respect towards them.
So far, we have implemented talking circles in each of our four schools. Teachers have chosen a special place within the classroom to practice them. The talking circle begins with a short breathing practice. As students ‘gather themselves’ the practice begins. Some teachers are use stories to teach life lessons and facilitate discussions.
Communication and Personal & Social