Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 61

61 Arctic Yearbook 2014 between awareness and action: “learning about it does make us more aware of things, but not many teens that I know of would take action for it.” As students become aware of the structures of domination and the role of institutions which reinforce them, in the absence of a coherent social movement to promote an alternative, there is a risk of paralysis and pessimism. Therefore transformative learning can occur only when “critical reflection and social action are part of the same process;” maintaining critical hope reinforces the capacity to understand that although we cannot change the past, we are not held prisoner by it (Regan 2010: 23). Breaking free from students’ feelings of disillusionment requires considering how empowering the effects of students’ small everyday actions towards decolonization can be. As discussed, the territorial education departments made efforts to bridge the reported gap between learning and action when designing the module’s second edition. The addition of the final project activity was described in a backgrounder in the second edition of the teacher’s guide. For each project option, student examples were provided on a DVD accompanying module materials, to enable students to visualize the influence their work can have (Personal Communication, M. Willett, June 15, 2013). The changes made for the module’s second edition have made a concrete difference for student civic learning outcomes, interpreted as the students’ sense of ability and confidence to engage in citizenship and create change in their own community.12 In 2014, Teachers across three regions provided examples of students’ increased understanding of democratic values, though not all classrooms experienced this outcome. One teacher explained the sense of empowerment on civic affairs that his students came away with: The students also related the history to the current political climate. Twenty some students held a mock vote on rations in the liquor store – the ration system was removed 2 years ago. (The module’s activity) set the stage for proactive political engagement and how to do something about it. One