:sync: One Thing Leads to Another: A Story of Art, Indigeneity and Open Pedagogy in K12 Education

Authors: Sarah Hammershaimb, Connie Blomgren
Institutions: Athabasca University (Athabasca, Alberta, Canada), Athabasca University
Countries: United States, Canada

Topic: Connecting Open Education to Primary and Secondary (K-12) Education
Sector: K-12
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Presentation


In this presentation, we will describe our partnership with the Annora Brown: Art, Life, and Legacy (ABALL) project. This partnership culminated in a professional learning experience for K12 educators, where they were introduced to the use and reuse of OER for instruction and curriculum development. The educators were subsequently invited to participate in an OER Commons and What’s App group to continue constructing curriculum together, and practice engaging in a participatory learning network, thus supporting a more open pedagogy (Hegarty, 2015).

Annora Brown was a conservationist, educator, and artist who spent most of the early and mid-1900s in Southwestern Alberta, Canada. Her artwork depicting local flora and the Blackfoot culture hang in private galleries and at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Annora Brown website came together in 2016 to preserve her unique contribution to and representation of Canadian landscape and life. In 2019, we joined ABALL to promote the legacy of Annora Brown, highlight the educational potential of her art and observations, and provide an opportunity for educators to assess the value and possible contribution of OER for instruction and curriculum development.

What we discovered in the course of this partnership and the development of this experience for K12 educators was that one thing always leads to another, bringing both opportunities and challenges. We began with a relationship with the Annora Brown education group, and this led to topics related to what it means to be an Indigenous ally, in the past and present. We recognized that the writings and artwork of Annora Brown would supplement provincial social studies, science, and art curriculum, while providing important perspectives on the relationship between settlers and indigenous people in the early 1900s. The inclusion of OER instruction and Creative Commons licensing as part of the professional learning session for K12 educators was another part of the story. The creation of an openly licensed repository of photographs of local wildflowers, which appear in the paintings of Annora Brown, is an open resource developed from this project, with more to come.

Hegarty, B. (2015). Attributes of open pedagogy: A model for using open educational resources. Educational Technology, 3-13.


Open educational resources, Professional learning, Interdisciplinary

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Associated resources
Slide presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OT4JTrda5fEN0FrHgMhvAkFCQbtxbz2YWZNlxWGzni0/edit#slide=id.gac01032893_0_1

Annora Brown Project website:

BOLT blog with Creative Commons resources:

Recording for the session: