Event Date & Time
What would support for Indigenous students look like in departments, faculty and by staff? What are some of the ways in which Indigenous students approach and experience their education processes differently from other student groups?
This session invites you to approach these questions with the concept of “bandwidth,” which helps us consider underlying factors of Indigenous students’ learning experiences and outcomes. Bandwidth refers to cognitive and mental resources that are available to one to learn and perform. The literature shows that bandwidth is important for how effectively students can accomplish various tasks including learning, keeping track of information, and planning. It is important to consider factors that support or deplete students’ bandwidth. In particular, students from marginalized backgrounds tend to face numerous factors (e.g., racism, belonging uncertainty, family obligations) that deplete their mental bandwidth, hindering their ability to fully engage with learning and perform to their potential.
After providing a brief literature review of bandwidth, including undermining factors and strategies to mitigate them, we showcase an undergraduate research project that the Department of Psychology has launched to better understand and support Indigenous students in the department – in terms of experiences within the department that support/deplete bandwidth, and how the department and faculty can take responsibility of being a part of reconciliation by creating a supportive environment, instead of relying others, such as on-campus Indigenous community members and units, to do the work.
We then invite participants to discuss what they or their departments are doing (or can start doing) to address Indigenous students’ bandwidth and create supportive environment for Indigenous students.
- Benjamin Y. Cheung, Lecturer, Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator, Department of Psychology
- Tara Morgan, Senior Indigenous Collegium Advisor, Indigenous Collegia
- Hanae Tsukada, Educational Strategist, the Equity & Inclusion Office, the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology