Category: ECS 210

Blog 9: Reading the World

I grew up in a small town called Southey which is only 40 minutes north of Regina. There is only one school in Southey which is K-12 throughout the school there are only about 300 students. My graduating class had 36 kids and more than half of us were together right from the start, so I feel most of us had a pretty positive school experience. I was also very fortunate to have strong relationships with my teachers and I am lucky enough to still have some good relationships today. Since I went to school with a very small group, I had a pretty good experience. My town is far from the ‘best’ town but when I was younger I definitely had that mind set. I think I had this mind set because I was never exposed to any major problems or hardships; my parents were happily married, I had an older and younger sister, as well as an older half brother, I never had to worry about not being able to play the sports I wanted and I had a good house to live in. I would say my schooling was very one sided. for example we were only taught about white culture, straight sexuality, and male and female genders. Being taught this way created biases and opining I did not realize I was having. Not learning about other cultures, sexuality, and genders makes us lack knowledge and understanding which can create lack of respect. I have now been away from my home town for three years and wow have I realized the type of life I lived was far from the lives many others lived. Throughout my degree I have really had the chance to open my eyes to the different lifestyles many have. I have learned that I will have students from very different lives and I have to the perfect life mentality out of my head so I can proved the best education possible for all of my students.

“Single Stories” found in my classroom consisted of the same roles and plots. It always included white middle class male and females. There was never any openly gay characters even though they “attempted” to show different sexualities. there was never any black roles and if there was, it was like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and dealt with racism back in history. While it is important to show the history of their treatment, there are always different ways they could present these roles. The truth that mattered were constantly being taught through the same roles the white males and females. All the other roles were considered outside the “social norms” and faced bias throughout the entirety of the story.

Blog #8: Curriculum as a Citizen

I honestly can not remember citizenship education in my school. The main thing I remember was coming from a small town often times students mainly in the middle years or high school ages were given chances to go out in the community to help out rather than being in class. While coming into the school we were always told to take our shoes off and I remember as a form of discipline we had to go around the school yard and pick up garbage, I feel these are apart of being a good citizen. Westheimer & Kahne write the personally responsible citizen is acting responsibly in his/her community by picking up litter, giving blood, recycling, obeying laws, and staying out of debt. Westheimer & Kahne state that the participatory citizen are people who actively participate in the civic affairs and the social life of the community at local, state, and national levels. Westheimer & Kahne also talked about justice orientated citizen which is the least commonly pursued citizen. Going back to the examples I used I believe the main focus in my school was the personally responsible citizen.

Blog 6: Curriculum Development

Levin (pg.8) states “Curriculum is defined as an official statement of what students are expected to know and able to do” but really who exactly develops the curriculum? Throughout the article “Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should be Learned in School” by Ben Levin, it is made aware that politics are crucial to the development of the curriculum. Politics truly effect everything in our society especially education. Every single educational decision can almost always be viewed as a political decision, which this includes curriculum development. Politian’s are always bringing up various things they believe should be taught, then the curriculum is often built off of the discussions they have to follow their beliefs. As a teacher this concerns me because creating a curriculum is a huge job and the government should be taking suggestions from more people than the Politian’s.

After I had a chance to read the Treaty Education document, again it was brought to my attention that there is not much input from the public. Throughout the first couple of pages there are acknowledgements to everyone who helped create it, I noticed all the people mentioned are in the field of education or involved in politics. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this, I just think it would be more beneficial if there was suggestions from the public. Creating a document about this would be very difficult because Treaty Education is such a huge and important topic and separating everything into various outcomes and indicators would be very stressful. I felt this document is a great starting point for teaching Treaty Education but I also feel that if could go much deeper.

Blog 7: Treaty Education

It is so important that we make sure Indigenous topics are discussed, even to those who are not Indigenous. “We are all treaty people” to me means to constantly educate ourselves and others about the Indigenous culture and respect the land that we live on. A huge portion of Canadians live one treaty land, so technically we are all treaty people as we live on the treaty land. Since we choose to live on this land, we all need to respect it and show that we are “all treaty people”. Sharing stories and knowledge from the past helps everyone to have a better understanding about our country and gives us a better connection to it. School’s are a great place to pass on this important knowledge about treaties and Indigenous history.

I think it is very important to really acknowledge “we are all treaty people” while educating children. We as the teachers are responsible for passing along this idea to every single student we have, regardless of their culture. Teaching of Treaty Ed focuses on reconnecting with the land. Claire Kreuger’s blog is a great resource on teaching Treaty Ed and how to incorporate it into the everyday classroom and simply how important it is.

Unfortunately Treaty Ed is seen as less important and is very known to be left out. There is so much evidence on how important it is to teach Treaty Ed, we just need to actually utilize it. I remember when I was in school Treaty Ed was a very slim to none topic, I got most of my current knowledge from university. As time goes on, Treaty Ed is becoming more prominent in classrooms and students/teachers are becoming aware of the fact that we are all treaty people and are starting to understand the importance of teaching it in the classroom.

Blog Post 5: Learning From Place

Reinhabitation is restoring a connection and teaching of how to live. This has been passed down from generation to generation and like the article shows how important it is for the elders to pass down the knowledge to the youth. Like in the article forming a relationship with the land, and how nature is an important aspect of their culture. Unfortunately the youth is losing that connection and not appreciating what the land has to offer for them. This is why reinhabitation is so important, it creates a bond with the land and with other people.

Decolonization is an act of sharing stories and knowledge, the youth is learning from the elders. Having opportunities for the elders to share their stories with the youth forms relationships between the two. The youth learning new knowledge gives them the chance to take away what they learnt from the elders and spread that knowledge to others. Decolonization is important because it gives youth a chance to appreciate the land and the stories that go along with the land.

Becoming a future elementary teacher, I think it is super important to acknowledge reinhabitation and decolonization. It is also important to note to teach for the appropriate grade level, my goal would be to make students aware and simplify it for my students to understand. There are so many ways we can incorporate indigenous teachings into any class, and sometimes us as teachers do it without even knowing.

Blog Post 4: A “Good” Student

What does it mean to be a “good” student?

A “good” student according to the common sense is someone who follows the instruction provided and listens closely. Every teacher dreams of having the “good” students in their classrooms. These “good” students are on time and do not question anything said by the teacher. They do exactly what is expected from the teacher, and the student learns exactly how the curriculum states the child should learn. These students test well and get high grades in whatever they are doing. The student act in a proper way that the school expects of the students, as well the students react good to rules. These “good” students are all perfect and all the same.

Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?

Those who are “privileged” are the ones who learn best by seeing and listening. The ones who do no have any exceptionalities and fit into this mould. These students are typically from a good/sturdy home where all their needs are being met. Most children will be considered (relatively) good students, but there are a who will not have the opportunity to show they have the abilities to be a good student too.

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these common-sense ideas?

The idea of a “good” student does not account for everyone, the students who don’t fit this category are often looked passed and then struggle with school. These common sense ideas influence everyone, being a “good” student make it possible for only one type of learner to be considered a good student. The secret is no to be a “good” student, but to realize that every student is different and can have their now version of being a “good” student, us as teachers need to modify what we consider a good student.

Blog Post 3: Critical Summary Assignment

For my critical summary assignment, I have decided to focus on the topic disabilities and the curriculum. The reason I chose to focus on this is because in most of my classes so far this semester the main topic has been disabilities. I wanted to further my knowledge on how disabilities are viewed in the curriculum. For me personally, I feel that disabilities in the curriculum is a topic that is not taken seriously enough. The curriculum has not been accommodating nor fair for those with disabilities. One article I have found to be very useful was written by Nirmala Erevelles, she discusses having equality in the classroom for those in minority groups but rarely discussing the experiences for those with disabilities in the curriculum.

The next step in this assignment is to find two more articles that relate to my main one. I need to also narrow down what I want my main focus of my essay to be about. As a future educator, I will carefully analyze in how my classroom develops my students to ensure no one is excluded, and these articles will improve my understanding on why changes must happen.

Blog Post 2: It’s Always Been Like This. Doesn’t Have to Stay This Way

Article Curriculum and Theory Practice

What ways have I experienced Tyler’s rationale in my own schooling?

I took the time to think back to my entire school experience K-12. It’s actually crazy how similar my experiences were to Tyler’s rationale. Every day as a student we were to sit in our desk and do as the teacher asked. I always remember in my Elementary experience we would take away our art classes to catch up on work in other classes like Math, Science, English and Social. These four classes were always a priority and often our creativity was forgotten about. I remember throughout my school experience students realized getting the right answers on test meant you were able to move to the next grade. I found myself trying to memorize all of the material being taught. It was easier to memorize the content so when it came to test time I could easily pass.

What are some major limitations of the Tyler rationale? What makes it possible?

It should not be surprising to future teachers that each student learns differently. If schools were to follow Tyler’s rationale, majority of students would not be able to learn to content being taught. The unfairness that this causes could lead to students dropping out of high school and this is where inclusive education has a huge flaw. Every student has their own favourite subject. Students generally base their career around their favourite subject. For those students whose favourite subject is art it is very hard for those students to succeed in those areas because of Tyler’s rationale. Tyler’s rationale strips creativity and students individuality. Everyone learns the same and does the same: memorize the content, write the test and hopes to pass.

What are some potential benefits?

I found this question very hard to answer, as I am not for Tyler’s rationale. Although I was able to come up with a few benefits with Tyler’s rationale. The curriculum and the guidelines within Tyler’s rationale makes it so all students in all schools are learning the same thing. Although I do not believe students knowledge should be based around tests. With that being said, this is a great way for students to prepare for tests that they may come across in life. Mainly tests will prepare those students who plan to attend university, as university is strictly based on exams.

Blog Post 1: The Problem with Common Sense

How does Kumashiro define ‘common sense’?

The dictionary defines the term common sense as “a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people and can reasonably be expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.” From culture to culture, common sense varies and is subjective. While reading Dr. Kumashiro draw on his own fascinating educational experiences in Nepal as a new teacher, it was evident how quickly he learned how his Americanized idea of common sense differed from Nepali common sense. Throughout reading, I began to piece together that Kumashiro was challenging the term of what common sense means and how it differs from diverse places, cultures, and ideologies.

Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘common sense’?

It is important to pay attention to ‘common sense’ because it differs from person to person, culture to culture, religion to religion, etc. What may be common sense to one may not be common sense to others. We begin to become accustomed to what is considered “normal” without realizing that it can hold us back. It is important to understand that there are other ways other than “ours”. Many people stick with tradition and comfort that has lasted throughout the years without being willing to try new ideas and new teaching methods that can expand what it means to learn. it is important to realize that change is okay and exploring what it meant to be different can open new ideas and methods. The sooner us as educators realize that this common sense is hiding the flaws of our school systems, the sooner we can make change. No more raising your hand if you want to speak. I believe it is time that students should be encouraged to speak in class and participate in what is being taught.

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