Category: ECS 210

Product or Process?

Reading response from the required readings/videos (below) about Curriculum as Literacy. Think of your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics.

I found that the Inuit teaching system challenges Eurocentric teaching system is that their teachings are taught in different languages. Inuit speak Inuktitut, but are given the option to learn French and English once they reach grade 3. This enables the students to learn and develop their language as they learn mathematics. This also allows the students to think more critically and try to apply different languages within their teachings.

Math is a subject that people either like or do not like. My experiences of teaching and learning mathematics is probably quite similar to others. The teacher at the front of the classroom writing notes and examples on the board. Learning meant that students are to copy what was written on the board. Once the teacher was done with notes, there would be assigned questions from the textbook that we were to work on in class or work on and complete at home. The odd time in math we would do hands on activities. This was a different way of learning compared to my other classes.  I took several math classes in high school and did fairly well. Although, I know many students would not feel the same as I do. I think people would enjoy math more if it was taught using various teaching styles such as hands on learning. Another way to encourage learning could be introducing fun ways to learn math, such as the program for young children called Mathletics. Mathletics is a rewarding and highly captivating online math resource for students of all ages.

There are many ways that the “eurocentric way” of looking at mathematics can be compared to the way I learned math. Some examples are:

  1. Math, in many cases, is product-based. Student copy and complete questions to then be tested to show your understanding. Contrasting to the Aboriginal perspectives where learning is very process-based, where aboriginals find the meaning in what they learn.
  2. Counting: Inuit children learn to count in their own language, being taught oral numeration. This contrasted because “we” are usually taught to be math literate where we speak, read and write for understanding.
  3. Localization: Inuit people do their math that relates to real-life experiences. That can be things such as traveling and having to read the land and weather. Math taught the Eurocentric way often focuses on a formula and finding an answer.
  4. Space/Time: The difference in tracking time, for the Inuit, they track time on the natural, independently recurring yearly events.

Some Readings/Viewings:

Lifelong Diversity

When I first started school, I thought all the students were the same. We were all white, middle class, two parents and majority of us had siblings or would have siblings.  In my little rural town, everyone knew everyone. I knew all the teachers and often had the same teacher that my older siblings had. Year after year, our class would continue to learn the same things with an expansion of each subject each year. All of the books we read were simple and easy to make connections with in ourselves and our families. This was not something I questioned. The only thing that would change was getting a different teacher each year that we already knew and sometimes a new student.

As I became older some of these new students were white and others were coloured. This allowed the classroom and our town to be more diverse. Our class wasn’t all the same anymore. We had new classmates that had just moved to town that didn’t all look like us. My classmates may have changed over the years, but the books we were reading didn’t really change all that much. There were a lot of books that featured white, middle-class people, or were stories from their points of view. Since moving to the “big” city I have learned more about myself and the importance of learning different perspectives. Learning about different perspectives has opened my eyes on how much of the world I was missing.  I continue to learn and see different perspectives. Living in the city has opened my lens of diversity making me realizing the importance of different perspectives, and has allowed me to learn outside of my comfort zone. Thank you, University of Regina for teaching me more about the world.

Please watch this TED Talk given by Chimamanda Adichie, titled “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Think of: What is your education story?

Canada’s History, Current & Future

 Part 1) According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you? 

Curriculum Policy and Politics of What Should be Learned in Schools” by Levin discusses how curriculums are created. Curriculums are created a few different ways. According to the article, curriculum is developed with both the national and provincial governments, as well as school officials. Schools have some influence on what is actually taught, but the government is the deciding factor on what “should” be taught.  I think the most important and major aspect of the curriculum is politics. This made me realized that everything around us may have government/political side. If there is a political side on almost everything and most of the Political voices are often heard from those that are most vocal and are creations and powerful ideas that society wants from members in society to believe. This surprised me, because the government is not the one in the classroom teaching the children. The government may not understand what the student’s/children’s development or capabilities are at certain ages. I assumed that teachers and people on educational boards would have more say in what is being taught.  If the government dictates what “should” be taught, how do they know what is fair for the children to learn/understand so the teachers can teach children while promoting life long learning and student that will be active and productive citizens in society.

Part 2) After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, what connections can you make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan? What tension might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?

The article emphasizes the importance of treaty education in schools K-12. From reading the first four pages of the Treaty Education document I learned the four goals that are to be met through kindergarten through grade twelve. These goals are: Treaty relationships, Spirit and Intent of Treaties, Historical context of Treaties and Treaty Promises and Provisions.

This was interesting to me, because in my kindergarten to grade twelve experience I had not learned much about aboriginals or treaties. Since being at university, I have learned the importance of learning about Canada’s history and current events with aboriginals and the treaties. I believe it is very important for the students to learn about treaty education and the meaning behind it. Society may lack interest in learning more about aboriginals and treaties. When I become a teacher, I plan to teach treaty education to my students so they can learn about the aboriginal culture and their background. I believe it is a huge part of Canadian history and it is important for all people, regardless of age, to understand how Aboriginal people in Canada suffered and still continue to suffer. I believe I can succeed at this because I am learning and continuing to learn more about Canada’s past, Canada’s current and I am a treaty’s person.

Did you learn about treaties?

Are We All Treaty People?

Canada would not exist as it is today without treaties, this being said we are all treaty people. I learned this last year and didn’t really understand what that meant. I continue to learn more about what being a treaty person means and how I am affected by the signing of the treaties. I suggest to all people to learn more about their environment, see how it affects their daily life and challenge them to think what does it mean to be a treaty person and how that makes you, you.

Being a treaty’s person is something I am still learning about. With the little knowledge I have and what I hope to learn through my degree, from classmates, teachers, elder, and various activities, will educate me more and may alter my current beliefs. As of now, I believe being a treaty person is someone living in Canada and understanding Canada past and current events with the aboriginals. I see this with Canada’s history with the aboriginal’s relationship with the treaties. I have learned what the treaties looked like, who are the partners, and how this relationship will take ongoing hard work. Although, all the promises were not followed, the current generation is learning and are making change. This is where I come in, as a future educator, to help students understand and how we can create change and understand the different perspectives.

As a treaty person, I have learned that it is important to learn, explain and teach others what treaties mean. Treaty education is very important. I feel strongly about this and want all people to become more knowledgeable about treaties and aboriginal’s history and how we are still affected by this in our daily life. Understanding our (western) world view and other world views allows us to learn about different perspectives and find similarities and differences between the two. In seminar, myself and my peers/fellow students talked about our earliest memory of learning about residential schools. One person had been learning about them since grade two. This made me think about how much information some of us already have and how we continue to learn about the past. However, I think it is also important to learn about the future and anything else we can learn about aboriginals. Perhaps an elder can talk with students, an elder can lead an activity like smudging, an elder can talk about their life experiences or lead a dance. It is important to educate Canadian students about treaties and to teach students in hopes of life long learning and allow student to see different perspectives and make connections.

Think About… Have you heard that everyone is a treaty’s person? What do you think being a treaty’s person means? How do can you see yourself as being a treaty’s person?

Is History Important?

The article talks about the importance of including old, young, and in between in any sort of learning or decision making process.  The concepts of reinhabitation and decolonization, as they pertain to education, are the topics I have never really thought about before until now.  

Reinhabitation: Elders see the  connection to nature to be very important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual development. This can be enforced in everyday lives. It is important to connect the youth with the elders who have a deeper connection to the land. The community marked places with their original names to help the youth understand the Cree concepts.

Decolonization: Decolonization is seen in the reinhabitation as a whole, the students’ river trip allowed the students to reconnect to their history, something colonization aimed to prevent. The use of Indigenous language in the assignments also showed the reclaiming of identity and empowering the people. An example of decolonization is residential schools, because they drastically reduced the communities fluent language speakers.

When considering my own future teaching strategies and classrooms, I believe it is important that I keep the concepts of reinhabitation and decolonization in mind. Students will be able to formulate their own values and perspectives and use them to advocate for change. Future educators can teach, have discussions and learn from others through events like the orange shirt day. We can learn and understand the importance of orange shirt day and why we participate in it, to encourage change, to better education and better the future.

Think about…

  • What is and what does the words reinhabitation and decolonization mean?
  • What orange shirt day is and the importance.

What Makes A Good Student?

 Kumashiro explains his understanding of what a “good” student is. A good student is  one that processes the proper knowledge and understands the material that is being taught. This understanding of what being a “good” student is set by society. Some of the characteristics of a good student could be: being respectful, listening, participating, attending class, doing their homework, and understanding the information presented. 

The students most privileged are a white student, an English speaking, and a student who comprehends what is being taught. Unpriveledged students are non-white or immagrants to Canada and are either learning English and therefore may struggle to comprend what is being taught.  The least privileged students are the new students to Canada or students living with families that do not adopt the norms of Canada. Students are all expected to follow the norms set by society. We all learn differently, therefore it is unfair to punish them for not being able to understand what is being taught. As educators it is important to explore the needs of our students to accommodate them to ensure students are engaging and understanding. 

Questions to consider:

  • Do you consider yourself a good student? Explain and use examples.
  • Does being white define you as being a good student?

Getting Ready for Assignment One

In the book Gender: Your Guide, written by the scholar, Lee Airton, he wrote that he “had to go to the bathroom. No big deal, right? Airports have bathrooms. Well visiting a gendered bathroom actually is a big deal for me.” This book shows members of society that it is important to recognize the daily difficulties that some of people are facing and try to understand their perspectives. There are differences with gender identity, gender expression, and sex. (Refer to the genderbread person for definitions and more information.).  Some gender-neutral pronouns are they/them.

The next steps I can take to further my research on Lee Airton are to do some more research on who Lee Airton is, including finding quotes, articles, and books. This will provide me with more details and focuses on enabling individuals and institutions to welcome gender and sexual diversity in everyday life. I will relate it back to what I are learning in ECS 210 and apply my research in the first assignment for ECS 210. 

Curriculum Theory and Practice Reading Response

The four models of curriculum described in the article are:

1. Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted.

2. Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.

3. Curriculum as process.

4. Curriculum as praxis.

Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted is outlining what needs to be transmitted to be able to begin learning. This model benefits by indicating the relative importance of its topics and may or may not be taught in a specific order. This is important for students to understand what is the most effective for them and how they can deliver information to others in order to plan. 

Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students is important for understanding organization. If teachers have objectives, a plan then applied, and the outcomes then student can understand and put their work to practice by attempting to achieve the goal made by the teacher/s. This benefits students to take on tasks or jobs and analyzed what they can do and what they may need help with.

Curriculum as process heavily dependent on the natural setting of behaviour objectives through the interaction of teachers and students. 

For teachers this means, what the curriculum is and what actually happens in the classroom along with the planning preparation. This encourages the student to have better behaviour in and out of the classroom; this benefits teachers, parents, and the community This is crucial for all people to recognize and practice good behaviour skills. 

Curriculum as praxis is a set of plans to be activated, through planning, acting and evaluating. This plays an important role by allowing students following the instructions and shows their attention and understanding their work and allows students to ask questions. This benefits the student themselves and their peers. 

All of the four models of curriculum were prominent in my own school experience. 

  • Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted was enforced with class outlines that were handed out at the beginning of each school term. Some classes had more detailed outlines than other classes. I feel a more detailed outline helps me best, because I can plan and be more organized. 
  • Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product is important for teachers and students. This model and the one above helps me be less worried and know what to expect. 
  • Curriculum as process is about behaviour. Behaviour is important in and out of the classroom. If a teacher is enthusiastic, it is likely that the students may act similar. It is important to know your students and get to know what is happening in their personal lives, this can help teachers understand their behaviour. Throughout my school experience, teachers have modeled good behaviour while being involved in extracurricular activities. 
  • Curriculum as praxis is a set of plans to be enforced, through planning, acting and evaluating. Students love routine, this helps them manage their time and to ask questions if needed. This is a benefit to all students. Routine was prominent in my school career and has helped me to stay organized in day to day activities and will continue to help me. 

Common Sense Reading Response

Kumashiro learned that common sense means something different everywhere you go. When Kevin started his first teaching job, he wanted to make a big impact on children. Kevin learned that common sense in the United States to be different then in Nepal. He used the knowledge that he was taught from post secondary school to create a positive environment for his students. Kevin was taught by the people of Nepal that common sense was different than that of his home country. There was a lot to be learned, which seemed to be expected in a forgein country. For example the water fountain was dirty which meant that it needed to be cleaned (our common sense). In Nepal the water fountain would be left dirty because the water fountain was used for many purposes and got dirty quickly.

Common sense is everywhere. It is not just in school, work or your home life. Kumashiro had planned to create a positive environment for her students to feel happy and comfortable. Allowing everyone to sit with mix gender which seems to be common sense in the United States; however, in Nepal, boys and girls sat on opposite sides of the room. “I brought different assumptions, expectations, and values to the school. It was easy for me as an outsider looking in, to raise questions about the purpose or effectiveness of many of these practices.” (Page 2)

It is important to understand common sense because it is meant to be a way of thinking that is simple so everyone can understand the outcome. Sometimes common sense is a form of practical decision-making, it can help give people the ability to imagine the outcome and the possible consequences. It can stop some of us from making irrational mistakes and makes it easier to make choices on what to do. This can help us learn from our mistakes. We can decide to follow our own path, or others; this teaches us and gives us more opportunities to develop our  common sense knowledge. When we understand and use common sense it can make life easier.

Read the article: The Problem of Common Sense

Think about: What is common sense? Why is it important to understand common sense?