• ECS203

    Limited Worldviews in Mathematics

    Blog #12:

    As stated by Leroy Little Bear in the Jagged Worldviews Colliding piece, “no matter how dominant a worldview is, there are always other ways of interpreting the world,” (2000). Though the state of Canada takes pride in being multicultural, its federal school systems strongly – and in some cases solely – focus on white, Eurocentric teaching practices and content. The “suppression of diversity in worldviews” can especially be seen in the subject of mathematics (Bear, 2000). In my education experience, math was only taught in one way, the “proper” way. Educators would teach one method and only that one method was held to be correct. If students used different methods, even if they got to the correct answer, it would be marked wrong and/or the student would be accused of cheating. This process not only limits different types of thinkers but also limits the use of alternative mathematical approaches. Thus, sending the message that critical, diverse thinking in math is not valued nor important.

    Louise Poirier, in the article Teaching Mathematics in the Inuit Community, explores how Eurocentric ideas can be challenged using Inuit mathematics (2007). Here are three points I identified:

    • Instead of teaching mathematics in traditional European ways, such as “paper-and-pencil exercises”, Inuit educators utilize traditional Inuit teaching methods such as “observing an elder or listening to enigmas,” (Poirier, 2007)
    • Inuit mathematics uses a base-20 numeral system, whereas the norm in Western societies is base-10 numeral systems (Poirier, 2007)
    • Inuit students learn mathematics in multiple languages – their mother language, English and French – whereas Western mathematics are typically limited to one language (Poirier, 2007). For example, in Saskatchewan French immersion students learn math in French from K-12, and the same goes for English students.


    • Bear, L. L. (2000). Jagged worldviews colliding. In M. Batiste (Ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision (pp. 77-85). UBC Press.
    • Poirier, L. (2007). Teaching mathematics and the Inuit community, Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 7(1), p. 53-67.
  • ECS203

    Multilingualism in the Classroom

    Blog Post #11:

    Multilingual is a term used to describe “students from immigrant backgrounds who are in the process of learning the language of instruction at school (Cummins, 2019). For educators to maximize engagement among multilingual students, diverse languages and cultures must be treated as an asset – not a liability. Proper supports and resources, such as EAL staff or translatable materials and assignments, should be brought into the school environment for all learners to access. Additionally, students, families, and community members should be welcome to share meaningful words, images, holidays, or information about their cultures. To further ensure engagement among multilingual students, educators can also do personal research to better their understanding and better integrate cultural information into the classroom environment, content, and materials. As informed integration is a large step towards building a more welcoming, appreciative classroom environment for all students.

    An effective way to integrate multilingual instructional strategies into the classroom is through creating and using translatable sources. For example, https://globalstorybooks.net/ is a free resource where individuals can access stories that have been translated in upwards of thirty languages. Using the website, learners, educators, and guardians can read or listen to stories in a more accessible way. To add, classroom letters, updates, and reminders should be sent home in a format that can be easily translated. Doing so better ensures a strong relationship with any multilingual guardians and takes away the expectation of learners being the translator at home. Also, if English-speaking video resources are used, educators can change English subtitles to one of a different language. Overall, multilingualism allows learners “to work across their differences and gain appreciation for different languages and cultures” (Cummins, 2019). Multilingualism is a gift and should be treated as such within the education environment and out into the community.


  • ECS203

    Heteronormativity in Education

    Blog #10:

    To address the ways in which the systems that we teach our curriculum in are intrinsically homophobic, transphobic, biphobic, and oppressive towards queer and trans people, educators must focus on three things: the past, the present, and the future.

    For educators to truly uncover and understand the oppressive foundations on which Saskatchewan’s curriculum was built, teachers must first explore the root causes and contexts of Western queer and transgender discrimination. Homophobic and transphobic arguments are centered around cultural belief, not scientific evidence – as seen through the highly honoured Two Spirit identities in certain Indigenous cultures and Hijras in South Asia (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2015). Therefore, it is crucial that educators investigate the initial sources of these cultural biases to better understand and identify the prevalence of heteronormativity both in society and in our curriculum.

    In the present day, it is crucial to integrate inclusive, identity-affirming 2SLGBTQA+ language, topics, and content into the classroom for the well-being of all learners. The language and attitudes of teachers delivering the curriculum “either contest or reinforce the notion of legitimate identities within mainstream society and directly affect grades and self-esteem of [2SLGBTQA+] marginalized populations” (James, 2019). To better support students, it is essential for educators to learn 2SLGBTQA+ content, undergo proper teacher training, frequently update modern resources, and actively work towards being an ally (Lau, 2019).

    Our students are the future we are educating toward. If the goal is to create systems where students are engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated, then we need to build education environments that are safe, welcoming, and comforting for all. That being said, the goal of the classroom being an enjoyable environment cannot be met if student identities are neglected or looked down upon. Therefore, it is our responsibility as educators to create frameworks, content, and pedagogies that are intertwined with 2SLGBTQA+ inclusivity.



    • James, K. (2019). Mapping sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) inclusion through curriculum and practice in a Canadian teacher education program.
    • Lau, M. (2019). LGBTQ families speak out: Four ways schools can create safer, more welcoming learning environments for our children.
    • Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. (2015). Deepening the discussion: Gender and sexual diversity.
  • ECS203

    Treaty Education for ALL

    Blog #9:

    Here would be my response to this email:

    Regardless of whether a classroom has Indigenous learners or not, it is crucial to integrate First Nations, Metis, and Inuit content and perspectives into every single education environment. Teachers play a massive role in shaping how students view the world. If Indigenous cultures, worldviews, and teachings are not present in the classroom, the underlying curriculum of racism and colonialism will only continue (Kruger, 2017). Instead, when effort is “put into teaching Indigenous histories, cultural programming, and relationship building even if there is a low Indigenous population” students are trained to open their ears to listen and open their hearts to care (Kruger 2017). Ultimately, once relationships are built, Canadians are properly educated, and allyship becomes the focus, the “disconnect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples” can be removed (Donald, 2010).

    A resource I would recommend would be reading 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph. This novel deals with serious, emotion provoking content that could aid students in unlearning racism.

    Since we are all Treaty people, the Saskatchewan curriculum should be intertwined with the past, present, and future of the Treaties – specifically Treaty land and Treaty relationships. The Treaty land is “what sustains us all: it is the true curriculum, the one that calls us to renew our relationships with one another, that calls us to renew our commitment to what we have in common, to our stake in the world and its survival, upon which our own depends,” (Chambers, 2012). Therefore, the curriculum should teach the “benefits and responsibilities that come with sharing this land” (Kruger, 2017). Additionally, since we are all Treaty people the curriculum should be made to benefit all – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – through placing importance on learning multiple histories, exploring diverse cultures, and building strong relationships with the people of the land (OTC, n.d.).




    Dwayne Donald – On What Terms Can We Speak?

    ECS 210 8.2 – Claire Intro

  • ECS203

    Cultural Relevancy and A Sense of Place

    Blog #8:

    As stated by Brooks, a culturally relevant pedagogy is “an effective way of centring the cultures, languages and experiences that diverse students bring to classrooms so as to increase their engagement and academic achievement,” (2013). That being said, a culturally relevant pedagogy looks like the integration of mirrors, windows, and doors into classroom materials, content, and environment (Botelho, 2021). Mirrors refer to self-reflection. Learners should be able to see themselves in the content they are learning – novels, lessons, holidays, etc. – as learning “must be relevant to their lives and experiences” for students to “achieve academic success,” (Brooks, 2013). When learners look through windows, they can see into someone else’s reality, such as reading different points of view or learning through various cultural lenses. Upon doors being opened, students imagine alternative possibilities through entering the world they are learning about. Thus, providing “entry points to reconstruct power” (Botelho, 2021). These entry points should feel empowering to learners, ultimately promoting a drive towards activism.

    Adding to the point of activism, when connections are made to personal environments “we offer our youth the experience of caring for the things around them, which enhances their understanding that caring requires work, rather than just talk,” (Lopez, 2011). To contribute to the sense of place for learners, I plan on integrating diverse local voices, content, land, and resources into the classroom. An example of this could be bringing in a local Elder to teach educate learners on honouring and respecting Treaty 4 land.  Overall, it is crucial that students – especially for the goal of critical thinking – learn from multiple perspectives and local lenses. Only then can students truly formulate their opinions and views about the community around them.



    Botelho, M. J. (2021). Reframing Mirrors, Windows, and Doors: A Critical Analysis of the Metaphors for Multicultural Children’s Literature. Journal of Children’s Literature, 47(1), 119–126.

    Brook, J. (2013). Placing elementary music education: a case study of a Canadian rural music program. Music Education Research, 15(3), 290-303.

    Lopez, A. (2011). Culturally relevant pedagogy and critical literacy in diverse English classrooms: A case study of a secondary English teacher’s activism and agency. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 10(4), 75-93.

  • ECS203

    The Importance of Hip Hop

    Blog #7:

    Though hip hop has been neglected in the academic field, it is a an extremely effective method for promoting social justice and activism in the classroom. Hip hop acts as an opportunity for biases and stereotypical knowledge to be questioned and unlearned. From teaching historical contexts, to incorporating topics such as “poverty, police brutality, patriarchy, misogyny, incarceration, racial discrimination, as well as love, hope [and] joy,” hip hop is a way for students to express themselves and their emotions through personal connection (Akom, 2009). Since hip hop “must be felt and experienced in order to be understood and communicated,” teachers should be using constructive learning methods as oppose to behavioral or cognitive theories (Akom, 2009). For example, Paulo Freire uses a five-step critical praxis to engage students in “real world issues that shape their daily lives,” (Akom, 2009). In this method, one must first identity a problem, analyze it, develop a plan to address said problem, implement the plan, and finally evaluate and reflect the results (Akom, 2009). Through planning and proper integration, hip hop is an artform that can influence students towards creating change. Thus, bringing social justice both into the classroom and out into the community.



    Akom A. (2009). Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy as a Form of Liberatory Praxis. Equity & Excellence in Education, 42(1), 52-66.

  • ECS203


    Blog #6

    Previously, I viewed citizenship as the fulfillment of legal duties. If I am paying my taxes, obeying laws, and using my right to vote, that makes me a good citizen… right? I did not realize that my views of citizenship were extremely superficial until I listened to Joel Westheimer’s speech, What Kind of Citizen. Westheimer brings in the idea that “democracy is not a spectator sport but a participant sport,” (2015). Thus, arguing that personally responsible citizenship is not enough. Instead, we should look to justice-oriented citizenship as a goal (Cappello, 2018). Critical thinking and critical engagement are crucial tools needed to become a justice-oriented citizen. Instead of taking government rule as fact – policies, societal frameworks, new regulations – civilians should be asking questions, voicing beliefs, and actively pursuing change.

    By being a Canadian citizen one is automatically a Treaty citizen (Cappello, 2018). We are all Treaty people. As previously addressed, to be a justice-oriented citizen one must actively pursue change. Just as being Canadian brings certain responsibilities, being a Treaty person has its own rights and responsibilities as well. For example, The Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s 94 Calls to Action were not put in place as a recommendation, but as a requirement for everyone – Indigenous or non-Indigenous – to act towards change. Overall, Canadian/Treaty citizens must grow in understanding and relationship with our Indigenous peoples before they can embark on the pathway toward justice-oriented citizenship (Cappello, 2018).


    Joel Westheimer: What Kind of Citizen?

    OHASSTA Talks – Citizenship Education – Mike Cappello

  • ECS203

    The Political Agenda

    Blog #5:

    In Ben Levin’s article, “Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should be Learned in Schools,” school curricula is developed and implemented under a political agenda. What political parties and the majority of a population deem important greatly influence what is brought into school curriculum. A hierarchy of groups – the Federal and/or Provincial government, elected institutional roles, educational stakeholders, experts, sector representatives, the curriculum review committees, etc. – all work together in making curriculum revisions. What surprised me the most was Levin’s negative view toward the inclusion of teacher expertise, describing the idea as a “poorly understood” dynamic (Levin, 2008). Why should people who have never set foot in a classroom have more say in educational change than teachers? The idea does not logically sit right with me.

    Since the government’s political agenda plays such a significant role in curriculum making, as seen through Levin’s work, very little is found in the curriculum that critiques or undermines government structures, policies, or opinions. To teach Treaty knowledge, context is needed (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2013). Therefore, when Indigenous content was finally implemented into the curriculum, it forced the government to further bring their mistakes and wrongdoings into the light. Thus allowing educators to teach students about the atrocities and broken promises the Canadian government committed against our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples.



    Levin, B. (2008). Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in schools. In F. Connelly, M. He & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction (pp. 7 – 24). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

    Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. (2013). Treaty Education Outcomes and Indicators.


  • ECS203

    The “Good Student”

    Blog #4:

    Common sense understandings in the culture of Western society have shaped the idea of what it means to be a good student – conforming, excelling in examinations, punctuality, etc. Those that can adhere to traditional classroom practices and structures excel in their studies (the good students), and everyone else is left astray – commonsensically categorizing the rest as bad.

    In Kevin Kumashiro’s book, Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Towards Social Justice, this idea – good student/bad student – is explored through Kumashiro’s personal teaching experiences.  It has to be understood that “the way we think about learning that can be oppressive” (Kumashiro 2010). Difficult situations such as misbehaving or questioning authority (seen through students M and N) do not occur because of “bad students”, but because learning needs and interests are not being met. Ultimately, it is the educational frameworks and pedagogies that need to be corrected, not the students themselves.

    Historically speaking, educational systems were molded for the benefit of one distinct population… and one distinct population only. Good students were white (Anglo-Saxon descent or white appearing), Christian, and wealthy. The result of education, as expressed by Painter, should be “a noble manhood, whose highest exemplification, the ideal of all culture, is Christ,” (1886). All of these aspects and more created an oppressive, improper precedent tainting the definition of a “good student” which still affects our current day school practices and beliefs.



    Kumashiro, K. K. (2004). Against common sense: Teaching and learning toward social justice. New York, NY. Routledge.

    Painter, F. V. N. (1886). A history of education. New York, NY: D. Appleton.