ECS 210 – Unpacking Our Own Biases

From the moment we begin growing up, the way we are raised and brought up into this world effects our schooling, as well as how we see the world, in so many ways. The way we are taught about the world is that builds our biases. The way we see the world is effected by the society we are raised in, our parents religious beliefs, our peers, our race, as well as the school community we grow up within. This can also be known as our personal worldview, which is something that is created throughout our entire lives.

As an future teacher myself, I am always being brought back to my own worldview, and my own biases, and how these biases will directly effect how I teach someday. This is something that I cannot control in a lot of ways, because of the fact that these are so engrained into my life that I cannot see them almost at all. Throughout my entire life I can definitely say that I have grown up in a more privileged light within society, because of the grim details that I am a Caucasian person coming from a well off family, living in very nice neighbourhoods and growing up in the most “safe” and “preppy” school communities. I am not afraid to admit this because of the fact that it completely effects how my teaching will be formed one day, as well as my day to day interactions throughout life, no matter if we want it to or not.

My goal throughout my entire teaching career is to be able to break through the barriers that these set biases have made for me, and learn to teach without or through avoiding these biases, since this is the only way I will come closer with my future students and truly become the teacher I have always hoped to become. I hope for my future classroom to be free of bias and let everyone, no matter where they come from or who they are, feel included and important, as that is the only way we will ever change the future for our children.

ECS 210 – Curriculum as Numeracy

Mathematics is something that is apart of all of our worlds and everyday lives, and something that us as human beings can understand from our earliest years. In lecture this week, many different and new ideas were introduced to me regarding mathematics in the classroom and how they should be taught when compared to how the majority of us were taught mathematics throughout our school careers, and opened my eyes to how important and evident math education is in our elementary classrooms.

When looking back at my own experiences with math education throughout my school years, I personally did not have the best experience, but definitely not the worst. Throughout elementary school I felt that I was quite strong in mathematics, and felt quite confident and actually enjoyed math to the point that I bought extra workbooks for myself to use at home around the age of eight and nine. As I approached middle school, this started to decline as topics started to become more complex an more help seemed to be needed. As I furthered into high school, this only became worse. As I entered grade nine, we spent about one month in math classes that were set up by the school, until the decided what level we all were on and went upon splitting us up based on how “gifted” we were or how much we seemed to struggle, placing me somewhere in the middle of both. Since I was not seen to be “gifted” in mathematics, I was placed with a math teacher that did not seen to care at all about how much we learned, in comparison with the first one I had, who evidently took over the “gifted” children.

When looking at this now, I definitely see where this could have been a benefit for the teachers, but it also looks like strong discrimination against those who didn’t excel in the area of mathematics. In all my other classes there were definitely other children that struggled and were not as strong as others, but a split up of students never was something that occurred. I wonder why now?

Something I have never enjoyed about mathematics in school, even in university, is the fact that it is all based on learning and regurgitating what we have heard from the professor, which as I have learned, teaches the students little to nothing. I personally find I struggle in these type of classes since learning is not truly occurring. Learning will occur when students are taught information and they precede to take that knowledge and apply it to their own work, much how we do here in Education.

ECS 210 – Curriculum as Citizenship

In our society we are taught what makes us a good citizen from a very early place, and how to act in society to fit this mold and play a respectful and contributing aspect. These standards are seen to be quite slim and made in a way that it will most definitely exclude some members of society, and not allow everyone to be seen as a “good citizen” for reasons such as poverty or disabilities. This again builds the power in society and gives it again to those who conform into this mold.

When looking back on my own grade school days, I definitely remember being taught and pushed in the way of becoming a “personally responsible” citizen, through such things as learning to help others in need, and use what we have, as I did attend a school in quite privileged conditions, and help others that are less privileged, and those who did this more became seen as “better citizens” than others who did not. When looking at this idea, and wanting to make sure all people succeed and become great citizens, where does this put students that go to lower privileged schools? How do we teach them about being the ideal citizen when they don’t have the abilities to fit this mold?

In my school, which was also quite preppy in its nature, students who never questioned teachers, or never went against the norm in any certain way, were seen as these good citizens. I think when looking at this now from an outer perspective, this really shows how much school has to do with building us to fit into the mold of our society, and never question why things are the way they are, and keep moving in a stream through life. But, although some people do go through life just like this, others will have a drive to go outside of this mold and question society, but does this make them bad citizens?

There was also a major drive in the building of the “participatory citizen” in my school community, which I personally saw in many ways. Throughout high school I was not the most involved person at my school because of my commitments to dance after school hours on almost all days of the week, which made it hard for me to get involved in school activities. If you were involved in school sports and school clubs, you were automatically seen as a better student in many ways, and a better citizen, which gave you many benefits.

I personally believe that our schools should be teaching students of all backgrounds and privileges that they can be good citizens and are just as worthy of being apart of their countries and smaller personal communities as everyone else, as this is how we will build the society of citizens that we want and need.

ECS 210 – Curriculum and Treaty Education

When living on the land that we do, we will always come across First Nations people and their perspectives within our education system, as they are our first people. But, what about in areas of our province where there is no abundant amount of Indigenous students? How do we as educators go about these topics in the right manner?

I myself grew up in a school community, elementary and high school, where I was surrounded by little to no Indigenous students, and Indigenous and Treaty education was always discussed from an outsiders point of view. This has definitely affected the way I view Indigenous education, and how little knowledge I truly have in this subject area. Students in my school did not act in such a way that they were disrespectful towards any notions regarding Treaty education, but they definitely showed their preference towards European history education much more than Treaty education, although I personally found Indigenous education very interesting and important considering the place we live.

When talking about the statement. “We are all treaty people,” we are saying that we all are living here on treaty land, so we all have a part in this agreement. This only further proves that Indigenous education must always be implemented into all of our subject areas, as we must respect the people of the land we reside on and the knowledge they have to offer us.

As future educators we must know how to properly go about teaching treaty education depending on our audience, as this will always be changing.

ECS 210 – Curriculum as Place

In this reading and lecture I found myself very much engaged in this topic, as the idea of place and how it affects the way our education is handled or interpreted is very interesting. Depending on where you live in the world, or what culture or religion you are apart of, education may look very different for you.

Here in Saskatchewan, Canada, our place is Treaty 4 land as much as it is a Canadian province. This in itself directly has an impact on how our students learn and what they learn, as well as what kinds of colonial issues we deal with as a province. Our education here in Saskatchewan is very importantly impacted by the Indigenous people of our lands in order to pay respect to them, as well as pass on their many ways of learning that we are lucky to obtain. This education that we offer to our children here in Saskatchewan would then be very different then a child growing up in another part of the world without a large abundance of Native American peoples, even though the same concepts would be present in their educational material.