Paige Doud

Elementary Education Student at the U of R

Learning from Place

            This article is about a river trip and held many examples of reinhabitation and decolonization. It discussed the goals and challenges of the 10-day river trip. I personally have not paid much attention to these two concepts so this article was a great start and enhanced my thinking on these topics. Reinhabitation and decolonization can be linked in regards to education.

            The first thing I noticed in regards to the definitions of reinhabiation and decolonization was how there is such an emphasis throughout the article about teaching and the significance of the land, specifically the water. In the article, they participated in an excursion and it was during this time that the importance of the water to the Muchkegowuk culture was brought up. It is very important. An example of decolonization is that many traditions of the Mushkegowuk people were carried on. In this the young people spent time with the elders and had conversations. This resulted in skills, traditions, and other knowledge surrounding the culture to be passed on. Throughout the whole river trip the elders were essentially educating the younger people on the culture and told stories.

            I think place is an important aspect to consider in teaching. Since I am an elementary student, it will be very important to help students understand different concepts and cultures from our own, such as this article. So, for children this could be broken down into easier concepts and then be built upon further. Also, often times learning visually is beneficial to children so whether it is them creating the art or looking at the pictures and listening to the words of a picture book a visual take on things can be beneficial. Also, who we are teaching plays a big role in this. There would be a variation in teaching from a grade one student versus a grade four student. Whatever is being taught in school needs to be adapted to whoever is learning.  

What it means to be a good student

To be a good student is to follow and respect rules and expectations. A teacher will typically have expectations for their student’s which is what may be their criteria for a “good” student. For example, Kumashiro shared two stories of students in which he thought that the students were not good students. However, they just learned differently and did not fit into his criteria to be a good student. Kumashiro took a while to realize that they were not bad students and that they just learned differently and viewed things in a different way.

            Students who may be privileged in regards to the definition of a “good” student are students who accurately fit into the category. Students who fit into to what a teacher views as a good student are most likely to succeed than students who are more challenging to teach and come across as “bad” students. What becomes impossible in regards to the commonsense is that not every student will learn the same way. Teachers may find it hard to move away from their commonsense idea of a “good” student but they must try to break that commonsense thought in order to help each student succeed. It will be impossible for every student to fit the fixed idea of a “good” student.

Critical Summary: Maxine Greene with a Focus on Aesthetic Education

I chose to do my critical summary on Maxine Greene and a focus on aesthetic experience. I chose this topic because I have never really understood how big of a role the arts play in education until this year as I have been taking classes that require experimenting with the arts for student’s engagement. I am also interested in Greene’s thoughts and theories on aesthetic education and want to learn more about how much of an impact this has on a student. To develop my ideas and gain a general understanding I looked at a book review of Maxine Greene’s book, “Variations on a Blue Guitar: The Lincoln Center Institute Lectures on Aesthetic Education” reviewed by Rosalie M. Romano. I also may go find a physical copy of the book at the library by Maxine Greene to deepen my understanding for this topic

            This book review of Greene’s book it states that “it is a philosophical call to bring arts into the classroom, deepening the experiences and animating a sense of self that connects … engagement” (Romano, 2001). Also, it is stated that this book by Greene is about how arts can shape children’s development both emotionally and intellectually and works towards a “meaning of aesthetic education”. Greene’s definition of aesthetic education is also included which is, “education for more discriminating appreciation and understanding of the several arts” (Romano, 2001). Just by reading this book review I am eager to learn more about how aesthetic education impacts students in the classroom and learn how beneficial it can be. I am already making more sense of my current classes involving the arts and understanding why we are doing the things we are doing.

            My next steps will be to answer the questions I have such as, how the arts impact children emotionally and intellectually, what the benefits are to using aesthetic approaches, what Greene means by “aesthetic moments”, and any more questions I may have while continuing my research. I will also search for more articles and read them and possibly read Greene’s book as it sounds interesting.

Resource: Romano, Rosalie (2010) “Variations on a Blue Guitar: e Lincoln Center Institute Lectures on Aesthetic Education by Maxine Greene,” Journal of Educational Controversy: Vol. 5 : No. 1 , Article 23.
Available at: h ps://cedar.wwu.edu/jec/vol5/iss1/23

Smith – Curriculum Theory and Practice Response

The four models described in the article are transmitted, product, process, and praxis. The benefits of transmitted are it is an order of contents approach, it’s a process that knowledge is transmitted to the students in an effective way, and the teachers who follow this model often have no concerns with curriculum issues. The drawbacks of this model are that a syllabus typically doesn’t emphasize the importance of topics or what order they should be studied in, it is only concerned with content, and teachers will limit their planning to the content they want to transmit to their students, according to the article.

            The benefits of the product model are it is very organized, the curriculum is not resulted from ‘armchair speculation’ but from study, and has a clear notion of outcome so that content can be organized and the results can be evaluated, according to the article. The drawbacks are there is no social vision and there is not a programme to guide the process of curriculum construction. It also takes away from the students and they are left with little to no voice and can also result in unanticipated results, according the article.

            The benefits of the process model are that the interactions between teachers, their students, and the knowledge is key. Outcomes are not the central idea for learning. The students have a voice. The drawbacks, according the article, are it has such a wide, broad term that it has become interchangeable with ‘education’ and can lead to a huge variety on content. The quality of this model falls onto the quality of the teacher following it.

            The benefits of praxis, according to the article, are that action is also committed, collective understandings are closely watched as well as structural questions. Also, it is committed to exploring the practice with their peers. A drawback is that it is a more radical view.

The most common model used in my schooling experience has been the process model. Certain elements of the transmitted and product models have been experienced as well but in my own experience the process model has been most relevant.

Some things these models made possible in the classroom is continual learning, structured guidelines to learning, the hidden curriculum including the nature of relationships between teacher and student and class organization, steps to accomplishing goals, and working with others.

            Some things made impossible by these models in the classroom are that the process and praxis models present problems in context to informal education (according to the article) and that some curriculum aspects only truly make sense alongside the class, the teacher, the course, the lesson, and basically anything to enhance the learning of the individual.

The Common Sense Response

Kumashiro believes that learning different methods is essential to improving as a teacher. Common sense limits what is considered to be consistent with the purposes of schooling. Also, Kumashiro stated that their goal in Nepal was to share with them what was known as more common sense in the United States. They felt that teaching should consist of more than lectures, memorization, tests, and textbooks. Kumashiro also says that common sense limits what is considered to be consistent with the purposes of schooling.

It is so important to pay attention to the ‘common sense’ because every classroom has ‘norms’ to conform to. It is also important to pay attention to because it has the potential to limit what is the purpose of schooling. Kumashiro also says that common sense does not tell us that the status quo is oppressive and rarely tells us that schools need to prioritize challenging oppression. Also, common sense is not what should shape educational reform or curriculum design but rather is what needs to be examined and challenged. Different cultures should be taken into account as what is common sense to one culture may not be common sense to another. Every student also has a different home life which should be taken into account. Not every student will have the same needs as another and therefore common sense should not be considered the same for each student.

  • when making groups count of the amount of people you want IN the group not the amount of groups you want
  • think of ways to efficiently hand out papers
  • use Go Noodle for brain break
  • when asking the class questions wait 5-10 seconds after the question then call on a student to answer
  • to get students to quiet down say, “If you can hear me clap once”. As more students join in, make your voice softer.
  • when students are seated at their desks say “pencil” and they put both hands above their heads to form a pencil. Then say “turtle” and they lay their heads on the desks to be quiet and listen.
  • print out images of school supplies such as glue, scissors, eraser, pencil, etc. Laminate them and glue magnets to the back. When describing an activity to the class put the materials needed on the board
  • start collecting children’s books now in case you teach a class at that reading level
  • if a student has behaviour issues get a small notebook to write messages back and forth with the parents in. send with the student at the end of the day if needed
  • Have goals for students to work towards such as popsicle day, movie, etc.
  • practise writing on a whiteboard!!
  • always have stickers on hand
  • have colour coded duo-tangs for classes ex) English is red, math is yellow, etc
  • assign small jobs to students such as line leader, hand out-helper, etc.

Week Eight or Final Week: (some students will have 7 while others may have 8 half-days)
Final Reflections: Interconnectedness of Knowledge, Schooling and Society Immediately following your final day of field experience, take me to look back at the experience as a whole, look at the ‘big’ picture and write one final reflection.

 

 

 

 

The last day of field experience came way too quickly. I am going to miss going into the classroom every week. I learned so much in such a short time and wish I could continue to go more to expand my learning. To start of the afternoon, the students did some silent reading. Following this they were learning different ways they could represent the number ‘14’. They got to work with a partner first then took the ideas for some independent work. After the number lesson the teacher read them a Christmas story. After recess, the students wrote in their agendas and got to go have their library time. They got to pick new books and then listen to another story. I am going to miss all the students and see their progress in the reading, writing, and math skills.

At the beginning of the field experience, I was nervous to go. I didn’t really know what to expect and had never been into elementary schools in big cities, only small, rural schools. Each time I went into the classroom I felt more comfortable and more confident. I also learned something new every time and have lots to add into my toolbox. My cooperating teacher was excellent and made the whole thing less intimidating and gave my partner and I very useful knowledge and strategies to use in the classroom one day. I learned many new ways to get students to focus on their work. Being in a Grade 1 classroom, the students often had hard times listening and would get distracted or lose focus quickly. The teacher had many ways to re-group the students such as little songs, poems, clapping games, and telling them to be a certain animal. Something the teacher always did was positive encouragement. She never told children negative things and never gave kids trouble, but would instead say things like, “I appreciate how ***** is working quietly”. Often times the student that was misbehaving would hear this and want to also be praised and therefore would quiet down.

I think I have grown a lot and learned a lot from my first time in the classroom. I never realized just how much prep work goes into being a teacher and how much other paperwork there is. I enjoyed observing teacher techniques, how she taught lessons, and the role of EA’s in the classroom. The school as a whole was very kind, friendly, and supportive. My cooperating teacher said everyone in the school shares ideas and helps out when needed, such as with a student with behavioral issues. My time at W.F Ready School was a time I will never forget. Each day I had so much fun and never knew what to expect, as each day was a different day. I will use the things I learned there in my own classroom in the future. I am very thankful for this experience and everything I learned there.

 

Week Seven: The Role of Technology: You will focus on the role of technology in the lives of students.
Core Questions: How is technology used in your classroom? In the library? In the school? How are students engaging with technology (in school and outside school)? Have an informal conversa on with a few students to see how they

use technology, how they think technology helps them in their learning & ways they would like to use the technology. Have a discussion with your cooperating teacher to see how he/she uses technology in instruction, assessment & professional knowledge.

 

 

I had lots of fun this week. To start off the afternoon, the students were learning what more than a certain number meant. For example, the teacher would ask the students what one more than 13 was, and most of the students were able to answer, 14. We got to walk around the classroom and check their work to make sure they had the right answers before moving onto their next assignments. Their next task was to write to the best of their abilities to write a little story about any topic they wanted and then draw a picture. All the students had their own creative idea and many wrote about Christmas, what they want and what they love about Christmas. After recess, we got to go with the class for their library time. They all exchanged their books and then got to pick two new books to take out. The students were all so excited to get to browse around the library and find new books to read.

Technology is key in the classroom as well as the school. In our classroom, there are ipads with learning games and activities the students can play when they have free time, can’t participate in a class activity, or need extra practice with numbers, letters, reading, and more. This week in my field experience, the teacher played calm music for the students to listen to while they wrote their stories. Also, the teacher often uses her smartboard in the classroom to show students examples of what they should be doing. There are lots of other forms of technology used throughout the school as well. There is an intercom system which the principal as well as others staff members can use to share announcements and call for certain people to come to the office. Also, the teacher showed my partner and I one day how their online records for marking look. It was cool to see how the marking system works and the ways the technology helps to speed up that process. Almost every room I have had the opportunity to go into at the school has a smartboard and projector. This piece of technology is great in showing students examples for art classes, videos for the students to dance along too, information videos, and other examples to be discussed in class. The teacher in the grade 1 class room I go into has used her smartboard for all these things and probably more. Technology is a key factor in the classroom as well as the school.

Week Five: Inclusive Education-Diversity & Difference: You will continue to focus on the diversity, difference & inclusiveness in the school and classrooms.
Core Questions: How is your school community honouring diversity, equity, and human rights for all students (including sexual and gender diversity) within their schools and communities?

 

 

I was so excited to be back in the classroom this week as last Monday we didn’t get to go. The kids were excited to see me and my partner, it made me smile. To start the teacher first taught the lesson. The kids were working on counting and they were going over different ways they could add numbers to equal 10. Lots of the students came up with their own ideas and were excited to share. Then the students began their assignment which was to glue pictures of rabbits onto two hills on their worksheet and write the number of rabbits on each hill below, then write the total number. During this time, the teacher had my partner circulate the classroom to answer questions and I got the opportunity to get the students to read their study words to me. If the student got the word I filled it in properly on the sheet next to their name and if they didn’t get the word I left the space blank. Then my partner and I switched so I got to help students with their work. This time they were making something to hang on the wall. They had to write down what their “invisible strength” is and draw a picture of it. It was so sweet to see what the students thought their invisible strength is and how they visualized it looked like.

At the end of the day we got to go with the class to their library time. During this time, they learned about the book fair that is going to be happening in their school this week and got to watch a video about some of the books that would be there. Then the students were to draw a picture of a book they want and to write a little sentence about it. It was fun to see which books interested the students and it was fun to see the sentences they wrote and help them spell words. The school seems very accepting of all people. The teachers who have students who do not celebrate some holidays accommodate that and give other activities and assignments for the students to do.

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