Ecoliteracy Braid

What it Means to be and Ecoliterate Person

To be an ecoliterate person, you should understand the environment (nature) and help keep our environment clean for future generations. There are tons of actions you can do to connect with nature, and take care of our environment. When describing what it means to be an ecoliterate person, some people may have similar or different definitions from you on what it means to be “ecoliterate.”

To be an ecoliterate person Jade states that we could begin by “being a part of and engaging with the environment around [us].” Jade’s view is similar to mine, as she described an ecoliterate person as someone who connects has a relationship with our environment.  In my poem I describe someone who “admire[s] the animals, plants, and trees, [f]rom squirrels to flowers to evergreens.” Our environment is a beautiful place, and we should learn to love “every moment in nature … [and] [make] unforgettable memories in our environment.” Jade’s poem is similar to my poem, as both poems focus on the admiration of our environment and the relationships we have with nature. Another poem that is similar to mine is Mack’s poem. In Mack’s poem he states that “small step[s] you see … could change the Earth, you and me.” To be an ecoliterate person you should notice and care about the changes that are happening around us. In my poem I also discuss the changes that are occurring; “You care about the changes that are happening around us, [w]hile other people stand around and make such a fuss, [a]bout the issue of climate change or global warming, [y]ou notice that these changes are very alarming.” In both Mack’s poem and my poem we discuss that there are actions that can be done to disrupt what is happening (climate change). Mack focuses on the act of recycling; ” Recycling is such a small step you see,” but this small step is a good place to start. In my poem I discuss a few small actions that can be done, from              “reduc[ing], reus[ing], and recycle[ing],” to walking or biking instead of driving, and picking up garbage off the ground. These “[s]mall actions … will help keep our environment clean.” In both Mack’s poem and my poem we state that everyone must work together and “do their part” in order to see any huge changes. It seems that both Mack’s, Jade’s, and my poem speak of being ecoliterate as connecting with nature, and caring and helping out our environment.

A poem that I found to be different from mine is Mateus’ poem. I enjoyed reading Mateus’ poem, as it had a different view then mine, on what it means to be ecoliterate. Mateus’ poem was discussing ecoliteracy in a scientific viewpoint. Mateus discusses the environment  using different word to describe the same thing; ” I see parrots, I see maritacas, I see Psittacara leucophtalma.” He uses words such as “Psittacara leucophtalma” to describe parrots, to show us that we need to have a deeper understanding of nature (learn about nature in a deeper, scientific context). In doing so we can think about the negative changes that are occurring, in a scientific framework. Mateus discusses that “[w]e must learn” about the changes that are occurring, and my poem discusses what these change are; the “issue of climate change or global warming.”

I connected my poem to the reading “What is Education for?” by David Orr. According to Orr “we are becoming more ignorant of the things we must know to live well and sustainably on the earth.” Some people are ignoring the facts that change is occurring, and instead of doing something to disrupt climate change people are “standing around and mak[ing] such a fuss.” My poem discusses that we should not be ignoring the facts that climate change is occurring, instead there are small action that can be taken to disrupt the effects of climate change. According to Orr; “The truth is that many things on which our future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeopardy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural systems, the beauty of the natural world, and biological diversity.” It’s our job to ensure that our environment doesn’t get further damaged for future generations. It’s our job to take care of our environment, so that future generations can enjoy what we have today.

 

 

Reading Response #6

Reading Response #6

Moving Towards Environmental Education

After reading the article “Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing” by Jean – Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner, and Edmund Metatawabin, I learnt that teaching and learning does not have to occur in a “classroom” environment. This article reveals how the Mushkegowuk Cree people honor and learn from the land and nature. Restoule, Gruner, and Metatawabin share how children and elders (community members) would gather and share their experiences and connections with the land. According to Restoule, Gruner, & Metatawabin (2013); “Learning from land and place beyond institutional walls is a return to traditional Mushkegowuk modes of teaching and learning” (p.82). In the past the Mushkegowuk people were forced to learn within institutional walls (residential schools), but now they are allows to learn from their elders and the land. They are moving away from the past to ensure that their children learn about their land, culture, and history.

I believe that the land can teach many lessons to students; therefore as educators we should take our students outside to connect and learn through their explorations with nature and the land. We should stray away from the idea that subjects can only be taught within a classroom, because that ideology is not true.

After reading this narrative, I took into consideration the lessons that students can learn from elders and community members. Educators are not the only people who can teach valuable lessons. There are people within our community who can teach our students lessons by sharing their knowledge and experiences. As a future educator I want to take my students outside to learn and connect with the environment. I am currently in ESCI 302 (Environmental Education), and have learnt that some children have better learning experiences by being outside.

I enjoy the thought of having elders and community members coming into classrooms and sharing their stories and experiences. As a future educator I want to have an open classroom where everyone is welcome (parents, students, elders, community members, etc.). I have learnt from this reading “that connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual development” (Kellert, 2005, p. 70). By allowing children to explore and learn outside you are helping them develop physical and emotionally. As a future educator I want to take my students outside and allow them to learn and explore our environment. I want to hopefully help other educators understand that lessons can be taught amongst four institutional walls, we just have to provide our students with the opportunities to explore beyond those walls.

 

References

Restoule, J., Gruner, S., & Metatawabin, E. (2013). Learning from place.pdf. Retrieved February 10, 2019,   from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dI7wj8JcsOuMVHjWx1aKJy3XzCSoyYuc/view

Ecoliteracy Poem

 

Caring About Our Environment    

You admire the animals, plants, and trees,

From squirrels to flowers to evergreens.

You reduce, reuse, and recycle,

Instead of driving you walk or ride your bicycle.

When garbage is found lying around,

You pick it up off of the ground.

You care about the changes that are happening around us,

While other people stand around and make such a fuss,

About the issue of climate change or global warming,

You notice that these changes are very alarming.

You understand that we need to help out,

Instead of doing nothing but shout.

We all have to stick together and do our part,

You are an ecoliterate person who has a head start.

You care about our Earth

And its self-worth.

Cleaning up our environment by reducing your carbon footprint is a good start,

It is time that everyone does their part.

Small actions or big leaps,

Any action will help keep our environment clean.

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Response #5

How is Curriculum Made?

Reflecting back on what I have learnt so far about the curriculum, I believe that the curriculum is created by the “dominant” race (white people), and people who are seen as higher up in the status quo. I believe that the curriculum is created by higher authorities; predominantly white males. These males have a background education; they are seen as intelligent. I also believe that some curriculum designers have a background in teaching, which helps them when creating the curriculum.

After reading the article “Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should be Learned in Schools” by Ben Levin, I learnt that school curricula is developed and implemented by a group of people. According to Levin (2007), “Curriculum politics involve a wide range of participants” (p.15). Governments have a person in the cabinet whose responsibility is education. School curriculum is mostly developed by the government, with very little input from the districts and schools themselves. According to Levin (2007); “Curriculum decision processes depend on governance systems” (p.17). The final decisions on school curricula rest with the government.

School curriculum is implemented by school divisions, principals, and educators. Educators follow the curriculum when teaching, to ensure that their students are learning what they need to know. School curriculum is “an official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do” (Levin, 2007, p. 8). Courses taught in school have objectives that students should achieve by the end of the school year, and it is our jobs as educators to makes sure those objectives are being met.

Some new information that I learnt about the curriculum is the different roles that people play in creating and implementing school curricula. Curriculum policies are developed by the government and then implemented by school divisions, and taught by educators. One thing that surprised me at the beginning of the article was how the “Ontario curriculum for Grades 1 to 8 contains more than 3700 specific and general expectations for teachers and students to cover” (Levin, 2007, p. 7). I was shocked when I read this cause that is a large number of objectives to cover in such a short period of time. As educators we need to understand that the curriculum is a guide to follow, and in a case like this all of the course objectives will not always be met. As educators we should not stress if not all the course objectives are met, we should rather focus on making sure that our students are understating all of the content being taught rather than rushing what we need to teach, just to meet all of the course objectives.

 

References

Levin, B. (2007, September 19). Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be taught in    schools. Retrieved February 2, 2019, from      https://www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/16905_Chapter_1.pdf

Reading Response #4

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense? Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student? What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?

After reading “Chapter 2: Preparing Teachers for Crisis: A Sample Lesson” in Kumashiro’s book Against Common Sense, I have learnt what a “good” student is according to schools and society. In this chapter Kumashiro discusses that a “good” student behaves well in class, listens and asks questions, and is able to think and learn in the way the educator teaches. The ways in which educators are supposed to teach and students are supposed to learn are set out by the curriculum and society. According to Kumashiro; “Mainstream society often places values on certain kinds of behaviors, knowledge and skills” (2010). Society believes that if all educators teach the same way, then all students are learning the same way, which will allow for a similar end result (passing a class).

The students who are privileged according to the definition of what a “good student” is, are the children who come into the classroom with prior knowledge. They bring what they have previously learned to the classroom environment. A “good” learner can be compared to a “full glass,” in which the student has knowledge to contribute upon entering the classroom. Students who are not privileged are the ones whose minds are considered “empty,” as they have no knowledge prior to arriving in the classroom. Another example of students who are privileged are students who can learn from a certain teaching method. Students who can sit still and not disrupt class are considered “good” learners.

What is problematic is that not all students learn the same way. Students are individual people who have their own way of learning information. Therefore we must not assume that all students will do well by being taught the same way. Students need to learn in comforting ways in order to do well in the class. As educators we need to take into consideration that students learn differently. When teaching we should explain what is being taught in more ways than one, so that all of our students understand the information that they need to know.

As a future educator I will ensure that all of my students are succeeding in class, and that they all understand the material being taught to them. As educators we need understand that this definition of what a “good” student is, is wrong. All students behave differently (not all students can sit still and be quiet) while learning. As educators we should not try to change the way a student learns, we should change the way teach.

 

References

Kumashiro, K. (2 April 2010). Chapter 2: Preparing Teachers for Crisis: A Sample Lesson. In Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice. Taylor & Francis.

Reading Response #3: Educational Quote

john dewey quote

 

https://bloch4.umkc.edu/graduate-program/msa/aaes/documents/2017-Technology-and-Todays-Classroom-UMKC-Slides.pdf

 

John Dewey argued that children need to be active in the classroom during learning. Dewey believed that “students thrive in an environment where they are allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum…” (Talebi, 2015, p. 4). The quote that I found explains Dewey’s theory of how children should be taught. If children were provided with hands on experiences/activities as a way of learning, it would allow them to learn visually as opposed to sitting in a desk and listening to the teacher speak. I agree with Dewey’s quote, and believe that children should be allowed to move around while learning, instead of being restricted to sitting in their desks all day. Educators should plan 1 or 2 lessons where students are able to learn hands on, and use their creativity while learning. For example in elementary mathematics, teachers could provide students with marbles, and let them move the marbles around while learning to count, add and subtract these objects.

A few things that might be impossible with this method is how educators should evaluate their students, and making sure that all students are staying on task (especially in a larger classroom). Students might get distracted easily or be encouraged to goof off when given a task that is hands on. As educators it is hard to pay attention to every student in making sure that they are doing the assigned activity. Also as educators we are not able to always see a student’s process of how they solve an activity, usually we just see the end result. Students might have different ways of solving the activity, but all of the students could wind up with the correct answer. When assigning your students a hands on activity, it can be difficult on deciding how to evaluate them, as you only see their solution.

According to this quote the role of the teacher is provide the students with a hands on activity, and allow them to solve it and learn through their mistakes. The role of the teacher is to allow for hands on experiences in the classroom. The role of the student is to use whatever methods they want to solve the activity. The students can be creative and choose how they will solve the activity.

I believe that hands on activities can be useful in the classroom, as a fun way of learning. Students today are constantly restricted to their desks, where they listen to their teachers teach the curriculum. I believe that not all student learn well when they confined to their desks. There are students who need to move or see something visually to learn. I remember in my elementary years use blocks to count by 1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 100’s. I enjoyed being able to move the blocks around and visualize what each number would look like. I believe that more teachers should follow Dewey’s method, and give students hands on experiences as a way of learning. I know that some educator’s might be afraid to stray away from the curriculum when it comes to teach class material, but as educators we should modify course lessons to make learning fun for our students.

 

References

Talebi, K. (2015, September). John Dewey Philosopher and Educational Reformer. Retrieved  January 21, 2019, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED564712.pdf

 

 

CJ2:(Cleaning Up Our Environment)

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Our world is changing in numerous ways. Temperatures are increasing, water levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and forest fires and flooding are happening way more frequently. These are just some of the effects that global warming has on our environment. The human race is the main cause of these effects, and it’s humans who will have to act fast before they get worse. There are small actions that we can all do to help out our environment.

My visual representation is a simple act or step that we can take to clean up our environment. We can pick up any garbage around us that we see, even if it’s not ours. We should be cleaning up the environment and thanking it for the resources that it provides us with. Reflecting back on my memories at Fishing Lake, SK, I remember how it use to look before the flood. Fishing Lake was beautiful, with trees and sandy beaches everywhere. There is still a few tress left around the lake, but my family and I are seeing a lot more garbage along were our beach used to be. There are rocks that build up a berm and that is where most of the garbage is. Sometimes my family and I go for walks along the berm and pick up the garbage so that it does not end up in the lake. I believe that little actions will help, rather than doing nothing.

More people need to act as well, and help take care of our environment. There are little acts of reciprocity that you can do, such as consume less (only use what you need), and clean up any waste around you. These are just a few examples of actions that anyone can do to thank the environment for what it provides us with.

In the reading “Maple Nation: A Citizen Guide,” Kimmerer (2013) states that; “We’ve got a lot to be grateful for, and we all have to do our part to keep it going” (p.169). The environment is beautiful and it provides us with great resources, but if we want our environment to stay beautiful and keep providing us with resources we have to learn how to consume less and help keep it clean. Simple acts of reciprocity that we can do is pick up garbage, turn the lights off when they are not needed, walk more and drive less, only use what we need (resources). My act of reciprocity is to pick up garbage that I see, as a way of thanking the environment for the resources it provides me with.

 

References

 Kimmerer, R. (2013). Maple Nation: A Citizen Guide. In Braiding Sweetgrass (p. 169). Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed Editions.