Curriculum as Literacy:
1. How has your upbringing/ schooling shaped how you you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn/work against these biases?
Reflecting back on my school experiences and how I was taught, I would say that most of my teachers are “white Europeans.” I was taught through their stories and perspectives about certain issues (residential schools, The 60’s Scoop, and Treaties). I never did get to hear from the perspective of someone who experienced this. In school I only heard one side of “the story” (European). One thing that has stuck with me is all of the stereotypes and “myths” that I learnt from my teachers and family. Some of the things that I was taught were; the First Nations peoples “gave up their land,” children were taken from their families because their parents were “unfit” to raise them…etc. These were things that came out of some of my teachers’ mouths. Some of the stereotypes that I heard from my family came out of my dad’s mouth (his side of the family as well). Things such as First Nations peoples are lazy, their “drunks,” their no good, etc.
Growing up I tried to ignore all of these stereotypes, but constantly hearing these things it was hard for me to ignore. It was hard for me to ignore these things that were coming from peoples’ mouths; people who I am supposed to look up to.
As I’ve gotten older, I have learnt that some of the things that I was taught were untrue. As a future educator I believe that we need to erase these biases and stereotypes, to have an anti – bias classroom. When teaching lessons about residential schools or treaties, we should get someone with a different lense to come into our classroom and share their perspective on the topic. We can break these biases by finding the good in everyone. As a future educator I want to erase the stereotypes that are in my mind, so that I can treat all of my students equally (with respect and kindness).
2. Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?
In my school, “stories” were told predominantly by “white educators.” We were taught about residential schools, treaties, The 60’s Scoop, etc., by “white people.” We were taught about colonization through the perspectives of Europeans. I remember learning about colonization in Grade 10 -11 and my teacher saying that the First Nations peoples “gave up their land to the Europeans so that it could be put to good use,” which I have learnt is definitely not true. At my school the Europeans truth mattered (all the teachers at my school were “white,” so we were taught that what they say is the “truth.”). I was only taught about these topics through one perspective (one story). I believe that I would’ve learnt more or been able to understand these topics better if we had both sides to the story.
As a future educator I want my students to learn about these topics through more than one lense/perspective. I believe that when students are only taught through a certain lense, they are only learning one side of the story. I believe that students should learn through multiple lenses, so that they are learning the whole story.