ECS 210 Summary of Learning

It’s sad to think that this course is coming to an end. I have learnt so much throughout this course as I have covered in my summary of learning video.

Here is the link to my video!

Summary of Learning 

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Reading Response #10

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.

Reading Response #9

Curriculum as Numeracy

  1. At the beginning of the reading, Leroy Little Bear (2000) states that colonialism “tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldviews… Typically this proposition creates oppression and discrimination” (p. 177). Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning mathematics – – were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminatory for you or other students?

Reflecting back on my experiences of learning mathematics, in high school I remember that my mathematics was focused on Eurocentric views. The mathematic problems that we solved were based on Eurocentric views (e.g., Around the holidays, my math teacher would give us math problems based on the Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter; she never took into consideration that not everyone celebrates these holidays). She believed that Christian and European holidays were important to celebrate (by giving us math problems focused on these holidays), yet she never did celebrate any other holidays (Hanukah, Ramadan, etc).

In high school my math teacher had her class favorites, in way I felt discriminated when she refused to help me. My math teacher only helped the students who she felt were “smart/who would succeed” in mathematics. Therefore the ones who needed help struggled and fell behind. My math teacher was horrible for only helping out students who she liked, as it made the ones (including me) feel excluded and unintelligent. Since she would not help us it reflected in our grades. I feel like when having a math teacher like the one I had, mathematics can be discriminatory.

      2. After reading Poirier’s article: Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community… identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.

  • Students learn mathematics in their own language for their first 3 years of schooling.

 

Students learn how to count, and explain their solutions in their mother tongue. Once they are in Grade 4, students begin to learn mathematics in English or French. I found this to be different from how I learnt math, as I learnt math in my own language from K – Grade 12. I was not forced to learn mathematics in a language that was new or different to me. As a future educator I believe that students should be able to continue to learn mathematics in their own language… why confuse them by forcing them to learn another language.

  • “[T]eaching methods… are not based on the ‘natural’ ways of learning…” (Poirier, 2010, p. 55).

 

Students learn from their elders and by listening to enigmas. Elders share stories with children as a way of teaching and learning. In my school our teacher taught us mathematics through the use of our textbooks and problem solving. We never had community members come into our schools and teach us lessons on mathematics.

  • In Inuit mathematics, students learn how to measure using their body parts (measure objects with their palms, fingers, hands, feet, etc.).

 

Another thing that is different in Inuit mathematics is their calendar. They have a “traditional calendar [which] is neither lunar nor solar, since it is based on natural, independently reoccurring yearly events” (Poirier, 2010, p. 60-62). In my school we measured objects and items with rulers and tape measurers, and or calendar has a set number of days in each month (e.g. September has 30 days).

 

These are just a few examples of how Inuit mathematics is challenging Eurocentric views on mathematics. They are challenging that there is more than one way to teach and learn mathematics in schools. After reading this article, I understand how Eurocentric my schooling experiences were, and still are till this day. I enjoyed reading this article and seeing how another culture learns (such as Inuit mathematics).

 

References

Little Bear, L. (2000). Jagged Worldviews Colliding. Retrieved March 12, 2019, from                              https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XgvnbwyV2EoU7Uj9I7U7nrIwBPHyrHwy/view

Poirier, L. (2010). Teaching mathematics and the Inuit community.pdf. Retrieved March 12,         2019, from                                                                                                                                                https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sIDgjwf9qCdqjhNNhV_GOmlxal1d_ZJM/view

 

Reading Response #8

 Citizenship Education

Reflecting back on my experiences with citizenship education, I do not remember learning much about citizenship in elementary school. In elementary school we barely discussed citizenship. I remember my elementary teachers telling us how to be “good citizens” (respect those around you, use manners, be polite, etc.), but that was it. However as I entered high school we had two classes in Grade 10 customized for us to learn about citizenship.

These classes were Health and Wellness 10, and Career Education 10. In Wellness 10 we were taught how to be “good citizens,” relationships, and rights. We were told that good citizens are respectful, responsible, and polite. We learnt about different types of relationships (family, community, and peer relationships). We learnt about that challenges that we may face with relationships. My teacher also touched on the rights that we have as citizens in society.

In Career Education 10, our teacher used an online resource where we were assigned a job. This resource gave us our annual salary, both before and after deductions. With this resource we learnt about finances and budgeting. We were given options in which we got to select a house, vehicle, our family, and then we could add additional items as well (a boat, a cabin, a camper, etc.). Once selecting all of our items the resource would show us how much money we have left, most students were bankrupt. This class taught us how to be responsible adults in society, as well as how to be participants (workers).

The types of citizenships discussed in the reading, “What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy,” by Joel Westheimer (2004) include;

  1. Personally Responsible
  2. Participatory
  3. Justice Oriented (p. 1).

The types of citizenships focused on in my schooling were; personally responsible and participatory. We were taught to be respectful and responsible. In my one class (Career Education 10) we had a field experience where we were treated like adult citizens. We got to choose our field experience, I chose to be at my school (Grade 3 classroom). My role as an adult was similar to the role of an educational assistant. I helped students with their work, I supervised the class, and I corrected work. I got the chance to learn how to control the class on my own (be independent and responsible). I learnt how to be professional, as I had to be a good role model for the students I was working with. As an adult citizen we have so many responsibilities in life, by high school experiences have allowed me to take on some of these responsibilities and challenges that adult citizens face in everyday life.

Learning citizenship education in school has made it possible for me to learn how to be a responsible and respectful adult. I learnt how to deal with situations that we will face as adults in the “real world.” What I found to be a disadvantage is that we were only taught how to be a “good citizen” thought the eyes of one person. We were taught through one person’s perspective of what citizenship is/means.

 

References

Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What kind of citizen? The politics of educating for democracy. Retrieved March 2, 2019, from    http://www.civicsurvey.org/sites/default/files/publications/what_kind_of_citizen.pdf

Reading Response #7

 Curriculum and Treaty Education

  1. What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) content and perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Métis, or Inuit peoples?

The purpose of teaching Treaty Ed is to educate students on the process of the treaties made in Canada, the importance of the treaties, and who the treaties affect. It is important for all schools to learn about the treaties even if there are few or no First Nations, Métis, or Inuit peoples in the school. Treaties are important and a part of Canadian history that all students need to learn about. The purpose of Treaty Ed is to teach students what the treaties are and who played a role in the signing of the treaties. Treaty Ed teaches all of our students the rights that we have as treaty people. Responding to the student’s email I would encourage her to continue pushing for Treaty Education, and continue on teaching her students about the indigenous ways of knowing. I would encourage her to speak to other colleagues and get their opinions on what to do (how to teach this content). I would help her understand that this sort of content can be difficult to teach, but it is highly important for students to learn, to help them break the stereotypes that are placed on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

2. What does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that “we are all treaty people?”

After listening to Dwayne’s and Claire’s videos, and reading Cynthia’s narrative, I interpreted this quote as meaning that we all are living on treaty land. Each and every one of us is sharing treaty land. All of our ancestors played a part in the signing of the treaties. According to Champers; “The Treaties are a story that we share” (p.29). The treaties play a huge part in Canadian history. It is important to teach our students about the treaties as they affect each and every one of us. Responding to the student’s email, I would encourage her to teach her students that “we are all treaty people.” I would tell her to teach and help her students in understanding this concept. I would encourage her to plan lessons focused on the land that we share, and how treaties affect us.

It is important to include Treaty Ed in our classrooms, to help students understand the process of treaty signing, who was involved and how treaties affect everyone. In schools there will be people who may disagree with teaching Treaty Ed in the classroom, but it is part of the curriculum and treaties are a part of our country. As a future educator I will strive to teach Treaty Ed in my classrooms and make sure that my students learn about this content in a respectful manner (biases and stereotypes put aside; if they arise they will be dealt with in a professional manner).

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

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