Curriculum as literacy

  1. How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?
  2. Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

Blog #10

I come from a small Community an hour out of Regina. This type of community almost thrives off of biases and lenses. We all hear the sayings about how small town people don’t think outside of their bubble and only beleive what they have been told which has been passed on for generations, so it must be, right? I can most definitely say this is to an extent the case where I come from, but we also had a very multicultural community. For me, I grew up middle class, White, and Privileged. This already puts a bias on how I “read the world”. When you aren’t faced with the everyday struggle of not being privileged things can become a little foggy to how life is for other people. you forget that some people aren’t eating every day, or have to sleep on a floor in a friends house because they got kicked out. In my community, all these things were very real for the majority of my classmates and friends, but I was so blind to the fact almost like it was too hard for me to beleive it, so I just let it go. Looking back on this now it makes me wonder if I was blinded by my Privilege. If I would have taken the time to understand, evaluate, and try to develop a better understanding of these type of things would I still have these lenses on? I think in the classroom I still show a lot of my biases and that is something I work on every day. I grew up in a family where you work for what you want and only you can change how your life is going to play out. I still to this day hold that close to my heart. I beleive you do have to work hard for things, and nothing should be handed to you, but I also have to understand that sometimes that isn’t the case. I have to understand that sometimes someone that has nothing is trying harder than the people that have everything. I will always have that small town farmer way of thinking and I’m not going to be ashamed of that everyone has their own past and is brought up a different way. I think trying to change someone and their past isn’t always going to work nor should be tried to an extent. These lenses will be with me forever, no matter how hard I try I will always be a white, middle class, women that has an education and a good home life. All i can do is try to understand, re-evaluate, and break a new barrier down every time I step into the classroom.

Throughout school, I definitely had a different experience from a lot of other people. I grew up where the population is mostly indigenous people, so I learnt a lot of Indigenous education growing up. Coming into university I thought everyone learnt as much as I did. This was a huge shock coming into Univesity and realizing how little information some people had on this culture based on where they were from. I was taught in almost every subject, every day about Indigenous people and for this, I will forever be thankful. It had helped shape me, helped me understand, and mostly helped me connect with the people around me every day. One thing about my school that really stood out to me was how we had a Cree class offered for many years, but because of a lack of interest, it was discontinued. This is really hard to hear for me. We had the opportunity to learn another language that surrounds our community and for many students was there ancestors language, but because of lenses and biases on one took it. I think this is just one example of how Indngoeus culture is still being looked down on; even though so many of us try to deny it.

Curriculum of Numrancy

  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. 77). Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics — were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?
  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 of mathematics and the way we learn it.

 

Blog Post #9

Looking back on my mathematics “Journey” it has not been easy. When I was younger I would say I was stronger at math than a lot of kids. We had different groups for students that were struggling in math or were stronger in it, and I was always in the strong group. Throughout school that started to change, I would say I was bad at math but I could see myself starting to despise it and get “worse” at it. I think more and more I started to not enjoy it, I stopped trying and that is when I think I started to think I was bad at it. I think when you start to tell yourself you are bad at something you will start to hate it and then it is just a cycle. LOoking back at high school math that is exactly what I did. I didn’t want to go to math because i told myself I was “bad” at it and there was no use because I’d never understood it. I think students from a young age need to be shown that math can be fun, and just because you don’t catch on right away doesn’t mean you are weak at something or need to hate it. Math is used every day, so really how can you hate it.

Three ways that Inuit Mathematics Challenge Eurocentric Ideas:

  1. Some of the terms that we use in Mathematics are different- some of these are straight lines are cubes. These terms may be different but they all turn out to mean the same thing and aren’t wrong.
  2. We all see math as the universal language, which more times then not it is, but in the Inuit culture, it does have some difference that reflects their culture.
  3. We tend to focus more on the symbols in mathematics and use paper, but in the Inuit culture, they focus more on the language and focusing more orally in math.        -I think these are all very important to learn and realize that everything is taught differently around the world and just because its different doesn’t mean its wrong.

Curriculum as Citizenship

Please respond to the following in a blog post: What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling? What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus? Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship.

Blog post #8

Growing up in a small town being a good citizen and helping out around the town was always a huge ordeal. From a young age, we were always taught that living in a small town meant you were a tight-knight community always willing to help each other. To me, this is very true. If any family was in need of help the whole school and community would bind together to whatever they could to help. This to me was amazing. Nobody asked the school to do fundraisers, or have a town auction sale. This was just the type of thing that the community did try to be good citizens. We as a community and a small town definitely grew off of and focused on “Personally responsible citizens”. I think this is a huge part of any community and can really benefit a community if it is focused on.

In school, we talked about Citizenship very briefly, and not in very much detail. I remember sticking more too the definition of Citizenship and then moving on. We never went into detail about what this means to different people around the world or what it means to you. I remember one specific lesson where we all had to make a Canadian passport and learn all the rules we would need to know to move to a different country.  This really sticks out to me now, because maybe some students may not even be Canadian citizens at that moment the teacher just assumed and didn’t ask. There are so many people in every class and I think you have to be very inclusive and careful when talking about Citizenship as it could be a touchy subject for some students.

Treaty Education

  1. What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Content and Perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples?
  2. What does it mean for your understanding of the curriculum that “We are all treaty people”?

Blog #7

Throughout my high school career, I was always taught about Treaty Education and why it was important. This stems from the reason that where I come from there is a very high population of Indingoeus people in my community. Coming into university I always thought that everyone got the same Treat Education as I did, but that was not the case. In Education, we talk a lot about treat Ed and how we can it was incorporated in our education, and what I quickly came to learn was that this was not the case. Many people in my ed classes come from a background of little or no treaty ed in their past educational experiences. I think this is crazy. The purpose of Treaty  Ed is to make students aware of our history has affected our present and will keep affecting our future. We as a society have to learn about our past so we can except it and try to make changes for the better. If we learn about these things hopefully we can take this knowledge and make a change for the better. We as educators need to ensure that students know the impact Treaties and everything that came along with Treaties had on our ancestors and people today. We need to learn about the relationships between the Indigenous People and the settlers.

We hear the statement ” We are all Treaty People”  very often. When I first heard this I really didn’t understand what it meant. I always thought that Treaties just affected Indigenous people and really had no effect on settlers, but this is far from the truth. Treaties affect both sides. We as settlers are still using the resources that the land gives us today. We are all living on this land, we are all still benefiting from this land, and we both entered this agreement making us all one.

Learning From Place

Blog #6

The article suggests that a “critical pedagogy of place” aims to:

(a) identify, recover, and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (reinhabitation); and (b) identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (decolonization) (p.74)

  1. List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
  2. How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?

 

1). One way that I happen to notice reinhabitation and decolonization in this story is through language and its traditional ways of knowing.  Language connects us all. It is one thing that is so important to everyone but is rarely recognized or discussed. For Indigenous people, Language is seen as something so important. It is their way of passing along knowledge in the form of storytelling passing it on generation to generation. We have to keep teaching this way to some extent and if we do not that would be an example of decolonization. Learners need to understand there are different types and ways of learning. Sometimes it isn’t always going to be paper to pen or testing. It may be expressing your opinion out loud to a class, or going outside and having a talking circle. These are all ways of learning, but just in different forms with different outcomes.

2). When I first started reading this article the first thing I thought of was high school back home in Balcarres. Throughout my high school career, we had a class that was called ” Living off the land”. This was a class where students could get there English, Science, Social Studies, and Math by going out and learning how to do this with the land. When we first started this program I was a little sceptical as were a lot of people. How could a student possibly learn Math, and English while riding around in a canoe? These were my first thoughts, but that soon changed. One thing looking back now that I notice is the students that were in this class. When this program first started I can say about 90% of students in it were Indigenous. This makes perfect sense to me now. Looking back on Indigenous knowledge land was and is very important to them. The land is the creator of everything. After the first year, there were only good outcomes and things said about this program. The children learnt math by building igloos and measuring the size of it. The students learnt all about the nature unit by actually being outside, in the canoes or going on hikes being able to physically see these things. After the first year, I noticed a change the numbers changed there were more white students in the class. weird right? It almost seemed like these families didn’t believe their children would be learning the “proper” criteria because they weren’t in the classroom.

Europen ideas of knowledge have been the sole focus in educating and in the curriculum that when another way of teaching is brought in it is almost guaranteed to have a backlash. As I become a future teacher I know I will be using different places to do my teaching. Children love to move around and explore, so if they are doing something they enjoy or even something different they will put more focus into what they are learning. I think that is safe to say about everyone. Give someone a new environment or make it a bit more enjoyable and you will have greater outcomes.

Curriculum Development

Blog #5

Pre Reading Questions-

How do you think that school curricula are developed? This is an entry point to this topic and whatever you write will be fine.

Before joining this class and having to write this blog I had never truly thought about how the curriculum is developed. I mean sure there are some obvious ways it was developed (common sense), but I had never looked in depth about how it truly came about and what aspects were brought together to make it. My best guess on how it was developed; was that a bunch of White middle-aged men got together and put together a guide to what they thought the right and proper thing for children to learn. I do know teachers can teach a curriculum different and add their own aspects in, but it is made very clear that you still have to follow a specific guideline and make sure you fit everything in that the school system says.

 

How are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of the school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you? IMPORTANT – Please write your blog before our lecture as YOUR OPINION will be an integral part of the lecture.

 

After Reading Question- 

While reading the article; many of my views on the educational curriculum did stay the same, but there were a few things that stood out me more than others. We see right away that curriculum is defined as ” an official statement if what students are expected to know and be able to do”. This is something that was very obvious before reading the article, but it makes it more clear that this is what is expected by the government. One thing I was not aware of was how many people take the time to make the curriculum. I thought only a few people would create it. Having so many people with different beliefs and values coming together to create one curriculum seems almost impossible, but it is done. Reading the article let me have a look at how significant politics are when it comes to creating a curriculum. We see different areas that significantly show politics and other areas that are less in-depth. This also has a huge impact on how much the government is involved in this creation. The government has a lot of say on what goes on in the education system, too much if you ask me. I understand that the government should have some say, but for the amount, they are actually in schools and associated with them it is a little too much; if anything teachers should have the most say. All in all; I believe students, parents, and teachers would have better insight when it comes it creating the curriculum. They are in the schools day in and day out. They know what will benefit the children now and in the future. Teachers deal with these children every day, so their opinions and ideas about what the children are learning are very beatifical and crucial for a steady learning environment.

 

 

The “good” Student

Blog #4

 

For many of us in this class, we were those “good” students. These students were the children that sat nicely in their desks, didn’t interrupt the teacher, and answered the teacher when they asked the class a question. These children could also have been known as the teacher’s pet. For myself, I wouldn’t call myself a bad student, but I also wasn’t the child that was the “good”. I liked to have fun with my friends in class, I liked to talk with everyone, and I didn’t sit back and listen to everything the teacher would say. As I list these things off I realize no I was not a great student, but I enjoyed school. I made school fun, I made it enjoyable for the students around me, and I still go the grades I needed to feel proud about myself. The good students are supposed to be the children that get all As and don’t skip class. This means a good student in common sense. Right away when I was asked what a good student is I went right to someone with good grades and listens, but maybe this is completely wrong. Maybe it is the student that comes to school every day even though they are working three jobs and have to go home to take care of other siblings or the child that has mental health issues but still manages to get out of bed in the morning. We as educators need to take a step back and realize that just because one child has an A and the other has a C doesn’t mean the child with the C is any less.

 

In many areas of the world, the good students are supposed to be the white students. They are supposed to get better grades, listen better and in some areas, they are even known to be more “civilized”. We treat the white children with privileges, so why wouldn’t they be stronger learners or want to come to school every day. Students that get treated with respect, and get a proper education want to come to school. When we hear “bad” students; who do you think of? Is It the white female teacher pets that you see in movies, social media, or in your everyday classroom, or is it the child that comes from a one parent home and has to work three jobs?  Why would these students want to come to a place every day where they are already looked at as “bad” before they even have a chance? We as educators need to make a change for the better. No one but us as teachers can change the way classrooms are run, or the way children are treated.