Week 12- Constructions of School Leaders

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One thing I learned this week about being a principle or authority figure is that there is a lot of different and sometime unexpected situations that you may come across. We talked in the seminar about hoe issues that are legal are often the easier issues to deal with because they are more black and white then some of the moral issues you may deal with like the different in-basket cases we explored.
  2. Another thing I learned is that there is a model for principals to follow when making their vision for their school and setting their school up for the most success possible.
  3. Another thing I learned is that principals have so many different factors to look at when making decisions for their school. They have to satisfy the teachers, students, and parents to help create and maintain a healthy community within and amongst there school and this is hard to do because there are very few situations in which everyone will be happy. This will cause the principals to have to make certain decision and deal with some of the troubles it may bring up and have good reasoning and solutions to these problems.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made was with the cases we talked about in the seminar because a lot some of those were things I saw happen in my own school growing up. One situation specifically was with the issue of teachers smoking in sight of the students. It was brought up in seminar that the teachers often received trouble from the students telling them how bad it was for them so that could be considered to be enough punishment for them and the principle may not have to necessarily step in and say anything to them.
  2. Another connection I made was in lecture and the discussion I had with my peers about what we considered a “good” principal to be. Our perceptions were very similar for the most part. One of my peers however grew up in another country and had a principal that did not fit the feature we had been discussing. I connected with this because I have realized that I have been privilege to have had good experiences with the principals in my school growing up.

One Question I Have:

When does a principle have to look to high authority when making decisions for their schools and are there any situations they may encounter that require higher authority to step in and help solve?

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Week 10- Constructions of Teacher Identity

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One thing I learned this week is that even though you collect different skills and experiences while studying in university there is always going to be situations in your future classroom that you have never had the chance to experience. No matter how prepared you feel after university you will always be learning new things once in the classroom after your degree.
  2. I also learned that there is a stereo type towards all teachers and teaching itself. When everyone things of a classroom they see a teacher a the front of the room with students sitting in rows of desk listen and behaving and being able to learn in a traditional classroom.
  3. Another thing I learned is what a discourse is. Discourse is the growth and constant change you will make as a teacher year to year. It is also the message that the students receive from you as you are teaching.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made to this week’s lecture was that everyone’s definition of what a teacher is and what it means to teach is different. I think that this is closely connected to the values and beliefs each person has and how they are going to present themselves in their classroom. Often when I think about what makes up a teacher I instantly think about who my favourite teacher was growing up and the traits they had.
  2. Another connection I have made to this week’s lecture is that your identity plays a role in who you are as a teacher. I think that each individual’s identity is what creates bias in the classroom and has an effect on the hidden curriculum that they choose to teach and include in their lessons.

One Question I Still Have:

After this lecture, I still wonder if there is a way that our bias and identity can be a benefit within the classroom rather than potentially causing students to be missing out on different views or learning experiences.

Week 9-Constructions of Teacher Professionalism

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One thing I learned this week while exploring the STF website was about teacher salaries. After each year you teach you get an increase in pay. I also never knew that the number of credit hours and years of school you have can increase your salary as well. Different things like Inclusive Education certificates and masters’ degrees all play a part in your salary increase.
  2. Another thing I found interesting was when exploring the Code of Ethics that if you complain about your job or other employees to someone in line at the grocery store, for example, and get caught doing so you could get charged because it isn’t in the best interest for teachers as a collective.
  3. Lastly I learned about the McDowell Foundation for Research Into Teaching. This provides support for research that would have a direct impact on teaching. It funds research to be done within the classroom.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made was with the concern that was brought up about students not getting a job due to high qualification they may have. I am currently working on my Inclusive Education certificate throughout my degree and this was a concern that I had. It was nice to hear that not all schools will hire someone who they may have to pay less even if you fit the job description and have to be paid more.
  2. Another connection I made to the content this week is to how substitute teachers when in that classroom that day are they teachers and take part and follow the guidelines of any other teacher. I think that the students need to see this side of things too, because often the day the substitute comes through the door they immediately think it is a day to goof off and get no work done.

One Question I Still Have:

A question I still have is that is something like and Inclusive Education certificate enough to bump you up to a new pay class or do you need more credit hours than the certificate requires?

Week 8- Social Identity and School Systems

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One thing I learned was through Anyon’s reading is that each school prepared their students differently depending on whether they are in a wealthier or poor community. The schools hold their students to different standard and the depth they go into content of the curriculum will depend on their socioeconomic status. This way of teaching has an effect on the students future because the wealthier schools prepares students well for university while the poorer school prepare students for the work force.
  2. Another thing I learned is that universal education is what is accessible and free to everyone. Growing up I never realized that some people may not have access to this because I grew up going to school for free with easy access.
  3. Lastly one of the things I learned was that Reproduction Theory, with the idea that everyone has equal opportunities within school. I don’t think that all students have equal opportunity because there will be differences that affect students within schools such as race, gender, socioeconomic class, etc.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made was with the European culture that has been embedded into our schools. It is dominant in the holidays we celebrate, and even in the content that is learned. Looking back at my education I now see how this was reflected. Now with the large amount of immigration and different race and culture within our schools and communities, I think it is important to look at and created places within our teaching that everyone can connect to and relate to so that they can have an educational experience that they feel welcome in and can relate to.
  2. I can also connection with Anyon’s reading because when I was going through it the things and examples that were given and described under middle class sounded much like those that I experienced in both elementary and high school growing up.

One Question I Still Have:

What can we do as a society to provide equal educational opportunities within our communities and schools?

Week 7- Constructions of School Systems

Three Things I Learned:

  1. Something I learned more about this week was the hidden curriculum and its importance. This is the views and cultural aspects that are included in the curriculum and help shape the views and beliefs that teachers may wish for their students.
  2. Another thing I learned was that our school system has a Factory Model. Teachers are very focused on teaching rules and getting the subject content to the students. With this it looks like we have an aim of producing a certain type of student that knows similar information and can impact society in a certain way.
  3. Last thing I learned is that there are four different philosophies of teaching. They are perennialism (very conservative), essentialism (traditional), progressivism (teacher as facilitator), and reconstructionism (teacher as facilitator).

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made with this week’s content was with the Educational Philosophy. I have started to develop my philosophy and as I continue my journey through each of the different classes, especially education classes, I have learned that education is always changing depending on your community, school, and students, as well as society as a whole.
  2. Another connection I made was with the discussion we had in lecture about the number of women who know who have influenced Canadian history, as well as the number of indigenous individuals we know have influenced Canadian history. When I began to think about the individuals I learned about in grade 1 through 12 there was a very small list of names that came to mind. This made me think about what we are actually teaching and being taught, and made me realise that we need to look more critically at the information we are and aren’t giving our students.

One Question I Still Have:

What role do each of the four educational philosophies play in our curriculum and school systems today?

Week 6- Diverse Perspectives on Development and Learning

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One l thing I have learned is that there are a lot of new scholars that are looking at older theories and beginning to question the assumptions they have made about different groups of students. They are not saying that these theories are wrong, instead just taking a deeper look at them and making new considerations such as race and gender.
  2. Another thing I have learned is the importance Indigenous Knowledge can have on a child’s development. This perspective talks about the learning spirit and the importance the land has on it.
  3. Another thing I have learned is that report cards are often testing skills or knowledge that the school wants the children to know or demonstrate. These the results shown on the report card may not be an accurate representation of the skills and knowledge the child possessed due to the way they are tested and how and when these skills are measured.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made was with the “good student”. I have learned about this is ECS 210 and talking about it again just expresses the importance of it. I don’t believe that we should have a definition of what a good student is. Each student can be a good student in different ways depending on where they come from and where they are in there learning! I think what would be considered “good” for one student can be complete different from what may be “good” for another student.
  2. Another connection I made was with the conversation we had about how sciences and math typical take precedence over subjects such as art, physical education, or social studies. Although I agree that these subjects are more content heavy I do not necessarily agree that other subjects should be put behind them because I think that in all subject areas you learn different skills and values that you may not get in your bigger subjects such as math and science.

One Question I Still Have:

After this week, I still wonder how we can work toward moving away from the grand narrative and the understanding we have that children are expected to develop different functions and skills at particular ages.

Week 5- Culture and Diversity

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One thing I have learned is that about student’s SES and how their academics are affected directly from that. Students with lower SES typically have a lower reading level compared to those who have higher SES. This is due to the lack of resources, such as books, that those with lower SES are able to provide for their children.
  2. Another thing I learned is that on many standardized forms and surveys taken, such as a “Tell Them from Me” survey, students are required to state their gender as male or female. There are many students out there who do not identify as either and by having to choose or state otherwise this may make them extremely uncomfortable because they may have not publicised their identity due to negative repercussions they may feel they could get from that.
  3. Lastly I learned that students are very quick develop prejudice, by a young age they already recognize difference in students whether it is in there race or SES status. This cause’s development of early discrimination.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made with this content is with the cultural diversity portion. Growing up my school was almost 100% white students due to it being a very small kindergarten to grade twelve rural school. It wasn’t until grade 6 until we had a student who was black. When this student came it was very different for me and my classmates because we had not had exposure to students of a different race. As I entered high school more students came from other countries and the students who were in elementary school did not think anything of it because it was something they grew up with in their classrooms from the start of kindergarten.
  2. Another connection I made was with the gender differences. I went to school with an individual who felt different then the gender they appeared to be. Due to my school being small this made it very difficult for this individual because there was no exposure to gender differences. Part way through high school this individual transferred schools in hopes they would feel more welcome and included somewhere else. Looking back on this now it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. However, I feel like our teachers were not good at teaching about hard topics such as gender identification so students were also uncomfortable with that topic.

One Question I Still Have:

How can we learn to recognize students with invisible barriers? And once they are recognized how can we support them?

Week 4- Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

Three Things I Learned:

  1. There is motivation behind everything you do whether you realize it or not. You are either intrinsically motivated which is the natural human tendency to conquer challenges. Or you are extrinsically motivated which means you are doing something to avoid something else, such as a bad consequence.
  2. Another thing I learned is that when setting goals there four main reasons people do things. The four reasons are direct attention, energized effort, increased persistence, or to promote development of new knowledge and strategies. These goals can be simple such as getting a result from the way you dress, or taking different steps in order to obtain a new job.
  3. Lastly I learned that success and failure can be characterised in terms of locus, stability, and controllability.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I made with the self-regulating is looking back on my elementary school years is the students who had parents who were more controlling, or who were not often involved in extracurricular activities were not as good at self-regulating compared to the students who were allowed to make their own decisions and given opportunity to participate in different extracurricular activities and interact with others.
  2. Another connection I made was with self-efficacy. Students who have a positive surrounding in both people and their environment often believe in themselves and their abilities to complete tasks and goals and be successful.

One Question I Still Have:

A question I still have is about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and what type of information he based the order of needs off of, and if it would change if different data may be taken into account.

Week 3- Social and Moral Development

Three Things I Learned:

  1. One thing that was new to me was the different systems Bronfenbrenner’s Theory has, and how each one gets a little broader. The systems are microsystem, mesosystem, ecosystem, and macros system. Starts from immediate relationships such as family and friend groups and expands out to the larger society.
  2. Another thing that I learned was that there are four main types of parenting that can directly affect student’s actions. Students who have strict parents (authoritarian) will generally be those who are more hostile in school, while those parents who have very little control over their children (permissive) will often act very immature and demanding.
  3. Lastly I learned that the background of the individual and the types of people that surround them will have a huge impact on their morals, beliefs, values, and what their perception of right and wrong is.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. A connection I made was with how the brain can have huge effects on how your body functions and reacts. It is easy to see that some students may be lacking sleep not because they come from a home that may not have ideal environments, but because especially in adolescent years’ students are always thinking about what they have to get done or what others may be thinking of them.
  2. Another connection I made was to how teachers play a huge role in the success and relationships of students. In my experiences the teachers who were my favourite were the ones who had a level of respect for students that other teachers may have lacked, and were also the ones who went the extra mile to show that they cared about more than just delivering the curriculum. Those teachers also hold students accountable to a certain level of responsibility that other teachers lacked.

One Question I Still Have:

Something that leaves me still wondering after doing the reading and attending the lecture is how you can begin to create a safe space for students who may be vulnerable due to different culture or gender and begin to teach about these topics without students being uncomfortable or making jokes or inappropriate comments.

Week 2- Cognitive Development

Three things I Learned:

  1. One thing that stuck out to me about Piaget’s theory was that it focused strictly on the development of the child and how they think to make sense of how they develop in each stage.
  2. Another is that Vygotsky’s theory looks more at the relationships and places that surround the child and base their development from that.
  3. Lastly I learned that by looking at how each and every individual is orientated will help us to understand what direction they go with their leaning and development and why they do so.

Two Connections I Made:

  1. One connection I can make from this week is through my work experience as a coach. When working with children before the age of 3 lots of them have similar patterns and actions as they are at very similar stages in their development, but when I am working with older child from ages 6-12 you can tell that all 6 year olds or all 8 year old, although the same age, are at very different stages of development both physically and mentally.
  2. Another connection I made is with how your relationships and social surrounding affect your development, because as a child I was given a lot of opportunity to be surrounded by my peers, friends and at a very younger age team mates, and these people allowed me to grow and helped shape who I am.

One Question I Still Have:

  1. After thinking about both of Piaget’s theory and Vygotsky’s theory, is there other theorists like them who has a theory where parts of both Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories?