Three Things I Learned:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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?
Three Things I Learned:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Three Things I Learned:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
In my experiences in math during elementary and high school there are many ways in which it came across to be oppressive. At the time I did not realize these things because for as long as I can remember I have always loved math and it had come easy to me so I did not have a problem with the ways in which it was being taught. Now that I look at it from a different lens I see many ways in which it can be problematic to many students. Often teachers only taught one way to get to the answer, when in many, but not all, circumstances there could be more than one way to get to the same final result. Students were always required to learn the specific concept or method and then practice the same type of question over and over until they were ready to take and exam and regurgitate what had been drilled into their heads. Often if students did not understand or could not think and process the methods in the ways the teachers were teaching they were left behind in hopes the next lesson or section would maybe make sense. Another way in which math can be seen as oppressive is if there are students in is if there are students in the class that do not learn well visually, and work better orally because math is almost always taught by reading and writing down questions and answers. Lastly there was not often a lot of context or connection to the real world in what you were doing causing a lot of students to lose interest because they couldn’t see where they would ever use it and apply it to their lives outside of the classroom.
In the reading there were a few ways in which Inuit math challenges the ways of Eurocentric math, these include:
- Using a base 20 system instead of a base 10 system
- Using a sense of space to orientate themselves
- Using their body to make measurements,
- And using oral method instead of visual methods.
After listening to Dwayne and Claire’s lecture, and reading Cynthia’s narrative this week there is a few different reasons why it is important to teach Treaty Education in the classroom even if there may not be any students who are First Nations in the classroom. It is important because understanding our past is crucial in moving forward in the future so we do not cause the same harm we once had to First Nations individuals. It is also important because First Nations people were the first people to walk the land we live on, and now we as immigrants are ruling and making all the decisions regarding laws and rights of those who live here because they allowed to share the land with us. Even though lots of students may not understand the content or the purpose of learning about treaties at first, if we start teaching it at an early age the students will have a richer understanding year after year because they will be able to build on their knowledge and hopefully we can reach a point where they find it important to themselves.
I think for me I am always learning about what it means that we are “all treaty people”. I always think back to how the president of the university, Vianne Timmons, starts a lot of her speeches, if not all of them, by reminding everyone that here today we are on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territory. She expresses the importance to recognise and acknowledge this. I think it is important because for a long time our society lacked equality of different groups of people, and I think that today we are finally moving towards having equality amongst everyone.
One big thing that I took away from all of this though is the 5 simple step that Claire broke it down into.
- Thinking about Theory
- Understanding of Identity
- Making Mistakes
- Rituals and Ceremonies
- Building Relationships
Although teaching Treaty education may be uncomfortable at times, the more we take risks and put it into our lessons, the easier it will become. It will take time for the students to absorb the information so I think, just as Claire talked about, it is important to start with information that is manageable for the students and slowly grow and develop from that.
The article we read this week presented a very different view on things than previous material we have covered. It talked about how the Mushkegowuk Cree have a very rich connection with the land and how they believe it plays a huge role in the development in children intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually.
Ways the community worked together to inhabit their culture was by bringing the youth and elders together to learn together and share their knowledge of the meaning of the land. Another way they tried to bring back their culture was by having the youth interview the elders, and other community members. This allowed deep connections which would help to strengthen the community as a whole. The radio broadcast was also highly significant, I believe, because it was shared for everyone to hear and think about. Lastly the journey along the river that the elders took the youth on they learn about how to live off of nature would be the most impactful and practice learning experience for the youth to engage in. This would have deeper meaning and connections to the youth because it was lived out and not just talked about.
An example the article shared about decolonizing would be allowing the children to change or shorten names for things because they were difficult to say or remember, this would have a negative impact on the culture because as the children would grow up they would continue to use fewer and fewer of the original words in their language causing it to slowly be changed, and even disappear.
A way I would connect this to my own teaching, particularly in math, would be taking more time to deeper understand and make connections with First Nations content and the context in which they come and adapt the material accordingly. I believe however, that math is a subject area in which is lacking the inclusion of Frist Nations knowledge and I am still struggling with coming up with ways that it can be included in the learning process.
This week after reading and thinking about what it means to be a “good” student, I have realized that it is far from possible in many circumstances. The article describes being a “good” student as conforming to how the school and society wants the individual to act and learn. Students who cannot fit these criteria will often find themselves in trouble and unable to learn how and what the teacher is requiring of them. Students who are privileged by this definition are those who are able to learn in a traditional classroom. They can sit in their desks for long periods of time while remaining quite, and they can learn in way the teachers are presenting the information. Students who are considered “good” students are also able to take in the information the teacher is telling them, memorize it, and then regurgitate it for the tests and assignment they are given. These students are also those who do not question what they are being taught, they just take the information, compete given tasks, and move from one grade to the next.
With these commonsense ideas it is hard to see how oppression affects our society and our schools. The article talks about how students have knowledges and beliefs when they come into the classroom that helps shape their interest, how they learn best, and the place in there learning they are currently at. This information, however is often just assumed and the teacher does not often consider or discuss it. With the methods of teaching today, we are not teaching the students to think critically about the knowledge they are gaining or what they are reading. We as educators are also not connecting with the majority of our learners because we are not catering to those who may have different needs and learning styles within the classroom.
This week we were required to look deeper at a curriculum in which we hope to be teaching after we graduate. Then we need to decide whether it falls into the autonomous or ideological frame of literacy. The autonomous frames look at the skills that will be developed and will have effects on an individual socially as well as educationally. While the ideological frame takes a cultural sensitive view and sees curriculum as more of a practice rather than a skill.
I took a look at the Foundations and Pre-Calculus 10 curriculum and I think it fits best under the autonomous frame of literacy. It teaches different skills such as number sense, spatial sense, logical thinking, and mathematics as a human endeavor. Its goal in teaching these different skills is that students will develop the confidence to use these skills in there every day lives, ongoing education, as well as in the work force.
I think that when creating a math curriculum that it can be a challenge to incorporate cultural sensitive information because lots of the curriculum has to do with calculations that don’t often have context behind it. However, through my education experience the math curriculum had been updated and the “new’ math had more word problems and required more problem solving skills that forced the students to use deeper thinking in order to figure out the calculations they should make. I think those are the areas in which ideological literacy can come in and make connections back to society and allow students to realize the application math has in the real world.
I think that school curriculum is developed based off the area that it is being developed for. A group of members who represent the province, and then each division or even school come together to decide what is important. Different aspects such as geography, culture, history and many other ideas are specific to the region and thus would play a role in the information that the students are taught and tested on. Each area will also have their own beliefs on different topics and those too would have an effect on how they develop the curriculum.
Curriculum has been determined as what the students are expected to know. It also sets importance to what the teachers should be teaching. It is largely influence and created through politics. While creating it little attention is given to the public because they are more interested on the political views. While creating curriculum they do so with 5 different things in mind: issues, actors, processes, influences and then results. Then they look at the very broad objectives and the very specific objectives.
When making decisions it is very seldom based off of facts, but rather interests. Curriculum is also made by those who are often experts on the topics creating it very difficult for typically teachers to be able to teach it successfully. Although I think it is good that experts are creating it, I think they need to try and create it in such a way that makes the delivery of the content more user friendly. This will allow teachers to have more success, which will allow the students to have more success too. Curriculum also takes a long time to create causing it to become outdated and stay outdated for a long time before new curriculum is actually piloted and then implemented. This process is often so drawn out that teachers become so used to the “old” ways that new ways become very difficult to adapt to a teach.
This week I have been challenged to think more about my educational philosophy and who has had an influence on it. Maria Montessori is one individual that has a philosophy that is similar to what I believe in. Her philosophy is that educators should have a child centered approach to their planning and lessons. This allows for teaching to begin to be inclusive.
Montessori said that the greatest sign of a success for a teacher…is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” I think that this statement holds true in a couple different ways. One way is that students are all being included and successful in the classroom. Another thing is that the teaching and learning is being controlled by the students and they are connected to their learning and engaged in all the content.
Possibilities for creating an inclusive classroom include no one feeling left out because they are either behind or ahead in the content being taught. Lots of people think that an inclusive classroom is focus on those with some type of disability, but it should also be aimed towards those who have exceptionalities too. The students requiring different adaptations should be met where they are at so that they want to continue learning and don’t just give up because they think they will never succeed. On the other hand those who are excelling should be given more challenging content so that they are not held back from there potential and sitting in class bored all the time.
Student controlled learning created possibility for a lot of success. If the students are enjoying the tasks and information they are given they will be way more likely to fully apply themselves to the content. Something that may be a challenge for this is accommodating all the different ideas and interests in your class while still covering the curriculum requirements.
This relates to my educational philosophy because I think that creating an inclusive classroom is one of the most important things. I also think that by making your teaching student centered will allow more of the exploration of learning to be done by the students creating an indirect teaching approach.