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 Curriculum also takes a long time to create causing it to become outdated and stay outdated for a long time before new curriculum is actually piloted and then implemented.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.
Throughout my schooling experiences I have never had to stop, take a step back, and question or analyze the ways in which the curriculum or content of each course was provided to me. This class leaves me constantly thinking about the ways my teachers taught and ways in which we can improve on for the future. During my education experience I had been taught in both the old curriculum, and the new curriculum. At first it was a weird change, and the teachers were uncomfortable in teaching, but as it was practiced more I think it seemed to be a better way to approach the content.
As a student in elementary, secondary, and now post-secondary education every outline for learning has been much the same. At the start you are given a broad view of what you are all about to learn, then you delve deeper into the subject matter, and it all eventually results in a test of the knowledge you picked up. And this is the way in which the Ralph Tyler rationale looks at how education should be done. Everything was very structured in terms of the information you were given and tested on as well as the different topics you were required to research and learn more about on your own.
Tyler is all about the content and how it is being taught and I think this is one limitation. It does not give much room to welcome the difference each student brings to the class when they walk through the door. It also does not give space for creativity. Classrooms need to be able to create an environment in which everyone’s ideas, and differences are accepted, whether it is a physical or intellectual disability, or a difference in learning style. Another limitation to Tyler’s rationale is that it is teacher centered, this means that the students do not get to contribute to what they are learning in each lesson.
A benefit to Tyler’s rationale is that is provides a simple start to developing a lesson plan, or a yearly plan for your classes and the curriculum you are required to teach. It provided a base line to work from. This can allow the educator to start to generate ideas and plans on where they are going to go with the school year. Another benefit is that is can be applied to all age groups and all subject matters.
Tyler’s rationale was and continues to be used a model used in curriculum and school all over. I think educators today are doing a better job at looking at the needs of the students, different learning styles, and the values of the school or community. Although the model does not take account for those typed of adaptations they are still very important to be considered.
Kumashiro defines common sense as what is the “right way” to do things in a particular region or culture. Traditions on how different concepts are performs are considered normal, especially in education, and anything done differently is considered incorrect. However, the way one area or group does things, may be considered completely foreign or wrong to another group. For example, In the reading “Introduction. The problem of common sense.” what the Americans considered the right way to educate was completely foreign to the people of Nepal. Nepal taught the way Americans use to so they went in with a feeling of superiority and tried to change the way things were done because they considered their ways to be better.
I think it is important to pay attention to common sense because sometimes things that become natural or habit can often be improved or become socially unacceptable. One example is that education used to be very strict and did not welcome student’s opinions, thoughts or ideas or the ways in which each student may learn best. Today what the students think and ways in which makes each and every individual successful are a huge focus and goal the educators are aiming for. I believe that although common sense is important, that it is also important to keep an open mind to ideas and concepts that are forever evolving and changing.
Throughout ECMP 355 I have tried my best to contribute in a variety of ways. Although I did not always know the answers, because I’m not the most tech savvy person around, I did share my thoughts and options through out the course.
Here is a few examples of the things I have done:
Throughout this class I have become consistent when it comes to tweeting and commenting on others tweet. The comments I have made may not have sparked a ton of conversation, but I tried to be encouraging to others progress!
On google plus I did not participate very often, I often did not know how to answer the questions being asked or others answered them before I seen them. I did however ask a question that was then answered very quickly by my classmates.
I did my best when blogging to comment on someone’s blogs every day. Most of the times by offering my support, or asking questions such as where they may go.
I had the opportunity to participate in one twitter chat outside of class. It was a good experience. It was encouraging to hear from other teachers about how their divisions implement change in technology.
ECMP 355 has taught me so much. It was only two short months ago that I feared many different areas of technology and did my best to avoid it at all cost. Today, I can successful write a blog post, or make a tweet. But not only can I make a blog post, I am able to make it look appealing by being able to add different hyperlinks, images, and even videos. And with twitter, I had the opportunity to participate in twitter chats, which before this class I had no idea what that even meant or that it even existed.
I have also learned so many behind the scene type of things, such as how to make a screen cast or upload a video to YouTube. These two things have helped me with my success in this course. I have always seen videos of people recording their screen with a voice over and to me this was impossible but, I learned that it is one of the simplest things to do and can be such a benefit in many different areas.
With technology I learned that it is our responsibility to show our students not only how to use technology (because they probably already know how to) but also how to be safe online, and how to create an image that they are proud of others seeing. As educators we have to ensure that they do not put something online that they will grow to regret due to barrios it may cause them in the future. The most important thing is that one something is sent out to the online world it can never be taken back.
I give all the credit to Katia Hildebrandt, without her I would still be sitting here avoiding technology as much as possible.
After reading both of Katia Hildebrandt blog posts about social activism I have started to create my own opinion on the topic.
In the post In Online Spaces, Silence Speaks Louder than Words I agree with what Katia has to say. If we as future educators or current educators are bystanders to issues such as acts of racism or sexism in our world today, we are sending a message to students that it is not important to take a stand on these issues. I also agree with her when she says that we need to start using technology not for our own personal benefit, but instead to also speak out again some of these social issues that many people in our community, country, and world are experiencing. I don’t think that we necessarily have to speak out about every single issue that arises, but if we do take a stand on the ones that we believe the strongest about it will show to our students that we can all do our part to make our world a more enjoyable place for everyone to be a part of.
What Kind of (Digital) Citizen? talks about how we have to teach our students not only how to be safe online but also how to create a good image for themselves online. Digital Identity is become even more important today than it ever has been in the past because of how technology is growing.
I think that if educators can be a good role model for their students in their community online it will have a positive influence on our future generations. Today the easiest and quickest way to reach anyone around the world is through social media. It only takes one person to have a hashtag like #bringbackourgirls or start a campaign like Sit With Us for it to viral.
My final product for my learning project is far from perfect but has come a long way from the start. I know that I did not play every single note correct and that my speed may not have been super consistent throughout but on the bright side I can finish the whole song hands together. I am still happy with how it sounds. I never thought that I would be able to pick up on it as easy as I had and am extremely pleased with the progress I have made.
Overall this learning project has taught me a ton and I had a lot of fun with it! I have learned how to play many of the different major and minor scales. Before that, I had to learn the name of each key on the piano. I learned about flats and sharps and how the same note can sometimes even have two different names.
While learning my song, Mercy by Shawn Mendez, I got better at hearing what sounded right and didn’t sound right because I was learning by looking at the hand placements of the YouTube video and how it sounded. I also learned what good hand and finger placement, and good posture looked like while sitting at the piano, where your head, legs, arms, and body should be positioned.
As I continue to play and learn songs I am going to practice learning how to read notes and rests on sheet music! I am also determined to learn how to play a duet with my younger sister.
This week I had the opportunity to explore coding. I have never tried coding or any simplified versions of coding previous to this so it was a learning experience for sure! The two different sites I explored were Scratch and Hour of Code.
Scratch I found rather frustrating because it became quite challenging to make your kitty or other animal do anything that seamed normal. After playing around on it for quite some time I decided to take a break because I was going nowhere. I am going to go back and take another look at this site when I have more time to see if it becomes easier after falling a more structured website.
The site that I had more success with was Hour of Coding. I found it easier because it had instructions or an end goal of what you wanted to do so it seemed less complicated. I choose to explore the flappy bird game and see how they started to construct it.
Through trying out the different coding websites I learned that there is an endless amount of options for how games can look, sounds, or be manipulated just with a few simple changes in what was inputed.
I think coding is something that can be fun and interesting for kids and students to try out. They are used to just playing the games rather than constructing them. By giving them a different point of view it allows them to engage more thought into what they are doing while still having fun! They can use their creativity to create something totally new, whether it is a game or just a pattern that they may move their kitty in on Scratch, or whether it is a more structured game they choose to explore in Hour of Code.
This week I finished learning the rest of the song hands together.
I also explore a couple of the free apps I found on the blogs I explored last week. If it had been earlier on in my learning project I would have thought about purchasing a couple if the reviews and uses of them seamed suitable, but since we are nearing the end I decided to go with the free option.
One of the apps I explored, MusicNotes Deck, is to help with remembering music theory, which I have not had a ton of time to focus on. This app is like a set of flash cards. On the card is something you should recognize such as a sharp or rest, and at the bottom of the card is a little sound button that you can click on and it then tells you the correct answer. I think this app would be useful for when I do get a chance to do more work on the theory.
The second app I looked at is to teach sight reading, something I also did not have a chance to work a lot on. This app is called Piano Maestro. This one is more suitable for younger children who are trying to learn the piano, and for them would be very helpful. I do not see myself want to use it in the future.
For my final week of the learning project I am going to work on fine tuning my piece. Things I am going to work on will be dynamics, tempo, and I might even try to add some pedaling in.