Last Reflection:

In this video I will explore my educational journey though ECS 210. I will touch on subjects I have gained knowledge on, and how I will implement them in my future classroom such as Treaty Ed, understanding of common sense, and trying to break away from singular narratives. I will also explain how my knowledge on curriculum has changed and evolved throughout the corse. Finally I will talk about how ECS 210 has an impact on how I will teach in my future classrooms. I hope everyone enjoys!

Reflection #10 (Curriculum as Numeracy)

For me, in school I was constantly struggling with understanding mathematics. I think this stemmed from having trouble memorizing all of the rules and properties of math (ex: BEDMAS). With my own struggles in math, I can definitely understand and relate why math may have been oppressive to some of my peers growing up. For starters, the ways of teaching math when I was in school was usually taught in a “traditional” format with the teacher at the front lecturing and then pen and paper assignments, followed by some form of a quiz or test after (product-based teaching). This type of teaching and learning has proven to be ineffective for some learners. It does not support hands on experiences or self-expression for alternate learning styles of students. For example, when I was in school we followed our text book to a T, and were expected after every lesson to do the assignment in the book that connected with what we were just taught. However, the problem with this is that there was not a lot of room to interpret the questions, and all the answers had to look the same and be solved the same, very systematically. In addition to this, many different cultures have different mathematical systems and ways of learning math. To have this expectation for all students to do math the same way, because it appears to be the “right way” limits the learning ability of students. Another problem by teaching math in this fashion, presents significant obstacles because of the amount of instruction related to the use of language. Many students who struggle with reading/or with their understanding of English may struggle significantly. This language base approach, enhances the struggles with deciphering math problems due to the amount of the wording and language used. Math needs to evolve more into a modernized, inclusive teaching approach for our students and this cannot happen unless we change the approach on how math is being taught. 

In the article Teaching mathematics and the Inuit communityit talks about how Inuit ways of teaching math focuses the learning using a hands-on approach, and allows for learning that can be used in everyday life. For example, in the Inuit culture, measurements can be carried out by parts of the body such by using their hands and feet. This is very effective especially in everyday life where rulers are not always around. Another well-established common technique the Inuit people use, is creating their calendar around nature and what is occurring in that month. This is very effective and allows for students to see and understand more about what is happening around them. In addition to this the Inuit people have a great knowledge of space by becoming familiar with the land they are able to use techniques such as reading snow banks, assessing wind and building Inukshuks. Dr. Gale Russell also talked about Indigenous math relationships and the Inuit people’s way of math specifically. She explained the importance relationships, and personal experiences play in math from an Indigenous perspective. For example, Inuit people have a number system in base 20, because they count with their hands and toes giving a total of 20. Inuit people have a wonderful realistic way of doing math and this type of math would be very beneficial to be incorporated into classrooms. It uses common ways of using math in your community/environment, not focusing solely on the tradition pen and paper math. This way of learning moves towards a more hands on approach of math as a learning experience. 

Reflection #9 (Curriculum as Literacy)

In my upbringing/schooling I was exposed to what I feel like was a mostly white middle class perspective/lens. In school, growing up I feel like we were always getting a Eurocentric perspective and never were really able to see different points of views when it came to topics like history or current events. In addition to this the format we were taught really supported the Eurocentric perspective. There was an expectation and a supportive direction to be able to “properly” read and comprehend the materials that were given to us. The resulting end was to have some form of capability to express our understanding, usually through a type of written expression. Through this type of learning that I received in my early educational experience, it is easy to see how some biases could have formed when you are only looking at one perspective. However, as I got older and entered high school I was able to be exposed to a more diverse perspective/lens, This has been essential to my growth as a human and a future educator. It is important to acknowledge that everyone has some forms of biases, but it is up to us to know how we would like to deal, cope and change them. A lot of the time biases can be reworked, to alter and acknowledge these biases. As I continue to evolve with my personal learning/growth on biases and singular perspectives, there will be opportunities to develop different perspectives and a broader worldview and understanding.

Due to my school revolving around white middle class Eurocentric perspective, most of the “stories” I was exposed to fell under that lens. This was very damaging to me as a young person because it did not expose me to the world around me and the people around me. Everyone has a story and there are many examples in the world that could have been used in my schooling to help us as young learners to gain accurate perspectives of our world. It is also important that everyone is represented and feels that they belong because everyone matters. Everyone’s story, life and their truth are important and should be valued authentically.

Reflection #8 (Citizenship)

In my early schooling I feel like I received a citizenship education by way of food drives, holiday gift donations and playground clean up. This is in line with developing a personally responsible citizen in myself and my classmates. Once I was in high school the direction in my education as a citizen shifted. I was involved in clubs and organizations that aligned opportunities for me in developing an involved participatory citizenship for my growth. I along with my peers and teachers would help plan fundraisers and awareness, an example would be a combination of clubs in December. All the high school organization dedicated leads to head a large committee to organize a grand scale drive. This time the students planned, initiated, organized everything for a massive benefit and supports to communities in need near and far. I feel that in my education I was able to develop citizenship by being exposed to more hands-on learning experiences. In high school specifically, we were able to learn about topics that had an impact on our community and in our world. We also elevated our learning about the topics and looked into what we could do to help alleviate the problems that were occurring. I believe it is important to try to teach citizenship to our students, and to get students invested and participating on tasks that will impact them and their world directly. Once someone is invested, it really can high light passion, desires, and knowledge to better this place we all call home.  

Reflection #7 (Treaty Education)

It is important and crucial to incorporate Treaty Education within our classrooms because: it acknowledges parts of our Canadian history; it will help students understand, building their awareness on what Treaties mean and why they are important; it will introduce the idea that we are all Treaty People; and help teach students respect and understanding for the Treaties and the importance of them. In the readings and videos all of them seemed to have the same message and that was that Treaty’s need to be respected and acknowledged. However, that can not be done unless people are able to become educated on the topic of Treaties and Treaty Education. By incorporating Treaty Education into the classroom along with Indigenous ways of knowing students at a young age will be able to see and understand how important Treaties are to our nation. It allows students to see different perspectives that they may have not been exposed to before incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing, it helps build relationships for the future. Treaty Ed also allows for celebration of our nation and understanding that without Treaties we would not be here today. Treaty Education and Indigenous ways of knowing is also something that can easily be applied to many subject areas, and it is important that it is. Whether it be math, or social studies Indigenous teachings allow for a more open and diverse learning setting for students, and can easily be applied to subject areas through a variety of outcome and indications.

            The notion that we are all Treaty people refers to the understanding that as citizens of Canada we are all a part of the Treaties therefore making us Treaty people. With this in mind it is important as future teachers and as educators that we acknowledge this to all of our students. In Claire’s video she talked about how important it is to teach Treaty Ed. She also emphasized the importance of teaching students in a low Indigenous population, because it helps break stereotypes and give knowledge to students of what it means to be a part of Treaties. It is important that students understand that we are all apart of Treaties and it is not just something that is applied to Indigenous people. As Canadians it is a part of us and our history, it acknowledges the roots of our nation and it is something that we need to understand, respect, and try our best to implement this idea and teachings within our classrooms.

Reflection #6 (Curriculum as Policy)

Upon reviewing the article, Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should Be Learned in School the title alone, politics very well describes how curriculum is developed and implemented. When there is a government in power, policies are applied to many matters that represents the platform of the party. This is dominated by public opinion in regards to setting these policies. Since, education is a commonality of all people, public opinion as to how school curriculum is considered and reviewed is driven by the government in power. Who gets what is very much developed by who is in power, do they want to stay in power and what the current influential groups are demanding from them. What surprised me from the reading is the impact of business corporations that can sway the direction of education policies, and how long reviews of education policies can take before curriculum is adapted. Also, curriculum decisions are weighed heavily by public debate, which goes beyond the classroom. 

            At one point, the article had indicated that the government in Ontario was to remove Grade 12 calculus from offered subjects. This decision proved to be inconsistent, as public opinion and beliefs hold an abundant number of inconsistences. The policy as intended by the government, no longer was what the people believed, wanted, or would accept. However, at one time it was. This concern provided an alternative avenue to pursue, one in which a curriculum review party was formed which consisted of nonexpert participants as well as curriculum developers. These review panels would more likely have parents or students, non-educators and community partners, who would bring a diverse interest to aid in the direction of curriculum policies. The case example in the article can thereby be use with success to develop a more inclusive Treaty Education program in Saskatchewan. Curriculum review panels would include Elders, students, parents and community partners. New Curriculum Counsels as these would contribute greatly to the Ministry of Education’s curriculum platform policies. With any new adaptation of review procedures, tension can arise. The mainstream way of policy research and reviews would adapt to allow for alternative concepts, suggestions and utilizations. It takes time to have evolution for the enhancement of superior ways of knowing. Adjusting policies is more than a governments platform, or industries mandate. It is about teaching, it’s about supplying a greater way of knowing, thereby a superior approach to curriculum development in Saskatchewan.

Reflection #5 (Learning From Place)

This week’s article, Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowingis an article that divulges the advantages of intergeneration teaching. This type of knowing and teaching is developing into a broader way of pedagogy, as in teaching in a third space. However, this was a common way of learning by Indigenous Peoples and this is one of the concepts I believe the article wanted the reader to identify. The Cree word, Pasquataskamik is used to transcend the meaning of traditional territory, all the environment, nature and everything it contains. This meaning and knowing was disappearing from the young generation. They were using the word, Noscheemik which was not translating into the complete circle of the space and territory many Elders tried to define. A 10-day river trip with youth, adults and Elders was a key part of reclaiming and re-inhabitation. What was remarkable was the connections, the interactions and the transfer of knowledge between the intergenerational participates. The past, present and future of Pasquataskamik began to hold significance to all the participants. Re-shaping the community, a river, the land, the language and self-determination broadened for all. A cultural inheritance and experience to reaffirm Indigenous ways, forming a kinship between the past, present and future generations to expand on and to be nurtured.

As a teacher in my future classroom I would want to incorporate teaching in a third space and Indigenous ways of knowing. I could do this by having Elders and assistants to come into the classrooms to help in the learning. I would want to establish a collaborative learning environment in which all participants are involved. Not only will students be the learners but also the leaders. Having inclusiveness and fostering knowledge will be a directive I would like to achieve. As a lifelong learner myself I appreciate the information and the successful outcomes that was shared in this recent article. The approaches of learning, knowing and teaching comes to life in articles like this and is impactful for my future as a teacher.

Reflection #4 ( A “Good Student”)

A ”good student” as defined or used to align with common-sense, would be able to follow the societal norms and expectations of what and how schooling should look like. This also includes the exceptions on how the students would act in this system. For example, in some cultures a “good student” would be able to sit at a desk, and listen to instructions. As compared to another culture, were a “good student” is excepted to move around, interacting with both peers and teachers to learn collaboratively. Either, example would define a “good student”, according to the common-sense roles in that said classroom and or community / culture. Students are more likely to be looked upon and classified as “good students” if they are born or grew up in the dominate society they are taught under. Students who are familiar with the costumes and expectations of the society they live in, will most likely understand the outcomes wanted from their school settings. However, that’s not to say ever student who is born into the dominate society is classified as a “good student”. For example, in North American school’s practises in the past, and still at times today had expectations for students to sit quietly and listen. However, for some students, ones who may have trouble focusing for long periods of time, needing breaks, may be looked upon as disruptive or be classified as a “bad student”. This “common sense” perception seen in schools and the expectations of students is limiting the learning possibilities. It is often hard to see and understand different learning need / styles but this common-sense perception should not be an exclusive teaching method. When a society, has an idea of the way in which the members should act. It is often hard to meet these expectations, to follow these set norms of the society, especially in an educational setting. However, at the end of the day it is up to us as teachers, to ensure all of our students have opportunities to learn, no matter their learning styles. Therefore, as future educators it is important to question the “common sense” set out by a society, and open our minds to different thinking, learning, and teaching practices. 

Reflection #3 (Assignment #1 Research)

As I started my research for the assignment, a critical summary. The work of Lee Airton 

caught my attention. Lee Airton, is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in the faculty of Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Airton, has written many researcher papers, and the book, Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture on gender-sexual diversity and queer theory in the Education system. Dr. Airton serves as an advocate for LGBTQ and gender fluid youth. In 2017, they were acknowledged for their work and received the Youth Role Model of the Year Award from the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Dr. Airton continues their work, and advocacy, they show and support all individuals and peoples’ right. 

            Dr. Airton research article, Leave “Those Kids” Alone: On the Conflation of School Homophobia and Suffering Queers had drawn my attention, which highlighted a subject I wanted to learn more on. The article examines queer youth, how they are coping in the present-day school system. It also goes beyond queer youth and look at the “queerness” in the school system and what that means. These concepts where described from very different perspectives. Queerness is asking us as educators to look at the subject instead of the individual. With this in hand, the door opens for anti-homophobia education to become impactful. 

            My next steps, is to find additional articles on the subject of Queer Theory in the curriculum. These articles could possibly serve as additional background information to Dr. Airton’s article. However, I would like to ensure a broad base of knowledge in order to have a comprehensive overview to this subject matter. With this review and subject matter being of great importance to enable my growth, I plan to use my time to conduct a in depth look at this topic. To have ample opportunity to recognize and assimilate what this research is examining and how, in order to continue on my educational path.

Reflection #2 (Tyler’s Rationale)

Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada and other countries. Think about: (a) The ways in which you may have experience the Tyler rationale in your own schooling; (b) What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale/what does it make impossible; and (c) What are some potential benefits/what is made possible. Be sure to refer to the assigned article in your post; you may also include information from lecture if you wish.

Education and teaching have been tied to organization, and a systematic process related to curriculum theory and practice. The Tyler rationale has contributed and is widely recognized to the development of curriculum and instruction, still being used today. This dominant theory focuses on four basic sections, which are setting objectives, selecting learning experiences, organized instruction, and evaluating progress. In the article, Curriculum Theory and Practice, by Mark K. Smith, the article acknowledges the idea of curriculum and how it has been understood and theorized over the years in the teaching profession.

Going back to my elementary and high school years, which was not that long ago. I can say I did experience elements that echoed The Tyler rationale. I was taught subjects through systematic lessons in which the end goal was a formal examination administered by the teacher, graded and recorded. In addition, when I talk to my parents, there are similarities but also variants to this process that occurred in the generations that divide us. They talk about writing province wide examinations, regulated, administered and mandatory in all grades by all students. They gathered together in auditoriums, the day of the exams and everyone sat down to write these exams, grade specific and again province wide. As they describe this, I realize this type of systematic curriculum still continued for me. Teachers taught lessons/units and we as students studied the material, learning, and cramping the information as unit tests loomed in the air. This repeated over and over, in every subject and every grade. Eventually, every once and awhile there was an approach used that was familiar in these steps but also different. There was a divergent step or option, we the students were offered varying objectives to choose from, other than a formal, sit down exam. I remember in grade eleven, English Language Arts, the end assignment was given but this time there was an opportunity to the assignment. Presented to us were four options to complete the unit/lesson. In addition, if there was something, we thought would be an alternative, the student could review this with the teacher, get approval and use it for the assignment. This of course would have met the objectives and curriculum set forth but it did involve the learners themselves. So, learning is planned and guided but there was support being offered for the learners to be involved with planning.

Going back to The Tyler rationale, its platform can and has been criticized because of limitations and how it could have a negative impact on the learners themselves. Having everyone, no matter their unique learning styles, sit down and write a test could prevent true evaluation of each individual’s knowledge comprehension. For example, students that are not good test takers, ones that have test anxiety, writing formal tests could make it difficult to understand what they really know. On the other hand, even with limitations like these, there also are benefits to formal testing. Formal testing, may provide valuable information as to where students fit alongside their peers. Also, it will gauge were your students are aligning with other students in the province. This benefit will allow teachers to better support and adapt the learning needs of the learner. The Tyler rationale therefore will bring supports but also will carry cons that would need to be recognized by the teacher, especially when the educational needs of future learners continue to develop and evolve.