Throughout this course I had the opportunity to develop my teaching philosophy as well as develop a deeper understanding of what curriculum is and how it is created. When I began I believed that curriculum was simply a government mandated document, through my developmetn I realized that curriculum was so much more.
We were able to take a look at some curriculum theorists and their beliefs to help us reflect on our own teaching philosophies and develop a deeper understanding as to what curriculum means to us.
This class was a great way to continue looking at how I want to teach my own class in the future and why, the reflections were a great help in developing our new attitudes and thoughts.
For my summary of learning video I worked with Paige Phillips and we were able to make a video summarizing our growth through this class. I hope you enjoy our video.
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?
During my schooling, there were a lot of single stories present. Some of the single stories that I encountered during school were things such as only books written by old white men. Although some stories may have had content from around the world, they were almost always from one perspective. One example is when we read 12 years a slave, it was a great book and had important information in it but we did not look at any other perspectives in other literature during that unit.
The truth that we looked at is one that we, in Canada and the United States were the norm and everyone else in the world was the other.
The biases and lenses that occurred during our look at literature were biases both from the teacher as well as the literature that we were reading or hearing. To work against the biases we are taught we must look for many perspectives on stories, places, and people. In order to stop our stereotypes, we need to be more aware of the differences that occur around the world so that we do not stereotype them when something does not fit into our own norms.
In my k-12 schooling the idea of citizenship came up a lot, I believe that it is History 30 that is all about the idea of Canadian citizenship, that entire semester we looked at what it means to be Canadian, why we think of those things when we think of the word Canadian citizen as well as what happened to reinforce those strong beliefs.
Although throughout the rest of the curriculum there may not be a strong emphasis on citizenship, we are still taught it through lots of the hidden curriculum. From a young age in schools we are taught to be respectful, not to interrupt and to be honest. Although these things are not explicitly in the curriculum school is a place in which we spend many hours and those ideals are reinforced regularly.
The hidden curriculum in regards to citizenship helps students to gain basic understanding about how to act respectfully and be involved in society. These ideals allow us to show students when something wrong is happening to someone, or a group of people we need to stand up for them. This is taught through bullying at schools but applies to many other examples in the world outside of schools.
Treaty Education has many purposes, one of the important things we need to keep in mind when teaching Treaty Education to those who are not First Nations is that they need to build a relationship with those who we have chosen to share the land with. Children in our school system need to learn about the signing of treaties so that they can understand the relationship that was formed many years ago between white settlers and the First Nations peoples. It is essential to teach our students this knowledge so that we can work towards reconciliation as a community.
1. List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
In the article Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing we see many ways of reinhabituation and decolonization. We can see evidence of decolonization through learning the way of the land and connecting to nature. The development and maintenance of the Mushkegowuk ‘way of life’. The reinabituation was present in regards to the entire community coming together, the children and elders in particular. Many of their projects renamed and reclaimed for example some more traditional Cree language was used by the children more often.
2. How might you adapt these ideas to considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
These ideas regrading reinhabituation and decolonization can be seem in our everyday teaching and subject area in many ways. Bringing Aboriginal knowledge into our own classrooms is important. This knowledge can bring additional learning opportunities to all students. Taking children outside to learn in a new environment or in a new mindset could help them so much. The idea of inter-generational relationships is also a large idea that is important. Although we can learn a lot from our elders, they can learn a lot from the children as well. “Ways of bringing together community, of fostering dialogue and generating spaces for socialization” (p 75).
School curricula is developed and implemented by many stakeholders, some of the more major stakeholders in this process are: textbook companies, businesses and employers, as well as elected officials. Teachers, however do not have as much say, or input as many would like, or as many individuals believe teachers have. Students is another group that gets little to no say, along with parents, unless you count them voting or causing a scene in order to get what they have to say heard. This reading reaffirmed my thoughts on how education is not neutral, and neither is our curricula, it is very politically based and always has been. The surprise wasn’t who makes up the curriculum, but rather who does not. Those who are most directly impacted by it seem to have the least input into its development, which in turn concerned me for the future of students.
Common sense is forever changing thought society and cultures. To be a good student according to westernized forms of common sense is to be obedient, listen and attentive. ‘Good’ students are seen as the students that thrive from the traditional ways of knowing. These students are able to sit for longer periods of time while remaining focused, good students are also seen as the students who are able to preform well on tests in class as well as standardized testing.
The students who are privileged in this definition of a good student are the students that are able to absorb the knowledge then apply it to a test, students who have little to no trouble focusing for long period of time, and students who typically do well on standardized tests (white middle-class students).
It is impossible to see or understand the differences in learning styles if we only cater our teaching to one type of ‘good’ student. In this case we are unable to see the potential of some of our students, what could they achieve if they were in a different learning environment? By teaching in one way we will never know.