ECS 210 Learning Summary

In my video, I decided to make an art work while talking about the summary and experiences during the semester. The art work represents the class together sharing sharing our perspectives and experiences. The different colours and unique style of each person symbolizes the different and unique perspective of each student and leader in the class. By sharing their experiences, it creates another “row” or “level” to the piece as well as our discussion in class allowing all the benefit. I’ve formatted the piece for the people to look like they are sitting in rows to draw parallels of the structure of the lectures. Creating an art work is something that I have learned as a way of reflection from another class and I wanted to bring that here to my ECS blog as well.

Curriculum as Numeracy

1) Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics — were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?

a. Math during my schooling was never a problem for me. I was never the one to get the highest grade but I believe I was always competent in most subjects and went through school pretty normally. but one thing that have bothered me is when teachers randomly ask students to come up to the board and solve problems in front of the whole class. This seemed like a public execution especially if you don’t know what your doing. this type of punishment can be really oppressive and traumatic for students to go through. I am in my pre-internship and is in the classroom I have observed that one of the ways for students to be isolated during a math class is being behind in material. Math is a class that builds upon each lesson so being behind as a student gives you the responsibility to catch up with the rest of the class. Many a times students are asked to go out of the hallway and work on their own and I find this very isolating. not being with the class and being separated creates a them and us situation where the students may feel segregated.

2) Identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.

b. Inuit Mathematics focus more on the natural, independently continuing and changing occurrences and events. the same could be said when instead of relying on pen and paper they make use of knowledge from elders having students listen and observe.

Lenses

Growing up in the Philippines, and I think that every filipino Mom and Dad have imbedded it to their children that EVERYTHING and ANYTHING is possible if you work hard enough. As I grow up I am now more aware of the differences and diversities that present really hard barriers to be able to achieve everything and anything. I often find myself thinking tat if I can do something I’m sure everyone can but this disables the different lifestyles, perspectives and experiences that everyone goes through differently. having this perspective as a teacher is dangerous, I need to be able to be aware of the different needs of my students and not expect all my students to immediately get what I want them to.

Curriculum and the implementation of Treaty Ed.

Levin describes the process of developing and implementing a new curriculum as such: “examining the existing curriculum, gathering data as to the strengths and weaknesses of current arrangements, considering various ideas for changes, and trying to arrive at consensus on recommendations for the new curriculum”. though it may look reasonable this process could take forever and it usually does. gathering data, assessing its strengths and weakness, and considering the different various ideas for change are highly political which could derail the whole process. Everybody has their own opinion and many are opposing sides and these debates wether one way is right or wrong is highly political, many times religious prolonging the process. When the new curriculum finally gets processed and is now time to be implemented, society has already moved another leap and a new curriculum may already be needed for development. The curriculum has been playing this game of tag that it never wins. I may sound idealistic and too optimistic but seeing as one of the definitions of school is to “prepare students for the future” shouldn’t the curriculum, what we teach to students, be ahead and not behind?

Treaty education came from the ties with the Indian act and the Metis act deeming the influence of government and political movements in curriculum. Due to the woke-ness of the present we are now more in line with knowing that subjects such as treaty ed and first nations education should be taught and present in schools unlike in the past. Treaty ED now is being implemented and is also being dissected, seeing that altho it is a great step with truth and reconciliation it still has work and development to be doing as we continue to more social justice driven society.

Treaty Ed and Its meaningful Impact us Treaty People

Treaty Ed to me is all about representation. the importance of giving first nations peoples to have a the platform to speak and voice their opinion, be represented and have time to tell their stories. Not having a First Nation population in your school makes this even more important. that means that there is no First Nation representation in your classroom or school. that a First Nation perspective is not visible or present to correct false statements, to point out stereotypes, to disprove racism and to show that they are real people that breathe and live. the classroom and the school is supposed to be a microcosm of the world and community they live in and if First Nation people are not represented, this could be represented as messages that they not exist or matter enough to be included and represented. There might not be First Nations students in the school but they are certainly in their communities and lives. teaching Treaty Ed isn’t just about residential schools but its also about resurfacing and deconstructing biases and stereotypes to influence not only our First Nations students but us all treaty people.

we all have been affected by the history of Canada and the land and its important to revisit these events to realize that we are all connected colonialism and treaties. to realize that treaties may have been signed years ago but they are still in effect, relevant and of today.

Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing and its connection to Place Education

The article focuses on the importance of place in education and the connection that can be made between nature and humans that is prevalent in many traditional ways of learning. We can see the different learning and growing opportunities that can be harvested.

Growing up as a grandson of a farmer in the Philippines I find great value from the land and the various learning opportunities that can arise. My grandpa revealed to me the importance of rice and the significant history it has in our culture. Not only that being with the land has exposed me to opportunities with caring for and growing various plants and animals such as water buffalos and sugar cane. Each experience has led to a fun learning opportunity.

Place in education will be something I would be keeping in mind as a future educator. Not only does it incorporate the rich biodiversity of Saskatchewan but also the rich historical, cultural, traditional indigenous ways of knowing. Resources such as elders can bring in valuable perspectives and knowledge that can open my pedagogy to more indigenous teaching and traditional ways of knowing which could possible eradicate or simply lessen the influence of colonization and other oppressions that are present in todays classrooms.

The Definition of a “Good Student”

When someone mentions a good student, we automatically go to the commonsensical idea of a quiet child seating in a desk, raising their hand when answering a question and only speaking when addressed. Kumashiro challenges these beliefs by posting out that each and every student has different needs and circumstances that can’t fit into this model of a “Good Student”. Students that don’t fit into the created mold of a good student are labeled as delinquents and often seen as misbehaving kids. We as future educator should reflect back on our clear cut expectations of what good and bad students behaviours and actions are. Students should be able to be great students without conforming to the commonsensical ideals that we have followed and prescribed.

Many students have figured out that ignorer to succeed in school its not important to find the right answer but to find the teachers answer. By pleasing the one who gives the marks and grades they disregard the aspect of looking for more and connecting with the material and subjects given. Students should be encouraged and motivated to look further into their selfs and their community connecting the various ideals and concepts that is being taught in classrooms. As a future educator I believe that opens and the ability to adapt and accommodate every type of learning the classroom we can create a motivated, inclusive, welcoming classroom environment that can allow all students to become “Good Students”

Connie E. North: Approaching Gender Identity, Sexual Identity, and Difference

The article Threading Stitches to Approach Gender Identity, Sexual Identity, and Difference by Connie E. North, (an assistant professor of Higher Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, specializing in oppressive education) is a reflection on her approach on gender and sexual identity and difference through the use of Glen Huser’s Stitches. Using North’s experience in the classroom, she showcases the ideal of extracting empathy and understanding from teachings and lesson ignorer to challenge harmful societal norms regarding the treatment of difference. Emphasis is put on the ongoing investigating and critique of our own teaching and pedagogies to ensure that we do not inadvertently fortify the negative injustice that we are trying to disrupt.

The article highlights that in our attempts to tend to topic such as gender and identity, caution and sensitivity is needed to avoid reinforcing the harmful beliefs and stereo types that our teachings are trying to contend. North highlights due to the unpredictable elements in a class room, familiar and reductive representations can be extracted especially when we attempt to learn from generalizations instead of viewing people as individuals. It is important to acknowledge the different potential outcomes of an approach, highlighting the use of caution, humility and consideration to avoid further misrepresentations of the subject such as marginalized social groups. the article also touches on the different levels of oppression and how an individual identity can not only be formed from one type of difference but often multiple. Through out the article, North notes the different techniques and strategies she used with her classes as well as reflections on her performance. Looking back allows her to see what went great and also the instances where she lacked direction or an opportunity to redirect the class to a more fruitful learning opportunity.

On my journey to my Critical summary paper regarding Sexual identity and the curriculum, North has provided me a foundation to build off of. Norths emphasis on critical reflection as well as the importance of caution and consideration, in regards of our pedagogies and approach, with Gender and Sexual Identity is  something that resonates with me. How Schools Play “Smear the Queer” by Liza W. Loutzenheiser andThe “Boy Turn” in Research on Gender and Education by Marcus Weaver-Hightower are articles I am also looking into for the critical summary.

Four Models of Curriculum Theory

This week, our classes covered the Four Models of Curriculum Theory, and was tasked to provide a quick summery of each model. Each model has its own benefits and challenges that make it suitable for different circumstances.

Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted

         This form of curriculum is mainly focused on the content. It is viewed as a body of knowledge which is to be delivered to students in the best way possible. Many of those who view the curriculum as something to be transmitted disregards and separate themselves from the contents and only views that knowledge as something to be delivered.

Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.

         Curriculum as a product is a scientific management theory which focuses on creating a near perfect tested method of teaching using the same formula in order to produce the same product. One of its criticism that was made is that the curriculum has no regard for its students or teachers in terms of change or environment. Each culture and place has different needs as well as the diversity in students. An advantage to this type of curriculum would be the considerable organizing power that it can lend to teachers. The approach is the formula and it would provide a clear outcome to evaluated and organized. Although its advantage is strong it gives too much importance on the plan and not on the in-class experiences classrooms that occur. The plan not only disregard the students voices but it also limits educators on using the interactions that happen personally if they are not in the plan. It also implies that behavior can be measured which is not true, in the basis that different experiences have drastic difference in impact. Which is to say that it is difficult to measure how an experience have impacted a person. This theory is viewed as something not based on educational grounds but on a more industrial scientific route which overlooks educational exchanges and pedagogic practices.

Curriculum as process.

Curriculum as a process is a lens that focuses on the interaction between student’s teachers and the knowledge that is being taught and discussed in class. It is viewed as an active process to see what is happening in classrooms for students to prepare and evaluate. It is not viewed as a product but the making of one. It is the process of creating an educational idea and testing in practice which invites critical testing. Given the uniqueness of each classroom each proposal needs to be tested and in each classroom unlike a curriculum package that can be brought and delivered in most classrooms. The process practice can also eliminate the heavy emphasizing on examinations since the content is developed during the process, actions and behaviors as student and teachers work together. Curriculum as a process can be quite detrimental to students who is used to the current way schooling. It requires to students to have a committed ongoing relationship to learning in order to succeed unlike exams which only ask a student to know a set of knowledge in one particular time and place. This process also needs high quality teachers who are willing to adapt and go with the flow of how students are engaging in their lessons and classrooms.

Curriculum as praxis.

Curriculum as praxis focuses on the interactions and reflections of the students. It is not implemented but rather constituted through the active process of evaluating our collective understanding and practices to structural questions as well as looking at the exploration of educator’s values and their practice. A criticism of this practice is that it does not place an emphasis on content instead it is focused on raising a new generation equipped to deal effectively with the different social justice abuses in the current world.

 

In my own personal experience, these four models have been present but different subject areas and level of grade lends itself more to a specific model. For example, math and sciences especially in the higher grades tend to lean towards Curriculum to be transmitted since it is more straight forward and require for the students to apply the content to their work before anything else. Curriculum as a product has been used for subjects like English, especially for those in Advanced Placement like I was. Standardized  tests were used as a goal to pass in those classes so lessons and students were prepared with that goal in mind. Curriculum as a process could be seen in the higher grades of art classes. Students are allowed to explore their own interest, creating their own class environment and allowing the students ideas guide as to where the class will go. The same could be said about Curriculum as Praxis, but it concentrates more on the social justice lens. Subjects like social justice studies that focus on the current events that is happening lends itself to the model, rating awareness to the injustices to the new rising generation. These different models each has their own specific use both with challenges and benefits, using them effectively as an educator is a skill that I need to acquire.

A Reflection to Kumashiro, Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice

Kumashiro has defined commonsense as knowledge that everyone should know or that people should be accustomed to. He points out that although commonsense is something that is well known, there is an importance to questioning its purpose and what it truly enables. During his time on Nepal, Kumashiro realizes that commonsense differs throughout different cultures and nation, seeing that each group of people have their own customs and traditions that have been seen as common knowledge in each environment. It’s vital to see that your own way of living is not the same as the other nearing eight billion world population, understanding that different circumstances call for different sets of “common sense”. Teaching in Nepal made him realize that his idealized vision of western ways of living, including the education system, is drastically different in how the Nepali people operate. It dismisses the many different reasons and complications why this idealized way of teaching is not being practiced in Nepal, projecting a type of cultural imperialism. Blindly following commonsense that was built and made by one group of people can marginalize and oppress others. Questioning the normalcy of our everyday lives might be not be commonsense but it is called for when these commonsensical views not only disables creativity but also enables oppression.

 

Commonsense ideas and views not only present practices and behaviors that we as a society should be doing and by doing so it also present what we should not be doing. We as a society have become very loyal to these commonsense to the point where we forget to question their effectiveness and continue to use them even I they enable oppression. Most of these common views and policies that goes unquestioned are made by only a small of group of people that create these commonsensical ideals to fit their privilege and further benefit their position. These commonsense that have been imbedded in our system not only discriminate against those that are different but they also disable the conversations to be had in order to further progress as a society. Furthermore, the aspect of tradition and comfortability presents the challenge of going against these commonsensical views, pressuring the masses to conform to them. These norms of society reflected in schools “marginalize and subordinate others on the basis of race, class, gender; sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, language, age and other social markers” (pg. XXXVI). These traditional, dated commonsense have ravaged and dictated the field of education for far too long, it is now time for it to be challenged, questions and brought up to the standards of the 21stcentury.

 

Kumashiro, Kevin K. Against Common Sense. Taylor And Francis, 2015.