Here is the Summary of Learning video made by myself, and Sara Tokarz. Good luck with finals! Enjoy!
From my remembered experiences regarding the teaching and learning of mathematics, I have never come across an oppressive aspect. The last time I took a math class was about three and a half years ago, so much could have changed since than. It is also hard to recall much of what went on in my math classes because it is not my strong suit. Perhaps, the only way in which I feel there could be an opportunity for discrimination or oppression is within the word problems that contain examples about other students. I definitely feel like some of them could be read as being offensive to certain cultures for being stereotyped as being “nerdy” or “overly smart”. It is alarming that more oppression could have taken place and I was completely unaware of it. I have always thought of math as being very straight forward (right or wrong), with little to no room to allow negative aspects of the curriculum to be incorporated.
It is mentioned in the previous article that Eurocentric values are very linear, and static compared the views of the Inuit. These views can influence the ways in which the instruction of mathematics is portrayed. This specific quote stood out to me because I think it speaks to how much more mathematics is than what meets the eye, perhaps; “If mathematical knowledge is a social construction, then the learner's culture and community will play an important role in learning” (56). It is clear that looking at mathematics through the lens of the Inuit forces us to see it as a cultural product, which is not present at all through the Eurocentric lens. There are three major domains within Inuit mathematics that are distinctly different and even challenge Eurocentric ideas: counting, localization, and measuring. Each one of these domains has the essential incorporation of the culture, and speaks to why mathematics is important for each student to be educated in. As a whole, the teaching of mathematics in the Inuit community is increasing more dynamic, and holistic compared to the Eurocentric ideas which are the opposite of that.
I was primarily exposed to two of these types of citizenship throughout my K-12 academic career, that I can recall. The personally responsible citizen was demonstrated through the volunteer and service hours that we did in both elementary school and high school. I can recall going out in the community in elementary school and picking up garbage, going to shovel snow for the older folks who lived near the school, and even delivering arts and crafts to children who were in the hospital. It taught me from a young age that It is super important to put others first, and to be aware of the community the surrounds us. In high school for our Christian Ethics class each year we were to complete ten hours of volunteer work within the community. This brought a new type of appreciation for all of the privileges that had been given to me, and since I was older it created a whole different perspective and respect for the people around me, and the environment I got to learn in each day. My high school specifically worked hand-in-hand with the Regina foodbank, and was the number one fundraising school in Canada. This inspired me to continuously be a personally responsible citizen in my post education life, and practice my “Personally Responsible Citizen Aspect” as often as possible.
I was also exposed to the “Justice Orientated” citizens throughout both elementary and high school as well. In elementary school we participated in a movement called “Shannen’s Dream” which concerned the inadequate funding for residential schools, and schools that are primarily comprised of Indigenous students. About three classes went to the Legislative building to peacefully protest the governments actions regarding this situation, and read speeches that we had written about our feelings towards this, as Shannen was our age. If you would like to be further educated on “Shannen’s Dream”, here is the link to the website; https://fncaringsociety.com/shannens-dream
I think that this approach does not necessarily make anything impossible in regards to citizenship, but rather puts a limitation on It. It teaches educators to teach from these three perspectives without acknowledging that there are many other ways to be a citizen, in my opinion.
The explanation that the intern who turned to Mike for help provided was honestly quite hard for me to read. When she explained that she had even turned to her Coop teacher for aid in getting the students to understand why Treaty Ed, and even the general awareness on this topic is so important, her response was rather empty and so incredibly detrimental. I think that this statement alone speaks to why we need Treaty education. It does not matter whether or not all of the students in the school are white, there should not be discrepancies when it comes to the integration and implementation of this into the curriculum. If these students had been educated on this topic as they should have been, we would not even be discussing (hopefully) any racist comments whatsoever. This story remined me of something you would hear/be dealing with in the classroom in the sixties or seventies, it should most definitely not be discussed on our day and age.
Treaty education creates a conversation. The first step to becoming a more accepting and respectful Canadian society is having the right conversations with the younger generations although they may be really tough to have. It is so important that young students are aware of the Canadian history of our Aboriginal peoples and the treaties because that information will transfer into their worldview as a whole, and how they treat those of First Nations and Metis backgrounds in both day to day life, and in the workforce.
The term “We are Treaty People” speaks great volumes in my opinion. It acknowledges that this knowledge and understanding pertains to ALL Canadian citizens, not just those who are of Aboriginal background. This is everyone’s history, everyone’s story, and we should pride ourselves on where we come from, and who originally governed and founded the land that we call home.
Before reading this article, I expected another lengthy piece speaking about the initiatives that they plan to put in place to ensure a better overall situation for the said indigenous peoples specifically being discussed. I was pleasantly proved wrong. It seems as though this research initiative does accurately consider the values and significance of the lifestyle they will be working alongside. They provided tools, well-constructed groups, interviews, and education to ensure that every ground was accounted for. They not only want to construct research in an effective and respectful way, but they also wanted to inspire the younger generation and assist them in gaining the knowledge that they need from the elders to create a society in the future that is much healthier. They created an environment that many people say they want to do, but never quite live up to. It can give not only the Aboriginal peoples of Canada hope, but all Canadians can learn from this article and initiative.
As a future educator I think that the overall consideration of these terms hold a lot of significance and knowledge behind them. First looking at Reinhabitation, it is a word I have never heard of before, but after reading through this article I understand why it will be important to consider going forward in my career. It reminds us to acknowledge the ENTIRE environment, rather than just pick certain aspects that we deem important to recognize. Doing so, will transfer to how we look at and treat the students we come across in our classrooms. We are being taught to look at the whole student, and the whole environment. Decolonization speaks about the changing of a mindset. Clearly, colonization is not something that can ever be undone, but we can change our perspectives that are tied with that. It creates a much healthier mindset, and aids in the understanding of the students in our classrooms.
From what I have gathered, and based on my own opinion, curriculum is developed through a combination of aspects. I have heard that numerous academic professionals, usually some that specialize in curriculum design, come together to create a plan that is diverse, and tailored to the beliefs and opinions of each person. When creating curriculum, they account for the subject matter as well as the outcomes that it will aim to accomplish. When I visualize this process, I view it as a “round-table” discussion among people who have differing knowledge and opinions on the given topic or curricula.
After reading this article there are many things that I was not aware of. Curriculum is generally developed through government implementation, with an increasing consultation regarding content and subject matter to experts in their specific subject. There are many steps, and small details that have to be accounted for when going through the curriculum design process. There are also many disagreements and debates that often do take place during the process. The amount of differing perspectives can make it very difficult to create a curriculum that is tailored to everyone’s perfect ideal, but it does allow for a dynamic model (in some respects) that allows for all experts/government to have a say in what is to be taught and learned through the content. The issue arises when we realize that we are solely relying on the “expert opinion”. The experts are not the ones who will be going into the secondary and elementary classrooms to teach or learn this information, and they do not realize that their expert ideal does not match the ability or even tangibility of the general public (being the teachers/students). Among these expert opinions draws out the debate of importance- whether content or student socioeconomics are more important. There are many that view the curriculum as being the central part of education, but others also note that the backgrounds and lifestyle-situations of each student needs to be accounted for just as much, or even more. When there are certain outcomes that are meant to be reached, I think that it is essential to acknowledge the context that every student is learning in and living through. They have the assumption that “what is taught, will be learned”, and I think that this is a very flawed and detrimental statement.
The most alarming concern for me is the amount of government involvement there is. I do understand to a point why the government should and will be involved. They need to protect the well-being of every citizen/student and ensure that their basic needs and rights are being met. I do not think that they should have this much authority on what the curriculum must posses. Personally, it creates the feeling that the government is once again “creating a melting pot” that molds it’s people to come out as favoured citizens after the completion of school. It may even be seen as a type of “less harsh” racial assimilation. We should leave curriculum design to those who will be teaching it, but also perhaps collect input from the ones who are learning it. This is a crucial aspect that I feel is left out. Why are we not asking students what they believe would be essential for them to learn? What they think would better prepare them for the future; whether that be in the workforce, or in society as whole? I do understand that students are not experts or government officials, but I do believe that they could be a key aspect/factor of consideration in the creation of curriculum.
According to “common-sense”, to be a good student you must follow the rules set forth in the classroom. You must measure up to a certain level of knowledge and social skills to be considered “well-behaved”, or “a good student”. You must get good grades on the material directly derived from the curriculum, and display that you have your own understanding of it. If you ever disagree with what’s being taught, or the teaching style itself you must keep it to yourself, because if you don’t you may be punished for causing trouble, or for going against what is asked of you. In the classroom you are to sit in your desk quietly and raise your hand if you need to speak. If you need to use the washroom you must ask permission first, if you need to go blow your nose, you must also ask permission to do so. While you ask permission, you must also remain in a “quiet and respectful state”. These are just some of the outrageous examples of the ways in which teachers today categorize what a good student looks like. In my opinion, it is honestly a dehumanizing, and even a humiliating experience for those students who do not fit the mold of what is expected of them. If we are aiming to create citizens that will be well-fit members of the workforce and society, how are we taking steps towards this independence if out students cannot even go to the washroom when they please?
This definition privileges the small population of students who’s learning style and behaviors actually do consist of sitting quietly in a desk everyday. Some students need this type of structure, and that is totally okay. It also privileges the teachers because it creates a space for them (in some instances) that works to their advantage in regard to noise control and meeting the curriculum/guidelines. Although in the eyes of some educators, this “traditional model” of the classroom is what they are striving towards, it is also the reason that they receive so much resistance from students and often why they have so much trouble controlling their classrooms. It diminishes the learning environment that promotes student to let their minds wander about the information they are learning, and create their own perspectives and ideas based on their particular learning styles. Instead it promotes one oppressed model of the classroom, which is why this type of conversation is so essential in today’s society and classrooms.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle
This quote is very profound to me because it speaks directly to my educational philosophies. If I was to associate my views on what education should aim to do in a nutshell, this quote is a perfect fit. This quote implies that you cannot completely disregard the fact that the students we are teaching are human beings with feelings, and emotions, rather than being robots that we are just training to work in the industry. It states that we cannot ignore any aspect of the student. We often seem to ignore one of the biggest parts “the main lifeline, the one that makes them whole: the heart”. What would humans be if we didn’t have the metaphorical “heart”?. We would be robots.
It is essential to acknowledge not only the personal part of the student, but also all of their many learning habits, abilities, disabilities, etc. If the goal of education is to create “active and contributing members of society”, and we are only educating the logical minds of the student and not educating the heart, they will have good problem-solving skills but may lack in sincerity, self awareness and the ability to relate oneself to others in a professional environment. Kindness, sympathy, compassion, and acceptance should be just as crucial as teaching the equation to solve for pi.
This aligns with my views because I believe in educating the person rather than just educating the student. I think education should be a person to person inter-educational experience. The goal should be outcomes that are well-rounded and balanced in regard to information gained about the curriculum as well as non-academic skills that can and will be applied in the “real world” and/or work force. The goal is to leave the classroom a better person who is educated in all aspects of their lives, not just English, math, science, and so on.
This would challenge many “male, pale, and stale” rationales as it directly departs from the ideal that there should be rules in place to get the numbers desired. It is instead focused on the people who get those outcomes, rather than the score itself. This quote deviates from those concepts due to what it deems important, which make some of these theories impossible in that sense
"The Tyler Rationale"
In my opinion the “Tyler Rationale” is more problematic than it is beneficial. It creates limitations for both teachers and students regarding the curriculum. Due to its “follow these steps and you will succeed” nature, if the results do not fit the predetermined outcome a sense of failure is present. When students and teachers don’t achieve these very set-in-stone outcomes it is assumed that it is either because they did not follow the strict guidelines, or the teachers and/or students must be doing something wrong. The step-by-step rules hinder creativity, academic and social inclusiveness, as well as restrain the opportunity for students to become aware of what specific learner they are. If they are not meeting these outcomes it may make them feel like they are inadequate, but it really is just because they have a different learning style.
The only benefit of the Tyler Rationale would be that it is a very simple process to follow for both teachers and students. It has everything planned out for the teacher to implicate so that their classroom is considered to be up to standard if they follow each guideline and rule. Problem arises because it is very rare that outcomes will be expected, or perfectly on point.
This model has often been seen in classes of mine that are considered to be “core subjects”. These classes are often taught straight from the textbook, allowing for little to no wiggle room in regards to exams, activities, and student interpretation. I am aware that subject matters like these have answers that are often right or wrong, and I am not trying to dispute that. But I do think that there is always opportunity to provide not only more than one strict mode of examination other than the “study the textbook, and take the exam” concept, but also more inclusive activities in class, that give each student an opportunity to thrive, and work to their OWN full potential. This speaks to why I believe that the Tyler approach is problematic. It completely disregards the many ways in which students process information and retain it. Not everyone learns in the same ways. It is important for teachers to be aware of WHO their learners are, and further cater the curriculum and assignments/activities to their academic needs and abilities. It’s all about inclusive education people!
Corresponding article: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12yUit4yJm9nhWB_wYXGMTZNiCJumaT02/view
In Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, by (Kumashiro. (2009) we are exposed to ideas revolving the concept and definition of common sense. The author first begins their journey towards this definition when teaching in Nepal. The social norms and constructs are completely different within the classroom there compared to the United States for many reasons. Since Kumashiro was instructing based on what was normal in American classrooms, the students were often confused and even felt as though that their educations were being jeopardized. This is when common sense comes into play. Kumashiro realized that these students were reacting this way because these new classroom concepts were the farthest thing from common sense to them, which lead them to immediately dismiss the ideas as irrelevant. They were so consumed and worried by these new concepts that they even urged Kumashiro to instruct in the ways most natural to them. Common sense is defined to be a theory that is essentially an involuntary set of beliefs that is not subject to change due to the comfort that is attached to it. Common sense can be negative because it robs students, or anyone really, of being able to recognize and change these ideas that may no longer be beneficial to progress.
It is essential to pay attention to common sense because it has the ability to shape our everyday practices in negative ways. It almost acts as a blinder to all of the other things we could be doing that would make our lives easier. It pushes us deeper and deeper into our comfort zone to the point that when we are presented with a fresh idea we cannot even recognize it, and instead often disregard it. This is dangerous because it hinders growth, especially in the classroom among both teachers and students. As a future educator I think that it is so important to be providing our students with every tool and opportunity to succeed, but that cannot happen when we are close-minded towards new concepts and ideas. It is important to be aware of the comfort zone that common sense often influences us to be in, but also to allow ourselves to step out of that dead-end space to acknowledge and learn from new information when it is available to us.
Corresponding article: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19qJJP3W5xa_Y1Vezet_H18xVo1NUvGqE/view
My name is Kiah Holness. I am studying Secondary Education with a major in English and a minor in Inclusive Education.