Monday, 21 October 2019

Ecs week 7

These are my personal responses to the prompts listed above both paragraphs, individually.

Part 1) According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?

     I found it extremely interesting how the article discusses the governmental issues that come with the government creating curriculum. I stated in the article the government doesn't always have the right to do whatever it wants to do it has to go through a lot of processes and there often isn't enough time to fully develop something that everybody can enjoy and benefit from. Although I already was aware of how the governmental system works surrounding curriculum, I still found it extremely important that it was involved in this article as not many people are aware of how it works and functions, which was also shockingly stated in the article. The article also discusses how much of what is passed depends entirely on the people in power and not necessarily their political alignment. A concern of mine is definitely the opposition, as people don't truly realize exactly what the opposition does in government their job as stated in the article is to oppose every little thing the government chooses to do. In some cases this can be very good but when it comes to curriculum I don't feel as though it can be extremely beneficial in many areas. For example, if someone were to try and pass something on treaty education, the opposition would need to oppose it. And if the opposition got the approval, that piece of curriculum would not be passed. With something as important as Treaty education, we would essentially be stunting our students, teachers and the Native population. Perhaps Canada should try and create a curriculum that doesn't involve too much governmental influence, however that would also come with its own slew of issues.
Part 2) After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, what connections can you make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan? What tension might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?

     After reading Pages 1 to 4 of the Treaty education document, I found that what students were to learn or develop an understanding of in all four areas of the curriculum we're extremely similar and extremely vague. I found it just gives teachers very loose stomping grounds to develop the ideas that the document requires. It doesn't give much information on how teacher should introduce these subjects, just that they should. I can definitely understand how there was lots of tension when creating this document, as there isn't much information going off of it. It just says generalize things such as "students will understand that Treaty relationships are based on a deep understanding of peoples’ identity which encompasses: languages, ceremonies, worldviews, and relationship to place and the land." Which are the first glance seems pretty detailed, however it leaves too much room for interpretation. I personally found that throughout the entire document.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Ecs210 week 6

Prompt 1: What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Content and Perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples?
Prompt 2: What does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that "We are all treaty people"?

In response to the first prompt, I find it important to teach these topics as it is literally Canadian history. While many people say "The victors write history" when it comes to Canada we have no "winners." People are still suffering from our history, and while it may not be the Canadians of today who are responsible, we must pass the messages through. 
      While it may seem like a joke to some, and nonsense to others, Native people are still here. They are still living on this land and they are still a part of Canada. Their stories, and versions, and history are just as important as the rest of the history we have. 
     When we treat Treaty education like a "pandering" of sorts, we are just hurting ourselves and others. I feel it's time to stop calling it "Treaty Education" and start calling it "Canada's full, uninterrupted history from all perspectives, and how many choices have impacted many Native peoples."
      I would also like to add, although there may be no "passing" Native students, there are still plenty with Native heritage. No student goes without being impacted by Treaty education and I feel it's extremely important just on that fact alone.

      As for the second prompt, for me "we are all Treaty People" means a few things, however the biggest one is how we all live on Treaty land. Just like we are to learn the Federal, and Provincial Laws of Canada, we must also learn of the "Laws" or promises of the Treaties near us. For me, it's more about being socially aware of what is going on around us. It's important to know about these promises our ancestors made, and how we can uphold them. It's our history, it's our promise, and it's our duty to make sure every student is aware of it through  a factual lense.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Ecs210 week 5

This weeks prompt was to: List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative. How might you adapt these ideas / consider place in your own subject areas and teaching?

Unfortunately I missed last weeks class due to weather (and my anxiety with ice and no winter tires) so I may not have understood it entirely however this is my personal understanding of it.

In the article we were to read for this week, it discusses a type of retreat for Native people to reconnect with their Native identities and culture. Two examples of "decolonization" I found were a reclaiming of some key cultural sites for Native people by doing a "mapping" of those places. They found "Names for places in the Inninowuk language [and they] were marked as an effort to bring the original names and Cree concepts to more common use among the youth" (76) they also wrote the words "The words paquataskamik and Kistachowan Sipi" (76) on a raft they took down the river which was the original name of the site. This is a very interesting activity that certainly means a lot to these people and seemed to help them reclaim what they had lost through colonization. They also discussed some areas they visited which were never given to settlers, and used this trip as a way to reconnect with their past and find another sense of their identity.

I see this as very interesting personally, however I don't see an issue with colonization as a whole and found it difficult to understand why so many people have a disconnect with themselves and their identity. When it comes to teaching about decolonization, I don't see a reason for it. We shouldn't be striving to decolonize Canada as we should be looking for more ways to all feel comfortable with what we have (as we are officially a "mosaic" of culture.)

When it comes to discussing these topics with students I don't want to use words like "Stolen" or "Decolonizing" or anything like that because it's not factual information. I know I need to discuss how Canada was colonized and the pros and cons of said actions however I want to do it through a factual lense and not use buzz words to make my students feel uncomfortable or shame for something they never did.

Something my class did in the past was go on nature walks and powwows to experience some Native culture and we had speakers come to discuss Colonization's pros and cons as well, and I personally feel as a Metis person this is the best way to go with these subjects. I also want to draw attetion to more "Indigenous ways of learning" and how we could implement those into the classroom. Making medicine wheels just doesn't cut it.

As stated above, I did miss last week so perhaps I didn't understand the prompts entirely but something about this topic and how it was most likely presented doesn't sit well with me. So hopefully my opinion and how I wish to discuss such topics is understandable based on my knowledge of the prompt without the lecture.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Ecs210 week 4

What does it mean to be a "good" student according to the commonsense? 
From my understanding of the reading, a “Good student” is one that does not question authority. They simply follow what is said, do not offer their opinions, and continue with their life like a little ball of “moldable clay” without any distinct shape or opinion to themselves. A “Good student” follows the grain, and in lack of a better term, the “Good student” is a sheep to educators to indoctrinate. However, that’s just my opinion. 
Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student? 
    The good kids that sit and listen patiently, participate in group discussion, hand all work to the best of their abilities and place themselves where they know they can succeed are the kids we all envision when we think of school. While those students very much so exists, they are also the students that thrive the most in school. Any students that suffer from a social anxiety would be less enthused with group discussion, or students who have their own opinions that don’t mirror the majority would definitely suffer in other subjects such as History or Social Studies. 
What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?
    In my experience, I’ve never been the “Good Student” and it’s always caused issues for me. I never applied myself, and never had any enthusiasm for things unless it shadowed my own interests. I know this is hard for teachers to understand, and they don’t want to believe their student is struggling with things everyone else was thriving in. It’s impossible to truly understand things you yourself are not struggling with and I think thats the main takeaway. Teachers and educators need to have more understanding for those not-so-rare cases, and not just label kids “problematic” because they don’t see the world you see.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Ecs210 week 2

What are the four models of curriculum described in the article, and what are the main benefits and/or drawbacks of each?

The four models to curriculum I found were
  • Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted
  • Curriculum as a product
  • Curriculum as a process
  • Curriculum as a praxis

I personally found that curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted to be the most common of the four simply because of the emphasis on vocal education. While it can definitely help knock out all the important bits in a class, not all students learn in a lecture setting and this area is very heavy in the one sided discussions that are lectures. “Basically it means a concise statement or table of the heads of a discourse, the contents of a treatise, the subjects of a series of lectures.” (Smith, 2) Something that should also be said or brought to light is that “A syllabus will not generally indicate the relative importance of its topics or the order in which they are to be studied.” (Smith, 2)
    Curriculum as a product is definitely not one of my favourites as it makes children out to be tiny robots you just need to program and let go. “Objectives are set, a plan drawn up, then applied, and the outcomes (products) measured.” (Smith, 3) I will however admit that it produces results. This was one of the more prominent areas of curriculum I faced in my early years at school.
     Curriculum as a process follows a similar dynamic as what I stated above, however I feel there’s more room for the individual rather than the hive. Though these differences are small, they are still slightly different. Smith states this best, “Another way of looking at curriculum theory and practice is via process. In this sense curriculum is not a physical thing, but rather the interaction of teachers, students and knowledge. In other words, curriculum is what actually happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate.” (Smith, 4) However, this also falls into mandatory testing, which I personally despise, as I feel it doesn’t truly show anyone how much a student knows, it just how much they can regurgitate. I witness quite a bit of this in my elementary school years as well.
    Finally we have curriculum as a praxis. This one is definitely my favourite as it does focus on the individual, not the collective “While the process model is driven by general principles and places an emphasis on judgment and meaning making, it does not make explicit statements about the interests it serves.” (Smith, 11) However, this could lead to some kids being put on hold. It forces action and not all people may be okay with that. I never really experienced this as a child.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Ecs210 week 3

Death/ghosts and the curriculum

     I chose Death/ghosts and the curriculum as my topic. This topic looks interesting, and I really don't know how this could even be in a curriculum so that's why I chose it. In the reading last week Smith stated, "As a minimum, a curriculum should provide a basis for planning a course, studying it empirically and considering the grounds of its justification." and I just cannot wrap my head around how this applies to curriculum outside of a catholic school system. Of course that's only if I take it literally and I highly doubt anyone other than me would do such a thing.
While searching for articles on this topic I found one called The Death of Curriculum Studies and Its Ghosts. In the article they discuss how curriculum is never changing and cannot support all of American youth. Using this idea, I've knocked off step one of the assignment.
I would like to find another article that helps support the idea of Death and Ghosts for discussing old images of the curriculum and start by drawing parallels between the two articles, while hopefully keeping my personal opinion about it under wraps. I think it's important to remain impartial to certain things.
Below is a citation for the article in MLA.
Snaza, Nathan. "The Death of Curriculum Studies and Its Ghosts." Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy 11.2 (2014): 154-73. Web.

Ecs210 Week 1

How does Kumashiro define 'commonsense?' Why is it so important to pay attention to the 'commonsense’?
    Kunashiro claims common sense is what is taught to us in our society, which I can agree with. Not all societies have the same ideas that North America seems to have when it comes to “common sense”. They brought about this point while discussing their time teaching in Nepal, where they realized (shocking) that a less developed society does not hold the same values or ‘rituals’ that America seems to hold. It boils down to values, and which society holds what higher. American teachers hold expression and fun fairly high, while in Nepal, the opposite seems to be true.
    The idea of common sense being unique to society also applies to family, or household. It’s common sense to vote (in my opinion), for example, however not everyone would agree. Kunashiro talked about oppression, perhaps that falls under what I allow to oppress me. In other words, what may be common sense to me, may not be common sense to you.
I do believe the text itself was common sense, how could nobody already know these things? There are cultural differences in every aspect of life, not just common sense. Everyone should already be aware of these things.

I do not know what else to say on this topic.