What babies?

In my schooling is saw citizenship education in the form of personally responsible citizens and participatory citizens. These types were shown in socila classes learning about government and learning that we should be voting and through the schools involvement with food drives, clothing drives, and other events like that which show you that there is a problem in the world and that we need to help the problem but not going further to challenge and fix the problem that is being looked at. These two types of citizens were also seen in wellness and PE class as students were required to complete volunteer hours for the community. Although these citizens were never encouraged to question and fix the problems that they are volunteering to help with, they were simply there to get things done and go no further.

This type of curriculum makes it impossible for students to desire those further critical thinking skills that are going to change the world. Because they don’t have a grade associated and therefore students won’t do it. Why go the extra mile to see where the babies are coming from when you can stand here and remove the babies without a problem?

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Cultural Views of Numbers

Thinking back to my experiences with math in school, I never personally felt discriminated against in the class because math was my thing. Although I did see other students getting oppressed and discriminated subtly in the class, because they didn’t learn the same way that the teachers taught the class.

I was one of the first classes to use the Math Makes Sense textbooks throughout my schooling, and the textbook was designed to help students who weren’t necessarily mathematical thinkers understand math and have all students be able to see themselves reflected through the course that was being taught. Instead this textbook lost most of the students and their even slight mathematical intrest because the problems became wordy and difficult to understand, so now even the students like me who loved math were lost and confused. I used to finish my assignments so fast that the teachers would get me to help my peers that were struggling with the class, and I loved going this because i was able to explain in various different ways and ways that made sense to my peers what was going on while still getting them to answer the textbook questions.

Inuit Math challenges Eurocentric ideas:
-the basic idea of 2+2=4
Like i mentioned in one of my last blogs, not all cultures see 2+2=4 it’s like the playdough idea again, 2 balls of playdough+ 2 balls of playdough mashed together may just equal 1.
-Not all words have the same meaning across all cultures
there were many examples of this given in reading, where there are two words for triangle each giving varying definitions
-There doesn’t need to be a pictorial way of representing a number to mean that the number exists

Treaty’s as we see them

Through TreatyEdCamp I learned a lot about the benefits of using tools such as the Blanket Exercise, Elders, and even changing the ways in view math. One of the speakers gave the example of “1+1=2, but what if we use a chain link toy, then 1pile+1pile=many, how about modeling clay, 1 ball+ 1 ball= 1 ball.” what we see as known facts aren’t necessarily the facts that other cultures see those facts. This really stuck with me, because it really illistrates the views that we impose on those around us. In many classrooms we would call 1+1=1 wrong because thats not what we have accepted as fact, but aren’t the students ideas that they are showing us still correct?

The purpose of teaching Treaty Ed when there are little to no FIrst Nations students, is that it provides cultural awareness and gives students the oppertunity to understand what it means to be a Treaty Person. Jus tbecause you see your community as soley settlers doesn’t mean that the Treaty’s have no impact on you; in fact I’d say the opposite. There are no First Nation’s people in your area because of the forced movement that was made when Treaty’s were put into place, therefore they have all left and are now living on the reserves. Treaty Education is important for all people to understand, and from my experiences it is not taught well in schools; creating a bigger bias toward First Nation’s peoples.

“We are all treaty people” is a packed statement to me because there are so many different things that it could mean. To me it means that I NEED to know how Treaty’s so that I can help uphold and share my knowledge of Treaty’s with those around me. But what does that mean if I can’t answer a students questions in the future? What if I can’t answer my own questions?

Learning and it’s Place

Throughout the narrative you see reinhabitation and decolonization in the trip that outsiders fostered with the elders and youth, and many on the conversations that they have with each other. Reinhabitation is seen through the locale that the elders choose to share a story, it is then recovered and shared in that space, making it place-based knowledge. It is also seen in the father that cries everytime he goes do to the river and is reminded of his dead daughter.  (I feel as though we all have something like that, for me it’s when I am in my room and uncover a poetry book it reminds me of my grandma and I cry) And the article show decolonization through the ways that the elders have shown the youth that there is a different word that they really mean to use in many of their cases but because of laziness the youth don’t use the word.

I would adapt the ideas of place in my teaching through having math projects that each student can do based on something they know, where much of the learning has taken place in another location but is triggered and reapplied in a different context. Or in a science class delivering a lesson/exploration opportunity outside by a pond to teach about biodiversity.

Curriculum, Teaching and it’s Development

How do I think school curricula is developed?

I believe that school curriculum is somethng that a group of adults, typically from the Ministry, sit down and try to determine what students need to learn to be deemed successful in the “real” world. I have come to the idea that typically these government selected officals are so far removed from what teaching is like that they are don’t know what should be in the curriculum because they don’t realize how rapidly society is evolving when they are trapped in their little bubble. Hence, why the Ministry thinks that cutting funding to education is a good idea (how are teachers supposed to do anything when they can’t even have a job that pays them for the amount of work that they do in day).

How are school curricula developed and implemented? New perspectives? Surprises?

School curricula is developed and implemented by “professional” of the subject in conjunction with the government officials that are in power at that time. They sit with knowledgeable teachers to determine if changes are necessary and if so how they should be applied. Often because it is the master of the subject that is forming the curriculum the content is too complicated of teachers who only have the minimum knowledge to understand and therefore teach to the students that must know and be skilled in by the end of the semester.
New perspectives…I didn’t realize how little the government believe that we (the public) don’t understand about the ways in which they function. It is almost like the government thinks that we are completely ignorant to the ways in which they run a act to get things done despite the fact they are constantly being opposed.
Surprise….there is a substantial debate about if people think that formal education benefits people. Maybe that’s why they cut our funding and so many teachers can’t do anything without being ridiculed. In others classes I’ve taken at the University the professor gets angry about something that a teacher did in their child’s class, and I calmly sit there and try not to explode as they accuse all teachers of being that way.

Rant closed. For now.

How GOOD is the good student?

A good student is often considered to be one that can memorize and repeat back definations for the sole purpose of passing an exam and moving into the next level of studies. A good student is rarely considered one that can come to a conclusion and solution on their own without the teacher just giving them the answer.
Kumashiro’s defination of a good student privilages those students that are able to learn in the was the which the teacher is teaching. THerefore allowing those students to understand and move forward in their education. WHere as the the children who do not understand the first time are left behind and are unable to successfully get themselves to move forward, causing them to fall more and more behind each class.
Through Kumashiro’s defination is is impossible to see the abalities that all students bring into a class, because every individual has a skill that allows them to learn and succeed. So when ideas are only taught one way it becomes impossible to see the ways in which the child who doesn’t learn according to the teachers standards might be able to learn. For example a child that has always followed instructions and was a verbal learner would be successful in the classroom, but the child who lives in poverty and has never been told what to do would struggle in a verbally taught classroom.
My closing question, why do we consider the ideals of Kumashiro if we know that they only allow for a certian type of learner to flourish?

Maria Montessori Quote

“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops in the human being.”

Through this quote is makes possible… to see the student as an independent learner that is capable of highlighting their own abilities and knowing their skills as an individual. This quote makes learning into a natural process that all people have, because humans are naturally curious and have a desire to know more thus educating themselves.

While the quote also make it impossible to… see teachers as requirement within our society. This quote makes it seem like teachers are unnecessary to gain an education, and while teachers aren’t a necessity to learn and grow as an individual teachers do have a vast repertoire of skills that can benefit the learning process of the individual. Teachers provide a guideline and starting point that is helpful to the student so that they don’t get lost in the mountain that is knowledge to be learned.

In terms of the teacher…the quote infers that they are merely a tool to guide the student to an understanding.  Which while isn’t totally unnecessary doesn’t always help the student, sometimes teachers create more confusion in the students understanding then they do clarity.

The quote makes the student seem curious by nature, so they have all the tools necessary to come to a reasonable and thoughtful understanding by themselves. The quote makes the student into a completely independent creature, but it’s often in our stubborn independence that we find our failure. So we have to recognize that it is in the students benefit to know when they need to recognize that they need to seek help sometimes too.

My understanding of curriculum and school… varies from the quote in the sense that the curriculum has very little built into it to allow for students to grow that “natural process” to become an educated individual. Schools are slowly changing to get away from the teacher being the educator and the student being the taught at, but it is a slow change.