My upbringing shaped my read on the world in many ways, because I grew up in on a farm and wasn’t exposed to many other perspective in my youth. This Shaped my view of the world, because I was never exposed to other people, even my teachers were mostly from the community, there were no people of colour or people with different religious beliefs. There were only people who were like me within my community. Due to my read of the world it causes me to bring in biases and lenses that point out when people are different, they cause me to create walls when I don’t want to hear something, and these biases and lenses cause me to become upset and angry when things aren’t going my way. I’ve been working very hard to unlearn and work against these biases over the last two years being in University. This work has included questioning why I feel the way I do about things that make me uncomfortable. So when something makes me uncomfortable i ask myself why I feel this way and if there is a way that I can change my feelings about the topic of discomfort.
In my schooling the single story that was present was the White, Male, privilaged person story. We didn’t see much of other cultures, we didn’t see people who lived without privilage. We just didn’t, it wasn’t a problem at home so it wasn’t something that was pointed out in school.
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?
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
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?
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.
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.