Blog post week 6- February 15th

The three types of citizenships that were mentioned in the article were:

  1. The personally responsible citizen
  2. The participatory citizen
  3. Justice-oriented citizen

The reading mentions that a personally responsible citizen is one who acts responsibly for his/her community. Throughout my elementary years, I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in several community events. We used to do what was known as a “liter clean up” where we would go around the schoolyard and each one of us was responsible for picking up at least 5 items of garbage. There was also a recycling program implemented in my school and each time we brought some sort of recycling to school we were responsible to put it in the recycling bin. We were taught to respect and obey the rules of both the school and society. When I was a bit older my peers and I would participate in an annual food drive where we could collect food items and send them to less fortunate families during the Christmas season. I was involved with my band program at the school as well and we would help out in the community by going to perform at nursing homes. With my band program in junior high and high school, we would do an annual food drive as well to help people in our communities. These were a few of the events that I was fortunate to participate in throughout my schooling.

I wasn’t involved in that many participatory citizen activities in my school. However, in both my junior high and high school in Alberta, we did learn a great deal of information about the political aspects of societies. We learned about how to run meetings, problem solve, negotiate and come to a consensus. The main ways we learned these elements were through videos, lectures and several field trips and guest presentations. We learned many things that guided us as individuals. I gained many valuable lessons on how to pay more attention and ways to teach what is happening around us and political actions around the world.

The Justice Oriented Citizen learning is something that I do not have a lot of experience with. A large part of this citizenship involves collaborating and sharing ideas. One of the big parts is how we can make a change in our communities, provinces or even globally.

I am a person who enjoys volunteering and making changes in my community. One of my hopes is to be able to gain ways for me to teach these types of citizenships. These types could also be made a higher priority in the curriculum in many of the schools across the country and provinces.

I was involved with track and field at an early age where we would go around and do bottle drives to raise money for our communities as well. We would do this on an annual basis.

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Blog Post week 5: February 8th

Before reading:

I believe that the development of curriculum has been subject to change as the educational content changes. The curriculum is bound to change due to new advancements and new information. The curriculum has gone through some drastic changes throughout the past century and it is changing at a faster rate than ever before. The way we instruct and teach the information is also changing and has gone through many changes already. I believe that the current techniques that are being used will continue to change and will be different than those used in previously. I believe that curriculum is formed a number of powerful parties including the ministry of education and a board of education. These are the two that I have found most inspirational.

After reading:

I believe that many educational decisions are made with a dollar value in mind which makes education very political. In this chapter, I gained a new understanding of how the curriculum is created. The curriculum for schools is created by positions in the federal government system. The big influence of the government and politics is a little overwhelming to me because I do not tend to be involved in a lot of politics. However, it troubles me that most student’s interests are not concerned with various changes in education. I don’t understand the fact that curriculum is so secretive. It bothers me how we have certain “hidden curriculums” that are kept from student’s knowledge. I truly believe that curriculum shouldn’t be hidden and that it doesn’t need to be so political. Teachers such as myself will need to be able to adapt to these changes that will come into the curriculum especially with the election of new political leaders. As I progress through my education career I will become more involved in politics and become more of an activist for changes I believe in involving education

Are you a good student? Blog Post Week Four

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to common sense? Which students are privileged by this definition of a good student?

According to common sense, a good student is referred to as someone who is able to listen, do well in school, be respectful and has a good behavior. Their good behavior is seen as someone who is happy and who is motivated always striving to excel both inside and outside the classroom. They don’t act up in class and never give teachers a hard time. They are usually ones who have specific goals in mind and who are always trying to do better. They are referred to as always having a positive attitude and always doing better. Teachers use them as examples for students to look up to and have them become role models for other classmates. Good students are portrayed as coming from a good family setting where their parents help motivate and support them. However, there are also students who come from an abusive or bad home life that also excel and are able to leave their home problems once they arrive at school. Regardless of the type of circumstance a student is in they all have the potential to be considered “good students.”

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these common-sense ideas?

Any person who is seen outside the confinements of “common sense” would be considered unacceptable. Our society now days has a strict view about what common sense should be and how everyone should be able to live their lives that way. Relating back to my elementary schooling I distinctly remember one of my male classmates named Mak who had a very hard time focusing in the classroom. He would cause disruptions and try everything to make the teacher mad. He also came from a bad home life and was being raised almost below the poverty line with a single mother and four other younger siblings. He tried to act out every chance he could in school and would try to get the other students to play along with him. In essence, the teacher that we had could either send him on a timeout outside of the classroom or simply send him to the principal’s office. They usually gave him three strikes before the teacher threatened to phone his mother when he hit three strikes. Trying to use his mother as a motivating factor to focus and listen only made it worse. He ended up acting out even more because of this which made the teacher even more upset with him. Thinking back to that time from a teacher’s point of view the main motive for her was to get him to be less disruptive. She tried to isolate him from the classroom in order to get him to stay more focused and get him more on track. However, as I have learned through my education classes so far, this strategy doesn’t always work for all students. Some students don’t improve their behaviors at all even if they are isolated from their peers.

It is very hard for many teachers to deal with individual students who don’t fit the criteria. I believe as a future educator it is important to adapt to new strategies if needed in order to teach for a wide variety of students. It is important to know that not all teaching strategies work the same for all students. We need to understand that students need different perspectives and that some need a different way of teaching. Having an open mind is a way for our future students to stay engaged in the classwork.