Hi, my name is Laura Huck and today I am going to take you on my journey in ECS 210. This class has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of what is truly means to be an educator. I have learned the components of what it means to be a teacher and have gained perspectives on different teaching techniques. This class has enabled me to learn from a new lens in a way that I never would have imagined before. Through class discussions and lectures I have been able to learn and understand a new way of approaching education. I have also learned that there are multiple ways of approaching different types of topics or lessons. Having multiple types of teaching this enables students of all abilities to learn and understand the material. This class has given me the opportunity to challenge my bias and beliefs in a way I have never done before. It has provided me to take an in depth look at education. Through lectures and many class discussions this class has enabled me to work through some uncomfortable topics and challenge my personal bias towards certain topics.
In the first week of classes, we began to express what “Common sense” looks like. I learned through lessons and readings that common sense ideas can hinder opportunities for growth and improvement in schools. A good example of “common sense” in schools could be that in our society school usually starts at 8:30am and ends around 3:30pm. Another example would be that for certain schools they have a bell that goes off at the same time every day for recess. It is important as teachers to know and understand these ideas of Common sense as we begin to start our careers. Challenging these common-sense ideas as well as our own personal beliefs will allow us to grow and become better teachers. During these lessons on common sense, we also spoke about the definition of a “good student.” We explained that a good student is one that is attentive, and who don’t question the rules. I also learned through different conversations that there are many perspectives on what a “good student is.” There isn’t anyone good student, there are many different types of good students who all have the potential to be successful in whatever life path they choose to have.
During the first half of our class, we learned about the different types of curriculum. I was able to gain a wide variety of knowledge about the history of curriculum and different ways to implement it in the classroom. We learned that the politics of our country have a huge impact. We learned that the politics of our country have a huge impact on what is written in the curriculum. This is because the government chooses the curriculum writers and the people elect the government. Through class lectures and activities, I was able to learn that there are actually four ways to approach curriculum. The first way is curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted. I learned that this means being connected with courses leading to examinations and teachers talk of the syllabus associated with different exams. The second way to approach curriculum is curriculum as a product. This is where objectives are set, a plan drawn up, then applied and the outcomes (products) are measured. The third way to approach is curriculum as a process. This outlines that curriculum is not a physical thing but rather the interaction of teachers, students, and knowledge. Additionally, it states that curriculum is what actually happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate. The last and final approach to education is curriculum as praxis which is a development of the process model. One of the aspects of the curriculum that I found very beneficial is how school curriculum is developed and the ways it is implemented.
One of the philosophers that we spoke about in class that was important for me as an Elementary teacher was learning about Maria Montessori. I learned that she became the co-director of a school for educating children considered “uneducable.” She also implemented the Montessori Method which is the importance placed on developing the child’s abilities and personal initiative. She also described that children progress at their own pace.
One of the other most important aspects that I learned in this class was about Treaty Education. I learned through this class that treaty education isn’t only about teaching Indigenous culture. It’s about teaching true and real Canadian history. In education, we need to learn more about the land from Indigenous elders and learn the stories of this country from them. Treaties are not only a part of Canadians history but they are still part of the present. I learned that it is important for students to know the history not only around the treaties, but about the traditions, celebrations, dances, and teachings. Treaties have given many of us the privileges such as being able to share the land and creating families and communities. In regard to residential schools, many families continue to struggle with the aftermath and with the history of these schools. We should be teaching and telling stories that will help future generations rebuild and not make similar mistakes. One of the other important parts of treaty education was Inuit mathematics. I learned a lot of aspects of Inuit Mathematics that I found very interesting as a future teacher. I find this topic very interesting because it is important for many students to understand the importance of Inuit Mathematics. I believe this topic was important for me to learn as teachers should be knowledge of this topic. The Inuit language and their mathematics are not being valued in the Northern Canadian communities in schools with limits Inuit students understanding in many subject areas especially in math. One of the things I found interesting was from Poirier’s article which explained how the Inuit changed the traditional calendar. They figured out that the Inuktitut calendar is not either lunar or solar. Their calendar is based on recurring yearly events and the name of each month come from animal activity or nature. This is how they learned their months which I found very interesting to learn.