I thought that Gail’s presentation was very interesting and she brought up some points that I have never thought about in relation to mathematics. Thinking back to my own experience of schooling, I always hated math. I did not like it and thought that it was the hardest subject that I had taken throughout schooling. However, I do not think that anything I was taught was discriminating against myself or other students. I remember some of the word problems would include First Nations culture or traditions which was a mandatory part of the curriculum. In my experience, mathematics was instructed as being black and white. There was no one correct answer and the process led to answers that were very limited. We were taught each concept as a new unit without any connections being made between the previous lessons.
The main way that Poirier’s article challenges Eurocentric ideas was the concept of mathematics as a universal language. This has been an ongoing perception, that regardless of culture, time or place, the math we use is universally applicable and not subject to change. The Inuit challenge this concept because their worlds are very different and the use of numbers is also different. This influences how they learn math and what concept they can relate to and which ones they can’t. The second way it challenges it is the base 10 vs base 20 systems. The Eurocentric foundation for math is the base 10 system. The Inuit however, have designed their system on a base 20. Where 10 and 100 are most significant for us, 20 and 400 are fundamental in their arithmetic. The third challenge it faces is the difference in language. In mathematics, often times translation can be an issue which could create issues. It is the responsibility of teachers to understand the limitations of our understandings of common sense. We need to be conscious of the gaps between our math understandings and theirs. Instead of assuming that our Eurocentric way is the best way we need to be open to other understandings and other ways of knowing.
- What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples?
I think that is it important to teach Treaty Ed because we do live on treaty land and it is important for students to know the history and learn about it. Treaties are not only an important part of Canadians history but they are still part of the present. I think it is a lot important for students to know the history not only around the treaties, but about the traditions, celebrations, dances, and teachings. We are all treaty people and it is very important to acknowledge our past and teach future generations about the past. Treaties have given many of us the privileges such as being able to share the land and creating families and communities. I also believe that it is highly important to learn about residential schools. Many families continue to struggle with the aftermath and with the history of these schools. It is important for students to know this and to understand how much of a negative impact these impacts had. We should be teaching and telling stories that will help future generations rebuild and not make similar mistakes.
I believe we are all treaty people and it is important for students to know about that. Everyone lives on the land that was first the Indigenous peoples land and it was shared with settlers. I have realized that I have to think more deeply when engaging in Treaty Ed and incorporating it into my lessons.
Before I read the article, I had no idea what these words meant. I had no knowledge of these foreign concepts. However, once I read the article I began to understand what these words actually meant. This reading helped me understand that rein habitation requires connection and understanding on one’s surrounding. The article displayed learning from elders which is an excellent way of understanding. This was crucial because it allowed the students to directly participate in decolonization and experience the way their elders might have learned.
Reinhabitation and decolonization would be very difficult to achieve without the support of elders and older people within the community. They are able to offer students with information and knowledge. I believe there are multiple ways I can adapt these ideas into my classroom.
As a future educator, I will try to make treaty education a priority of mine and expose my students to different learning styles. I would also arrange for elders to come and speak with my students or plan field trips around sacred and learning atmospheres. I believe alders would be a great took for teaching indigenous ideologies. Almost all Indigenous ways of learning can be incorporated into any subject whether it can Math, by learning to count beads, to history and learning about the land beneath them.
The three types of citizenships that were mentioned in the article were:
- The personally responsible citizen
- The participatory citizen
- 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.
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.
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
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.
I have chosen the quote “What matters today. . . is not how much our students know, but what they can do with what they know” by Tony Wagner.
I think this quote is made possible in education. Students in the classroom are able to progress their skills and knowledge each year they are in school. Students need to be able to apply their knowledge instead of just memorizing a bunch of material. They learn new and complex concepts the older they become which allows them to build on their previous knowledge within education. Due to this new complex information in later years, they learn to turn that knowledge that they have learned into innovation to use as adults. Being able to do this enables them to execute their learning in ways that will help them in their future workplaces. In turn, this allows students to excel in the real world and learn how to become contributors to society. I believe that teachers need to recognize that they need to focus less on students memorizing information and more on the actual concepts and making sure they understand them deeper and more fully. Many of these concepts can lead to diverse information in later years. Apply the knowledge that they learn in the classroom is also a valuable way for them to communicate and interact with others in the workplace.
I believe that having this type of philosophy as a teacher means that you care about the future of your students. It allows students to develop not just during their years at school but later on in life. If a student is able to extend their knowledge outside the classroom it means that they can achieve success in their everyday lives. It also means that they can become productive members of society.
This type of philosophy relates to how we as educators teach the curriculum for our students. A teacher with this type of philosophy must be able to teach concepts and information in broader terms. They have to make sure their students are learning in a deeper meaning. It also means making sure your students are doing more than just memorizing the material you are giving them. They have to be able to learn beyond the surface of certain content and use that in all aspects of their life. They have to be able to gain value for the information they are learning.
I think that I have experienced several aspects of the Tyler rationale in my own schooling. Within my own schooling, my teachers laid out clear objectives of what they wanted in each class or subject relating to step one of the Tyler rationale. There were specific goals for teaching success in each one of my classes. My teachers had told me that in order for us to be successful we must follow the teacher’s guidance. One of the main objectives in my English class in junior high was to learn the objectives of essay writing. My teacher taught us specific structure on how to write an essay. The essays followed very strict guidelines and we had to follow them to be able to be successful at writing our essays. The objectives and goals of essay writing got harder every year in order to progress to high school or university essay writing. I also had experience with Tyler’s second step of rationale in my classrooms. Each one of my teachers had ideas on how their students would achieve the goals from step one. They knew the steps that each student would have to make to achieve their educational goals and how they would get there. There were several factors on how a student reached certain goals in my classrooms. Some of these factors included repetition, group work, a demonstration from the teachers and homework. One of the main ways that we learned how to achieve the goal of essay writing was through demonstration. Our teacher would make lesson plans for the different steps in writing an essay and would urge us to take down notes from the class. My teachers demonstrated step by step the breakdown of how to write a proper essay. I had experience with the third step of the Tyler rationale as well. Most of my teachers taught us by demonstrating first instead of making us do it first. Once we got the main points down and knew what to do my teaches would then make us do it by ourselves. The last experience I had was the fourth step of the Tyler rationale. There were multiple times when I would have to write an in-class essay in order for our teachers to figure out what we know how to do and what we need to work on by ourselves.
One of the main limitations of the Tyler rationale was related to what types of knowledge schools teach their students. Each school is different with the type of teaching styles they learn and how they assess their students. This could potentially limit students to learning what is “common sense” for schools to teach and may not learn different subjects that they are very interested in. One of the other limitations is that it is very structured with the content within the classroom. A student may be interested in learning about a specific topic but if it is not outlined in the curriculum then they could miss out on that experience. Many teachers who go by the Tyler rationale are very specific on how they are teaching and the time spent on certain things and therefore, students aren’t able to learn from exploration or inquiry. That is one of the other limitations of the rationale.
There are several benefits from the Tyler rationale. One of the main benefits is how it is a good place for students and teachers to create learning outcomes. It helps create a structure for the lessons that teachers will be teaching. The Tyler rationale has a big benefit of making sure teachers are organized in teaching their classes to students.
As stated in the reading common sense has many different meanings to it. Common sense is something that everyone is perceived to have. In the reading Kumashiro states that common sense is something we take for granted. He also explains that common sense is something that everyone is supposed to know. In many cases common sense is what children are used to because it is always the same. The general understanding of common sense never changes. The author explains his journey in a new country teaching and learning about a new culture and language. He states that in his experience teaching in the new country knowledge for exams came from the textbook. The students mainly gained their information from reading and understanding things in textbooks and through diligent studying. However, Kumashiro believes that different methods of teaching make us better teachers. There is always more than one way to teach a specific lesson or concept. He believes that common sense should consist of more than just lectures. Common sense limits what is considered with the purpose of teaching. It is a way to view things that same as society.
3 things I learned:
The first thing I learned was the story itself. It felt more personal from a real-life story and Chanie’s personal experiences. I learned that Chanie Wenjack was a young child who ran away from the residential school he attended in order to walk home.
The second I learned was that many children tried to escape the mistreatment that they were suffering but were unsuccessful with many of their attempts. I also found out that many of these children were severely punished for trying to escape which is truly heartbreaking
The third thing I learned was that only 66% of Canadian’s have learned about Residential Schools. This was a very shocking statistic.
One of the first connections was in regard to language loss. Many of the children that attended these school’s loss their native language and many never regained the lost language. I can relate to this from taking the Cree class last year. I did not understand it and I can understand why it took these children so long to regain their language.
The second connection I made was trying to put myself in their shoes. I was trying to imagine what it would feel like to be ripped away from my family, and my home from an early age. It would be very difficult for me especially. It would be extremely hard to be forbidden to speak my native language.
One question I still have is why so many people are still unaware of this event. I wonder how we as teachers can ensure that we have the techniques and strategies for teaching this type of history.