Curriculum as Literacy

How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?

My “real world view” was shaped by both my parents, but also my educational mentors. Of course, my parents taught me ‘common sense’ but I was more drawn to my inspiring teachers. They gave me many opportunities to be creative. They provided me platforms for discover myself and pushed me to succeed. They also enhanced my ability to view the world different than my parents could ever teach me. My educators knew what I was before I knew who I was. As I reflect on my experiences, I realize how hard they worked to provide me a view that did not compromise my success.

Biases or lenses I would bring to the classroom is the idea that everyone within out cultural has the same understanding; the same experiences as I have had. I have stopped myself in the classroom wondering, why am I thinking this way? Do I know what the student truly is experiences or am I just basing my understanding form my world views? Cultural-competency is one way I can work against these biases. Trying to build a stronger connection with students and their input to reflect on their interest, knowledge and values.

Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

I had many stories being presented to me, not just a single story. My experience around so many different types of educators allowed me to see that there was more than one type of voice. I had the chance to engage in many types of experiences that shape my views as an educator today. I also got to learn what types of ‘stories’ I could not reflect with or learn but also how to not present that type of ‘story’ within my classroom. The truth of self-discovery with inspirational leadership is what really mattered. What really matters is the truth that our students believe, rather you provide them with only one truth. The only truth that matters is the one your students believe in: the truth within yourself and respect with for your student will be the one they remember; the only one that truly matters.

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Curriculum as Numeracy

Thinking back to my time in school while learning math, I enjoyed everything about learning it. I loved learning new formulas. I loved to challenge myself in timed math practices and I love to share what I knew with my classmates. I do think math was oppressive for students. There were students who struggled far too much trying to learn mathematics. They would often beat them selves up or think they were stupid if they could not “get it.” There have always been students in school that either love math or hate it. Why does this still occur? We have educators and support that can provide students with the appropriate support. Math should be learnt in a non-discriminatory setting were students who don’t excel in a typical math class, can use creative tools to better help them learn within their own development.

  • Inuit people did not follow the same numerical base 10 like we do. They follow their own base which is base 20. It changes the entire way they use language within numbers. It also makes sense in how they developed their base 20. They used their fingers and toes, which is how they began using 20, rather 10.
  • Mathematics is not a written language. For Inuit people, written language is not the type of learning they use to learn math. They would speak using their own words and uses to calculate rather numerical calculations.
  • Inuit measurement was based of the length of body parts. Hands and feet would be used to describe length or distance between to objects. They would also use their arms and legs instead of how we use meter sticks or units of measurement to calculate distance.

Curriculum as Citizenship

What does it mean to be a Canadian citizen? Why do we assign people to what is cultural expected to a persons’ representation of their citizenship? Are you require to be a specific person based of your nationality? We learned there are three types of citizens: Law abiding citizen, participatory citizen, justice-oriented citizen. Each are subjective to their own reasoning or idea of what it is to be a citizen. There are different factors within each type of citizen. Law abiding citizens are just that. As a citizen, you are expected to follow the order and be a ‘good’ person. Participatory citizen acknowledged that you are expected to participate in what is required, voting, understanding, paying your taxes, etc.. Justice-oriented citizen require more critical types of citizenship for standing up for your rights, being apart of movements and decision making.

Curriculum, both informal and formal, dose not always practice inclusiveness regarding citizenship. There are set expectation for students and how they interact within their citizenship. They are encouraged or designated to be apart of change or to have their voice heard or give reason. Why do we have to control how we are forced to intergrade citizenship within curriculum. Students may need inspiration for thought, but that does not imply labeling what or how they should participate within reason. Citizenship does not have rules. Curriculum, rather intended or not, has hidden intent to exclude those who don’t follow under ideal citizenship. We need to be well aware on how we project curriculum and this type of exclusion towards citizenship.

Treaty Education

We are all treaty people. That’s what is taught to us in our early years of education. We are all apart of treaties as a nation. We need to recognize why this is important to strengthen and build our relationship with Indigenous people. Teaching treaty education to students if significant, specifically to students in content to students who have lesser perspectives to Indigenous culture and people. Teaching our history of colonizing Canada and what happened to Indigenous people is our responsibility, not only as educators, put as citizens in this nation. We can not more forward if we do not recognize what truly happened and give voice to Indigenous perspectives. Understanding “we are all treaty people” within curriculum allows gives insight to move towards reconciliation. When explaining that treaties are not only about Indigenous people, we are all part of treaties and how it has shaped our education and our classroom. Indicate how treaties have been apart of our history of settlers, government and the impact is has on Indigenous people. We need to teach that reconciliation is a collective approach to community relationships that build an understanding moving forward together as one through recognizing the responsibilities for healing processes. Acknowledging our past to identify how Eurocentric colonialization of Indigenous peoples and what events took place by addressing the history of abuse, culture assimilation, and the impact of residential schools. Recognising our past to reconcile how Eurocentric government colonialized Indigenous peoples and how that effects even our curriculum today, needs to be apart of our curriculum to signify to all students, why we are all treaty people.

Critical Pedagogy of Place

1. List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.

The narrative reinhabitation focused on connection to the river with the youth. The elders try to explain what the river represents and why it is important to appreciate. The elders show and teach appreciation to the youth about understanding how we all connect to the river and the earth. Although the youth may not be grateful or recognize the importance, they gained the leadership and recognition from the experience and teachings from the elders. The elders teaching these youth about the river is more importantly showing them how we are highly connected to the earth and how significant our connection is to our environment. Incorporating elder teachings in a forward step to decolonization within education. Giving these youth a chance to learn from a non-Eurocentric type of learning to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, provides knowledge they can learn from their environment rather a classroom setting.

2. How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?

I want to incorporate place-based learning into my science classroom. Similar to Indigenous types of learning, place-based learning takes the classroom into the environment. It allows students a chance to know about the environment from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and how we engage in our surroundings. It demonstrates a decolonized type of learning and incorporated Indigenous ways of knowing. Using Indigenous education within place-based learning, integrating community and Indigenous resources into our lesson plan but also benefits students cultural-connective development by providing a decolonized opportunity to learn in our environment.

Political Curriculum Development

Before Reading:

School curriculum is developed by a collective contribution from sectors within our education. Community leaders, social workers, psychologist and healthcare professionals have they share in contribution to curriculum and of course educators and teachers.

After Reading:

Curriculum is developed by economical influencers. It distinguishes that curriculum is based on societal need for the economy. It is politically lead by what is most important to learn at that time, or at least that’s what is put forward. The development of curriculum is for what is thought to be ‘best for students’, rather what student interest or teachers’ interest. People who are in authoritative positions are the ones responsible for children future, but without their own knowledge or experience in education, how do they really know what will benefit or disadvantage students’ interest, knowledge, attention, and educational success. Curriculum should less government control, and have more leeway for educators to use what is best for their students, but also meet outcomes.

Commonsense: ‘Good Student’

According to commonsense, a good student in a complacent student. A student who follows what they are told to do. A student who demonstrates typical student type of behavior that reflects their actions and responses. A good student knows how to act, respond, when to speak, and how to behave. The types of students that benefit from being a ‘good student’ are the students who thrive in an industrialized traditionalist type of structure. The commonsense of how a student behaves is rewarded and they will try to demonstrate that type of behavior. It may allow them to succeed under behaviorist type of educational leadership, but at what cost to their development of identity? It makes it impossible because we all have our own way of learning. We are all unique and different and commonsense type of thinking does not demonstrate inclusive leadership to every students, only the ones who can be ‘good students.’