Social Efficiency Ideology

In this week’s reading, there was a reference to Tyler (1949) which stuck with me. He wrote, “education is a process of changing the behaviour of people. …[E]ducational objectives, then, represent the kinds of changes in behaviour that an educational institution seeks to bring about in students” (as seen in Schiro, p. 2, 2013). This reference can be explained further by the analogy of Franklin Bobbitt (1913) where he explains that curriculum was used as a model to simply create an ideal adult through factory work (as seen in Schiro, 2013). His analogy is as follow:

  • school = factory
  • child = raw material
  • adult = finished product
  • teacher = factory worker
  • curriculum = processing raw material (child) into finished product (adult)
  • curriculum developers = member of research department who investigates what the consumer market (society) wants

Now looking at the present curriculum, there are Broad Areas of Learning (3) and Cross-Curriculum Competencies (4) that are the same for every grade and subject (K-12). The Broad Areas of Learning are building lifelong learners, building a sense of self and community, and building engaged citizens (Ministry of Education. The Cross-Curricular Competencies are developing thinking, developing identity and interdependence. developing literacies, and developing social responsibility (Ministry of Education. Looking back at Bobbitt’s analogy, the Broad Areas of Learning, and Cross-Curriculum Competencies do reflect creating individuals to survive adulthood, but provides more leniency in how individuals do it. Now the problem seems to be the importance that is placed on certain subject areas by the admin. Most school will place a greater importance on subjects like mathematics, sciences, and languages than subjects like physical education and arts. If the present curriculum has the same broad areas of learning and cross-curricular competencies in every subject area in every grade level, then students should be learning how to survive adulthood just the same in every subject and there should be equal value placed on every subject.

 

 

https://curriculum.gov.sk.ca/webapps/moe-curriculum-BBLEARN/CurriculumHome?id=199

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“The Problem with Commonsense”

In the reading of “The Problem with Commonsense”, Kumashiro describes that they thought they knew the “commonsense” until they went to teach in Nepal where everything seemed different. They thought they knew the “normal” layout of the day, but with only 1 water tap in their community in Nepal, they had really think about the order of their day (pg. 2). While Kumashiro was in the classroom, they noticed a difference in the learning as well. They found the students had a hard time adjusting to the way Kumashiro taught which was American based. Through this, we need to realize that the rest of the world isn’t like our westernized education and other countries teach and learn in different ways. The “commonsense” in the Americas is very different from the east.

Week 12 – Carly Kentz. (Dis)ability

The term disability not only refers to one’s physical component, but can also affect cognitive, intellectual, mental, sensory, or a combination of these. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) describes disability as, “not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives” (retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/disabilities/en/). Furthermore, the WHO also states that about 15% of the world’s population is living with a disability (WHO, 2017).

Dan Habib’s TedTalk about disability and his experiences with disabilities really hit home. I found it interesting when he asked the audience if anyone ever felt uncomfortable around people with disabilities as a child. I, for one, have felt a sort of discomfort when around people with disabilities. This wasn’t because I was discriminating against them in any way; it was more because I simply did not understand why they were the way they were.

Now Dan’s son, Samuel, seemed to have a very positive experience through grade school, despite having cerebral palsy. However, this makes me wonder how many other children with cerebral palsy have the same or similar experiences. It was apparent that Samuel had loving parents who worked hard to make Samuel feel safe and accepted, as well as grow up in a community who worked just as hard to achieve those goals. We know not all parents or communities are like that, which can make things challenging. Reflecting back to my experiences in elementary schools in Regina, I found some of them not very wheel chair friendly, especially the bathrooms. I also wonder how many teachers would feel confident in teaching physical education to a class with a student who is in a wheel chair. Would they know how to adapt the lessons for the student in the wheel chair but still make it challenging and interesting who those who are able-bodied, while still meeting the outcomes?


A couple of questions we were asked were what do you think shapes a person’s identity and how does their identity play a role in their education? Why do you think people with disabilities are often identified by their differences and not their capabilities or character traits?

I think a person’s physical appearance absolutely shapes their identity, but also their acceptance of themselves plays a role in this. For example, I have a friend who is deaf in one ear. Someone who doesn’t know this individual would never guess he has a congenital disability – he looks like a “normal” person. However, my friend makes it known to everyone he meets that he is deaf in one ear. He defines himself by this disability and is proud of it. He has has been discriminated against due to his disability and has had to change his dreams and career path, but wants to show his hard work in making himself successful, despite his discouragement in the past.

 

Week 11 – Carly Kentz

While watching The Secret Path, there was a statistic that really stuck out to me. The statistic was from Ry Moran during the discussion panel when he said only 66% of Canadians have heard or read about residential schools, which is something that we need to bring to 100%. This surprised me because I remember learning about residential schools a lot during my upbringing. This may be because I had teachers who made sure we knew about Canada’s history, or because the last residential school closed the year I was born (1996) less than an hour away from Regina. So for that, I feel privileged in a way to have had the opportunity to learn about such a horrid event, instead of it being brushed off like it never happened. However, after learning that statistic, I thought about this video and Gord Downie’s work for this story. Gord was a well known rock star in Canada, and I felt concerned that I didn’t know about this project that he worked on before his death. This video was released a year ago, and I hope many other people have had the opportunity to see it, or listen to Gord’s songs about Chanie Wenjack.

While listening to Gord and the panel discussion, many other statements stuck with me for a while. I applaud Gord for his effort to use his fame to tell someone else’s story. Someone’e story which ended a long time ago and was not able to end happily. I appreciated Gord when he said he was “trying to capture the feeling of trying to get home” while writing his album. I can only imagine Gord’s struggle while writing these songs in his efforts to really capture what not only Chanie went through, but every residential school attendee.

While in the panel discussion, they talked a lot about residential schools themselves and different experiences and emotions people may feel. They said that when talking to a residential school survivors, there is a “shame embedded” while sharing their past. I think that alone says a lot. Residential school attendees were forced out of their homes and had to leave their families, and culture, behind. It wasn’t their fault they had to go, and yet they feel ashamed because of it, and we all know shame can really destroy you emotionally. It was also mentioned that with Indigenous people, there comes a lot of myths. A lot of myths about their way of life that never seem to be corrected. A specific myth that they talked about was “the myth of indigenous people being less than”. I find this myth to be a popular one. We hear it all the time in media and rumors that Indigenous people simply are less than, but that’s the problem. People seem to be stuck in their ways and don’t like to give them a chance. There are many Indigenous artists, reporters, and others who have done so well and given themselves a good name, but many community members like to turn a blind eye and focus on the ones who have done the bad.

Lastly, I think Gord really captured one of his goals throughout this project. The goal of showing that “this is not abstract history for [the family]. This is their brother”. The project showed real love for the family and how much they miss him. Chanie was not the only child who didn’t make it home from residential schools. There were way too many children who didn’t make it home, and Canada does not give enough recognition for those who perished after being forced out their homes and taken from their families.

Week 10 – Carly Kentz

I find this topic very important because as the first article states, it is something that many teachers and faculty members neglect to talk about. I feel like some people still see it as a taboo thing, but it should be a normal thing to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

I found a lot more connections throughout the whole article as opposed to learnings. For example, on page one in the first article when it mentions that “what schools fail to realize, however, is that by not confronting homophobia, they are likely condoning it.” I believe this is very true because those people who make the homophobic remarks may not see the bad in it. They may grow up in a home with homophobic parents and what children see, children do, causing a normality in this type of thinking. This can be very tough for someone who is closeted within the school because they may be scared to come out and may have a tough time accepting who they are. The article explains this well when it states, “closeted youth learn to hide and separate their lives very early on, knowing that they must have one life at school and another one out in the gay community, or in their rooms at home” (pg. 2). Furthermore, this can cause a lot of stress on youth and can ultimately affect their mental health. It is a known fact that gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are more likely to commit suicide than straight youth. This is addressed in the article that, “it is vital for teachers and teacher educators to understand the kinds of stresses and difficulties that gays, lesbians, and bisexual youth face” (pg. 1).

As a teacher, we want what is best for our students and we want our students who feel safe in our classrooms and school. It is absolutely vital to feel comfortable talking about the normality of someone being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. So a question I still have is although the catholic school system is changing, what is something we can do if the school we are at is stuck in their ways and refrains from discussion around this topic?

Week 9 – Carly Kentz

Throughout my CBSL placement with SEARCH, I had many wonderful experiences that can relate to my future in positive ways. SEARCH has opened up a lot for me and I have learned so much while volunteering here. My most memorable experience was a couple of weeks ago. I was placed with a social worker and was able to sit in on a few counselling sessions. Each session was about an hour long, giving us time to collectively debrief the client’s situation before the next client’s appointment. This was an interesting experience because it gave me a snapshot of how to speak with and listen to people who may be going through difficult times in their lives. I realize that I might have students who feel comfortable talking to me when they are experiencing hardships in their lives, so this helps me get a sense of how to act and respond in similar situations.

Another positive experience I had was helping out at the Halloween party this past Saturday at the Mâmawêyatitân Centre. We were asked to help with running the event which included decorating, setting up the haunted house, chaperoning, 50/50 ticket sales, crafts, door admission, and cleaning up. This event was a lot of work, but it was well worth it after seeing the fun the kids were having during the party. At one point in the night, one of the mothers approached me and asked if I was a volunteer at SEARCH at the 5th avenue location, and after I said yes, she explained to me that she appreciated me playing hockey with her youngest son (~2 years old) a few weeks back because it gave him someone to play with. This truly touched me heart. Since I grew up with a twin, I always had someone to play with, and sometimes I forget how fortunate I am.

Once the party at the Mâmawêyatitân Centre was starting to wrap up, we starting cleaning some garbage and moving chairs. While doing this, there were a number of folks who came over and shook my hand before they left as way of saying “thank-you”. This made me stop and think, because I vastly remember being upset of how late I needed to stay that night. But those few people who shook my hand appreciated the work we did for them, and my attitude changed from negative to positive fairly quick.

Week 8 – Carly Kentz

This week’s article is titled “Teachers, Administrators, and the Schools” and it has a lot to do about teacher’s duties in the schools.

3 things I learned are:

  • “…teaching at the time was also a low-paying, low status job that offered little in the way of career prospects. Despite these disadvantages, teaching was for many years one of the few careers open to women,” (pg. 4).
  • “An increase in pay, status, and working conditions during the 20th century went along with an increase in the number of male teachers entering the profession, particularly at the secondary level,” (pg. 4).
  • “About half of the teacher-education bachelor-degree graduates in 2000 had student debt; average debts (around $12 500) were 21% higher than those of the class of 1995, and 76% higher than the class of 1990,” (pg 6).

2 things I connected with:

  • “Teaching involves conflicting roles. Teachers want all children to succeed and to develop a love of learning, yet much of their time and energy goes into controlling students’ behaviour and educating students according to external standards,” (pg. 8). I can connect with this because we want our students to be individuals and find their passions in life, but we tell them what they need to learn. We want them to be responsible for their actions and independent but they still need to ask to use the washroom.
  • “Teachers tend to rely much more on their own judgments about students than on any other measure,” (pg. 8). As teachers, we need to be impartial with our thoughts on students. We all know students can come with a lot of baggage and may lash out from time to time, or may have predetermined moods towards their teachers which may not be their fault. As a teacher, we can’t have set thoughts on students or “pick our favourites”. This is important as we want to give all students equal opportunities to succeed.

One question I still have is: We all know being a teacher can cause stress, especially if there is a trouble student who clearly doesn’t like their teacher and always causes grief within the classroom or for the teacher. What are some methods teachers can use so their aren’t “taking their work home with them” every night?

Week seven – Carly Kentz

This article was a lengthy post about the Education administration, but 3 things I learned in this article are:

  • “In 1987, British Columbia became the first Canadian province to make its teachers self-regulating when the Teacher Profession Act (1987) established the British Columbia College of Teachers.”
  • “According to Fenstermacher, teaching requires that teachers impart their knowledge not only to their students, but also… to their parents.”
  • “Such a view corresponds with Rodrigue’s (2004) ideas, supported by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, that teachers professionalism includes knowledge, education, autonomy, activism, altruism, and collegiality.”

Something that I connected with was the point that it makes about “students are not ‘cases’ with very specific needs to diagnose and meet, and to treat them in such a fashion contradicts what we know about good teaching.” I think is makes a strong statement about our students and education. Many people are quick to diagnose a student who cannot sit still with ADHD or another form of disorder, whereas this is not always the case. Some students just do not know how to control their energy. It is on us to realize how students’ behaviours change throughout the day, but it is not on us to diagnose based on those situations.

Week 6 (Philosophy of Education) – Carly Kentz

Something that I learned from this chapter has to do with Froebel’s statement of kindergarten. It says, “Froebel is famously credited with inventing the concept and the term ‘kindergarten’, a ‘garden’ where children could blossom and become who they were destined to be.” This was something I found fascinating because of the type of education programs we have. In a TedTalk by Sir Ken Robinson titled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” he explains that every child is born with creativity, but schools educate them out of it. He also explains that schools frighten students of being wrong, so students refrain from taking chances. For Froebel’s statement about kindergarten and becoming who they were destined to be, I think that is a big opportunity for a four year old who still has over twelve years of them being told how to act. Kindergarten may flourish children’s dreams, but after that, it seems as if the school system may have a different plan in mind for the upcoming youth.

Another thing I learned is the statement of reconsidering the language in the curriculum to make it more gender-fluidity friendly. I thought this was a great idea as gender roles are not as they used to be. Especially in the health curriculum when it talks about same-sex marriage or partnerships, the curriculum should be changed in a way to now confuse the young students, but encourage any sort of sexual orientation they might have.

Lastly, something I learned was “Existential educators sometimes critique schools for mirroring the efficiency values of the Industrial Revolution. They want to address the depersonalization of education by encouraging a more authentic student-teacher relationship and the student’s right to find personal meaning in their learning.” I believe this is extremely important in to keeping students in schools and helping them find what they want to do with the rest of their lives. As students go through school, they come to very hard times in their lives and may struggle to find the good in the bad. Having a student-teacher relationship can influence a student to get through school and help them follow their dreams.

Two connections I made in this chapter are, “an existentialist curriculum prizes the arts and humanities because these subjects invite personal meaning making” and “existentialists are typically opposed to standardized tests that set specific skills and content as necessary; these high-stakes tests mean that priority is given to the content to be tested at the expense of fine arts and the other opportunities that are more likely to foster students’ creative expressions”. In the TedTalk mentioned above, Sir Ken Robinson continues his argument by wondering why schools do not prioritize dance and music in the same way it prioritizes math or languages.  All of them can be seen equally as important , so why aren’t they given the same priority in the school day?

Initial CBSL Placement – Carly Kentz

My CBSL placement is at SEARCH which is a health clinic located in North Central Regina. SEARCH stands for Student Energy in Action for Regina Community Health. At SEARCH, there are many different areas for volunteers to get involved in. There is a kitchen for food preparation, as well as food classes, there is a children’s center with various games and colouring activities, and there is a health clinic side where practitioners and physiotherapists will come in and offer their services.

My initial placement with SEARCH was helping out with the North Central Culture Days Street Fair this past weekend. The street fair was located at 5th avenue between Angus Street and Retallack Street and was on for the whole day. The street fair was about everyone coming together and showcasing the First Nations culture in North Central Regina. There was a number of activities including music showcase, face painting, street hockey, and many more. My job for the day was interacting with the kids when they came to play street hockey.

I can always learn a lot, not only about culture, but about myself, at showcases like these. It is always rewarding to help put something like this on, but it nice to be able to sit back and listen to what the presenters have to say. There was a lot of discussion about Residential Schools at the street fair with it recently being Orange Shirt Day. Most of the artists have been affected by Residential Schools in some way, and when talking about it on stage, many people in the crowd had been affected in similar ways. I realize that I am privileged as neither I nor my family have been affected by Residential Schools. It’s not like I was just realizing this now, but I have never been in an environment where so many people have been affected by it in some way. It was a big eye-opener for me this weekend.

Something that I connected with this weekend was being able to help out at the street hockey area for the children. Growing up, my brother and I were always outside, playing games. We would play with anyone who wanted to play; it didn’t matter if they were a stranger. So when I was playing hockey with the kids, it brought me back to playing when I was a kid. I was a stranger to all of these kids, but that didn’t stop them from organizing themselves into hockey games with me and the other volunteers.

I realized that this street fair was fairly small, even though there was a lot offered. One question that I still have is why can’t this be a bigger event showcasing the First Nations culture in Regina?