ECS 210 Digital Story

This narrative is my experience through ECS210. The content that I explain in the video is my understanding of curriculum, my approach to curriculum, and uncomfortable learning & future growth. I wish I had more time to explain more to you!

 

-C

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This is me

I have considered writing a blog for a while now, but I was never really sure what I would write about. I never thought of myself as a good writer so I didn’t think anyone would really care to read. However, this is me writing for myself, beginning to tell my story.

I am currently 22 years old and in my fifth year of university, trying to figure out my life, and man is that hard. Between school, work, practice, and having a social life, it is pretty easy to forget about spending time for myself. And I have always been this way ever since I was a little girl. I was always involved in sports and extra-curricular growing up, so I always had a busy life. Even if I was done everything, I always spent time outside! I was never really into video games so bike riding or playing at the park was my thing.

However, not taking time for myself caught up to me real fast at a young age. I remember spending a lot of time in my bedroom when I was 14 and 15 years old. We had just moved into a new house with my step-dad and it never really felt like home. The only place I really did feel “at home” was in my bedroom, away from everyone else. Of course, I had a cell phone so I kept busy on that when I wasn’t doing homework or at practice, but something was definitely still missing. I felt sad all of the time too. I remember being able to cry at any given moment. Anything could trigger me and I would lay in bed and cry, but I felt so ashamed of it. I didn’t want to tell my parents that I felt this way all of the time. I always had a nervous stomach and I remember feeling that way since I was a little girl. I would just get a bad feeling about something and would close up, but still felt ashamed. My mother realized something was wrong with me when I was 15 years old to which we marched to the doctor and I was put on anti-depressants, but I wasn’t sure why. No one had explained to me why these things happen, why I could be feeling this way, or what was happening. The only thing anyone ever said to me was that I might feel suicidal on the medication. Well, guess what? Now I felt even more ashamed of how I was feeling. There was no way in hell I was going to tell someone that I was feeling suicidal on the medication that was supposed to make me feel better. So I didn’t take the medication. I kept the bottles hidden in my bedroom and tried to power through the sickness.

Well, even though I was in great denial about my sickness, I couldn’t power through it. In my grade 11 and 12 years, I remember there would be weeks, even months where I wouldn’t get a full nights sleep. I would stay up thinking, being stressed over nothing. I couldn’t turn my brain off even for a few hours to get some rest. And unfortunately, I carry a lot of stress on my shoulders.

This continued into university, although the stress had more meaning. Of course university of hard with a way bigger work-load, so the sleep was still pretty minimal. Although I was now legal drinking age to numb the pain (keep in mind I still was not able to admit that I had a mental illness). So going to the bar became a regular occurrence. I sure had a lot of fun during the night, but the next day I surely regretted it. And it wasn’t the hangover that I regretted, it was the way I felt. That nervous stomach feeling would come back but this time it was always 100x stronger. Almost like I was disappointed in myself but worse.

Recently, I really started to make a change. Last October, something bad happened to me at a party and I blamed myself for a long time. I wasn’t able to talk about it with anybody because I felt so ashamed, even though I shouldn’t have. I stopped drinking for a while which shocked a lot of people because they knew how much I used to be able to drink, but since I wasn’t able to talk to anyone about what happened to me, a lot of my friends didn’t take my sobriety seriously. During this time, I decided that I needed to take better care of myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. At this point, I still wasn’t able to admit that I needed medication again, but I was starting to wonder if I was mentally ill. I started journaling and meditating, usually before I went to bed. I wasn’t all of the time, but I took the time when I really needed it. There were some yoga and pilates classes that I started taking at Evolution Fitness which I really enjoyed. And I found that I was able to open up to my friends a little bit more around this time. I told some of my close friends about how I was feeling and they were pretty supportive.

At the beginning of this year, 2018, things were not going well for me. I had a lot of people in my life die in a short few months. It seemed that whenever I was getting over the grief of one person, someone else’s life would suddenly come to an end and it was like a cycle of funerals. Then things started to pick up. I started seeing someone and I felt happy again. But the dreaded April 6 bus crash happened that stunned Saskatchewan, and the World. Of course, I had a friend on that bus who lost his life. I will never forget the night of that bus crash, where I was, and what I was doing. It felt like everything had stopped. Right before finals, the hockey world had changed, but we couldn’t just move on from this. We needed to help any way we could. Some of my friends and I quickly realized that we weren’t the only ones grieving during this time. Our whole school, our whole community was in shock and grief and we wanted to help those around us. We decided to have a fundraiser/gathering called Pups and Pints. We let people bring their dogs into a room at the university and we served drinks and allowed people to just come together. The turnout was incredible!

Week 10

  1. How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?
  2. Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

Upon completing this reading, I thought a lot about Disney and how they have portrayed some of their antagonists. In most Disney stories, the villain is usually male (sometimes female), with dark skin, and is usually ugly. We actually see this a lot in other stories as well. It is common that the villain will be of a different race, not white. Having stories like this, or even simply using the colour black to represent something bad, sends certain messages that we don’t want to send, especially in the classroom. An example of this was in another class, someone had used the colour black to describe an apple that has gone bad. Our teacher strongly encouraged us to use other terminology instead of colours to signify something was bad (i.e. the apple was rotten).

In my own schooling, I do not remember talking about First Nations culture as much as we do now. In fact, I do not remember talking about any kind of culture in schools. I do not ever remember my classes talking about Black History Month and I always wondered why not. The only time I heard about Black History Month was on TV, so by my school never even mentioning it, what kind of message does that send to the students?

Challenging Eurocentric Ideas in Math

While reading the article, it turns out that there are many ways that Inuit mathematics challenges Eurocentric ideas of learning. To begin, they take language into consideration. From kindergarten to grade 2, the students learn in their language; however, when they hit grade 3, they switch to either English or French. This can cause confusion with an overload of information. There is also confusion on if the numerical system in Inuktitut is the same as French or English. Next, the Inuit use their senses as a way or orientation. Instead of compassing or using traditional use of degrees, they use their noses to smell the saltiness of the air to know how far away they may be from the bay. They also make Inukshuks to signify a good fishing spot. Lastly, measuring is different. Instead of using a ruler as a measuring tool, they have traditionally used body parts, especially while making clothing.

Response to a student

Student,

Thank you for your email. Teaching about Treaty Ed with students and a Co-op who doesn’t support it can be difficult. It is important to explain that even with there being no Indigenous students in the class, it is extremely important to know and understand the history of the land the First Peoples. I would suggest teaching about the ten cultures area of North America: the Arctic, the Subarctic, the Northeast, the Plains, the Plateau, the Northwest Coast, California, the Great Basin, the Southwest, the Southeast. With this, you can introduce Australopithecus, looking at Lucy and her remains and way of living. This should get their attention and you can then move on to how the Norse people came over and their way of living. Finally, you can move to the current day and peoples’ way of living.

Hope this helps,

 

 

Blog #6

Decolonization through the narrative

Decolonization can be seen a variety of ways through this narrative. Examples of this is used through the land. Decolonization and reinhabitation is described as “creating an audio documentary about relations to the river and engaging in trips along the river,” while “younger generations were re-introduced to traditional ways of knowing” (Restoule et al., 2013, p. 70-71). While learning about culture through story telling from elders, youth are working towards gaining a way of living and working with the land.

My subject area and teaching

I am working towards a minor in outdoor education and have a dream to teach in the Canadian National Parks. While doing this, most of my teachings would be about how the land is beautiful and it is a privilege to experience the beautiful space.  I also would explain to the patrons that we only take what we need from the land and don’t take what is not necessary

Writing the Curriculum

I think that the curriculum is written by a majority of individuals within the education field, but also politicians having input helps develop curricula. I believe that individuals who are in their later years of life are the majority of the ones who sit on the board of curriculum development.

After reviewing this article, it became evident that there are many different individuals who sit in on writing/developing curricula. This includes members such as administrators, teachers, principals, and many members of government. I truly believe that students should be able to speak about what should be included in curriculum. As we saw in the lecture, students became visibly upset with the change of Sex Ed in Ontario where they walked in during school. Students do care about what is being taught to them. It also concerns me that in Saskatchewan, Practical and Applied Arts is on the Saskatchewan Curriculum website with a large list of classes that can be offered, but the majority of schools do not offer these classes. Of course, when budget cuts happen, these classes will probably be the first to go, but we know that a high percentage of high school students in Saskatchewan will not go to university. Instead, they will be going into the trades, or working on the family farm. So why aren’t schools working towards helping these students who are on the verge of staying in high school by offering classes such as welding, auto-motives, agribusiness, etc.? And if personnel is the issue here, then universities need to be making the effort to promote these types of classes in Saskatchewan so we can specialize and teach these classes.

What makes a good student?

 

While looking at the commonsense definition of a “good” student, we see students who are punctual, and never tardy. We see students who always submit their work in on time with no questions asked. We see students who are engaged when classroom discussions are encouraged, and are silently working when independent study is in process. These are only a few examples of what some may see as a “good” student, and when students don’t portray these qualities, they are labelled as “bad” students, or are not given the same chances as the “good” students. However, what some may not see or may not know about these “bad” students is that they may come from a home with a single parent and 5 other siblings that had to be dressed, fed, and sent to school before that “bad” student could even brush their teeth. They may not know that that “bad” student has to work immediately after school and doesn’t get home till really late, so naturally their homework gets pushed aside. They may not know that that “bad” student who doesn’t participate in group discussion may be scared to offer their opinions because they were told their whole life that their opinions don’t matter.

It is so easy to label our students as “good” and “bad” without knowing what is really going on in their lives, and, unfortunately, some students may not even let us know. They may be scared to let us in on their battle through life, so we need to set our “good” and “bad” student opinions aside and realize that all of these students have a life outside of school. Whether the students are coming from a tough home, struggling with their mental health, or trying to figure out who their true self actually is, they are all going through some thing and every student deserves the best from us.

William Kilpatrick (1871-1965)

William Kilpatrick was a theorist who believed that the curriculum was for child development, growth, and social relationships. One of his quotes are as follow:

“The important thing is for the teacher to understand each child, so he can give him recognition for the good things in him; and so to conduct his class that every child has an opportunity to show off those good things which he can and is able to do. I treated those children with a kind of affection. I never scolded them; I never used harshness or reproof. I tried to teach so that the children could get some good out of it and in such a way that they could see they were getting good out of it. I trusted my children. I appealed to the better in them. I respected them as persons and treated them as persons […] I appealed to the better in the children and I gave them an opportunity to act on that better self and then gave them recognition and approval for such behavior”

I believe this is a great mindset to have as a teacher. I don’t agree with disciplining children for being wrong as it takes away from their creativity. I also think that teachers shouldn’t be treated as superior to their students as are all human and we are all learning from each other in the classroom. Teachers and students should plan together when going through the curriculum as every student and every class is different.

 

https://www.performancemagazine.org/thinkers-on-education/kilpatrick-william-heard-1871-1965/

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