Week 6 Response

One of the central topics in “Learning in Place”, is the words the elders use and the youth do not. This is due to lack of passed on knowledge from being paced in residential schools and losing their culture. It is said that there is a strong need to build an intergenerational relationship between them so this gap of knowledge is not lost. They discuss the word “paquataskamik”, which is a Cree word meaning ‘natural environment’. The youth now use ‘noscheemik’ instead, again showing the falling linguistic learning within the First Nation community. There are many examples which prove a disconnect from previous generations to today’s children. 

They talk about learn from place with project and committees helping elders and youth form relationships respecting land and rivers. By telling stories as one describe his daughter, brother, mother and grandmother being a part of the river and being buried miles apart downstream of the river, helped connected their culture and their environment involving the river. Excursions on land and waters were key ways that the Elders could show the young the history and passed down stories of their past; stories that have been missing for generations. 

They shared experiences with the children to pass down to future generations by giving them tours on the Kistachowan river. These tours were informational, to teach them  linguistics, cultural, historical and geography knowledge. This helped make dialogue and created connections between the generations. The Elders were able to bring back the word ‘paquataskamik’ to the meaning the elders used it for. The excursions took on the same role they had been used for for so many years.

Elders enjoy telling stories and asking questions to give insight into the community and build relationships for the people of Fort Albany and Mushkegowak. They also learned the laws and governance based on their land before the Europeans came in. They described how they use resources for food, seasonal changes based on land knowledge and also the settlements ad gathering places. These laws are still there, but because of colonialism and capitalism they have been cast aside. All in all, the elders try to use the land and river as a guide to show importance to youth members about how to live off of it and how the words they use are important to keep to their roots of their history. These stories that they shared were a step to involving these lessons in the future of the youth; to help the their social and economic well-being stay intact.

Using these ideas to support my teaching is acknowledge student’s history and experiences they have had. This knowledge can be used to better explain the ways they know a subject area; that way as the teacher I am not just using my knowledge but students own history to help teach and in turn help themselves test their knowledge by passing down insight to their peers and the teacher. Parents are also key educators for their children to learn their culture. Children should feel safe and confident to share their experiences of their cultural history. There needs to be a classroom trust in which all students feel safe to share and the others show a respect for the history and culture so that they can all understand and respect the past and connect better in the future.  

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Week 5: CURRICULUM POLICY AND THE POLITICS OF WHAT SHOULD BE LEARNED IN SCHOOLS

Prior to the reading I can say that I think curricula are developed from assessment results and where students need to focus on in areas of subjects. I think they are created based on older curriculums and improved and updated regularly. “CURRICULUM POLICY AND
THE POLITICS OF WHAT
SHOULD BE LEARNED IN SCHOOLS”

Curricula are developed through research done and input from sources such as universities and business. Experts in the field of the curricula often develop it with the input of teachers of all levels including post-secondary schools. They are then implemented in schools and research on their effectiveness is done to see if there are changes that need to take place. This can be a lengthy process.

The reading gave a good insight into the many factors in creating curricula. I had never realized the post-secondary influence on changes needed. I also had never thought about the need for certain experts to push for their subject matter to be important, just to ensure their own significance. This shows there is self-focus from experts when the greater good of education may not be the biggest factor. Trying to put a lot of information into curricula in a short amount of time is not allowing for the best outcomes and I can see the desire to get it all in, but it is easy to see how the effectiveness might not be the best. It would be better to learn something well than many things poorly, in my opinion. But when there is pressure from various sources such as universities, tech schools, politicians and businesses it would be hard to know what really is important. There are so many factors to think about what to put in and what to leave out of curriculums. 

One thing that concerns me is that I felt was something of importance in developing curricula is that experts are often the ones creating the curriculums and then expecting teachers to be the ones to implement them. If these curriculums are not suited properly and the outcomes are not positive, then it falls on the teacher and their credibility falters. So, in short- it is the teachers who look bad if a curricula is done poorly- not the creators. The teachers take the ridicule and this can cause unfair stress to the people trying to help the students the most. 

Week 4: Preparing Teachers for Crisis

The article “Preparing Teachers for Crisis

      The article “Preparing Teachers for Crisis” gives an insight into what makes a good student.  It enforces the ideal that children learn from experiences.  The article speculates that a good student will learn in the way that best suits the school and teacher outline and those expectations. This is a linear approach with no interaction or experiences enhancing the learning. We try to help skill and give knowledge to expand and change student’s ways of thinking and learning and knowing to as teachers that our way is not always the right way. Students only actively listen and learn things that interest them and make sense to them, so a teacher might challenge or change the learning based on theirs student’s needs. Children also use “correcting” for misinformation and try to think more maturely. Children try to learn why and how we learn in education. There are many different ways of learning besides a straight forward teacher to student interaction that do not align with “good student” concepts. 

        The article suggests that these students who perform to the teacher’s expectation and become easy students to teach create what is referred to as the “privileged student” Often privilege the most are the “normal” in the sense of a student will who do what is said by the teacher and does not want to talk about discomforting topics or situations and just does what is told of them and does not make a fuss to the teacher. What is impossible for seeing the common sense ideas is that we press those and do not want to acknowledge those who are not in the “norm” and do not try to bring up their ow privileges. Commonsensical ideas helps us go with the status quo and not feel discomfort to bring up subjects we do not like to discuss though education is all about learning what is discomforting and helps us confront what we already know or yet to know. The world’s most amazing discoveries have come from people pushing the norms and thinking outside the box, so teachers must set aside the idea of a perfect student and allow creativity, ideas and open discussions. 

Curriculum and its Historical Roots: Reconceptualizing Curriculum

A quote from Montessori is “The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, The children are now working as if I did not exist.” As Montessori”s quote by unpacking it is very basic towards teacher’s involvement with their students as a educator. You want to use the curriculum given and syllabus to guide and give students the keys to succeed as individuals, unpacking it some more you can use models of curriculum as one of them being used as a process as mentioned interactions between students and teachers and all learning is happening within the classroom and is actually learned for a reason from the curriculum and not just because these people said to teach and learn it, you actually give students and teacher choice and have them in the learning process and evaluated as such appropriately.

What makes Montessori’s method possible is that it helps children who are poor, mentally disabled a chance and evaluate them to what they should end up as within her method of learning. What makes it impossible is that it is strict and she refuses to change or evolve her ways of practice which can damaged its long lasting affects on children wanting to use her methods now. However, Montessori does say children go at their own pace and stresses the importance of developing abilities on the children themselves with the skills and willingness to do what is given to them and belief they will achieve the tasks at hand.

Models of curriculum are encouraged to help create interactions between students and teachers and all learning is happening within the classroom. This ideal of the value of learning expressed in the Montessori method aligns well with the understanding that each student is unique and thus learns in their own unique way. Students are encouraged to be a strong contributor to their learning and evaluations and there are choices in a student’s learning. Students who feel ownership on their education learn the value of the process and what works best for their learning style. Having ownership and allowances for learning help those with disabilities and create a strong focus on understanding material, not just being exposed to it. This would prove the teacher values the students personal strengths and would give students an interest in their own education plan, which would create a strong bond between teacher and student, as the relationship is based on respect, not purely teacher/student.  


Curriculum Theory and Practice

They start off by saying curriculum is not like a syllabus by saying curriculum is a planned and guided by a school in either groups or by oneself inside or outside a school itself. Curriculum is used to help gain understanding and have success to do a lesson or subject at hand. As using the ways of Tyler’s rationale in the reading as a reference “Curriculum Theory and Practice”. It was mentioned in the reading that curriculum is not like a syllabus. The suggestion is that curriculum is a planned and guided absolute done by a school or another source of intention, understanding the needs of the learning group.  Curriculum is used to help gain understanding and have success to do a lesson or subject at hand. As using the ways of Tyler’s rationale in the reading as a reference, I’ve used or have had the curriculum used on me in my schooling through his seven steps. One I could significantly remember is using educational experiences, meaning the teacher when giving us how to write an essay or do a math problem gives us examples on how to do so, for when we do attempt the work on our own, we follow those steps and think the logical way of how to get the correct result. This method of watching and then executing on our own was used for much of my education. I felt sometimes it was effective and perhaps other times just confusing.

Real problems often arises when we it comes to teachers in the classroom. Much of the research concerning teacher thinking and classroom interaction, and curriculum innovation has pointed to the lack of impact on practice of objectives and the need to work with those objectives. Another limitation is the interactions between the teacher and learner. All too often, the interaction between the teacher and the student is overlooked as teaching methods and outcomes and not being looked upon as an actual goal itself.  Tyler’s rationale does not adjust to the changing and evolving curriculum. Also, Tyler’s rationale only looks at the measurable objectives not the choice objectives. There is a lack of relativity as Tyler does not describe where these objectives come from for outcomes. Some benefits were clear. For example, how to organize the instruction efficiency.  Tyler’s thinking continues to be popular on the behaviour objectives, curricular organizing, and evaluation.  Tyler’s rationale is good for tasks in where the teachers engage with the learners to do what they want for an activity or outcome directly. Tyler’s practices are overall practical and can be used in various settings for teachers. 

The Problem of Common Sense

Kamashrio makes very clear examples of how common sense can be difficult to define, in “The Problem of Common Sense”. He discusses in detail of moving to Nepal to teach, with an American, idealistic and open-minded means of education. Upon arriving he soon learned that the way of life there consisted on routines and methods that for the local people were known and considered “common sense”. 

Kamashrio soon realized that common sense includes customs and long held ideas of what a region considers normal and necessary. His teaching methods were not consistent with the long-held style and so he was doubted and caused concern, even among the students, who were used to an older stricter way of being taught. Kamashrio soon understood that commonsense is what is believed to be correct, not what is correct and that various cultures have what they consider proper methods and those that go against American values are often considered unreasonable. 

It is crucial to pay attention to common sense because this way of thinking can lead to oppressive behaviours. If allowed to continue, older and more outdated practices of teaching, values and opinions of groups of people may be overlooked and oppressed. What is considered common sense may not be in line to the feelings of those in a group. What has been considered “normal” and common sense may simply be an easier way of sticking to what has been in place, yet not allowing change for those who may not align with the vision of such views.