Here is a link to my final project for ECS 210. This class as been a great resource to my learning and I am looking forward to applying it to my next years of schooling and my future career as an educator. Enjoy!
Upon reading the article I never fully understood that learning math can be discriminate or oppression. I had the knowledge that groups of race, culture, gender, etc, were left out from my previous experience of learning mathematics in high school. We were never taught mathematics in more than one cultural group perspective, taking on the role of Western European views. We were only taught about how everyday math is used within the provincial curriculum goals, never about how other groups/societal views did or taught math. It would have been interesting to see how math was done prior to colonialism, but we were never given that opportunity. As a mathematics major, teaching math in my ECS 300 placement was always based off of the curriculum core and European textbooks that only taught math in a certain voice. We have always been taught that our adaptations to lesson plans should be to students with different learning abilities, not to use different cultural techniques in order to teach the skills they are expected to gain.
Within Poirier’s article and Dr, Gale Russel's lecture, it is important to identify the challenges to Eurocentric learning for Inuit communities. The first challenge to Eurocentric teaching is the universal language that mathematics portrays itself as.In European culture we all understand that “3+3 = 6” and that it means the same thing in every school. In different communities the development of different mathematical tools are being used according to their needs and environment. In Inuit communities “...children learn in their mother-tongue during the first three years of schooling” (Poirier, 2007). They are also taught in a base 20 numerical system compared to Eurocentric mathematics. The second challenge is to the Eurocentric meaning behind learning mathematics for everyday life. The Inuit communities don’t see mathematics “...as something that can help them solve everyday problems” (Poirier, 2007). Eurocentric views mathematics as growing math skills along with skills meant for outside the classroom in our everyday lives. With Inuit communities challenging this view, the worlds of enculturation and acculturation entangle (Poirier, 2007). Finally, in Dr. Gale Russel’s lecture, it is mentioned that Inuit communities embody relationships and experiences over mathematics. Using spatial recognition, their own bodies for measurement and connection to everyday life, mathematics within Inuit communities continue to thrive. In European culture students are seated in desks, using rulers for measurement and teaching students by numbers, not their at home experiences.
Schooling is a critical point of socialization to any child, shaping their beliefs, values and “reading of the world”. Throughout my schooling I was taught how to read, write and comprehend the English language. It also taught me how to challenge myself. To challenge my opinions and thoughts. Although this didn’t start occurring till I was in high school and university. Before I was lost as to what was important and what I was comprehending. This new found challenge allowed me to find sources in a truthful and understanding matter. Enabling myself to “read the world” in a more informed way.
From my schooling, I was in a public school that students of all social, financial and racial classes were mixed within each classroom. From this I was often exposed to stereotypes and sensitive opinions. Stereotypes often play part into our own perspectives and biases. Our knowledge is always partial, not fully knowing and understanding can trigger a response of bias. We can work to unlearn these biases and lenses by continuing to learn and deconstruct our own biases.
The single stories that were present in our schooling was the impact of American and British stories. The single story creates stereotypes, creating incomplete stories, making one story the only story. It prevents people from connecting with people as individuals. Showing the power of the dominant culture, threatening to create stereotypes the stick to groups that are already disempowered. The truth that mattered was always the British views, their power sparking the continuation of stereotypes and the deconstruction of these stereotypes were hard to interrupt.
Citizenship has been seen within the education system since the beginning of our schooling. Some examples of where this is prevalent are: school groups, sports, and students within the classroom. These examples that were seen ranged in all 3 of the citizenship types; Personally-Responsible Citizen, Participatory Citizen and Justice-Oriented Citizens. The most focused group was the personally-responsible and participatory citizens.
Many groups within the school were community orientated and required students who were participatory citizens. They were engaged in planning out activities within the school and community. Students would belong to the SRC, Free the Children, and SAAD that fall under this participatory citizen type. This group focus made those who weren’t participatory feel as though their commitment to the community and classroom wasn’t valued and could impact their future. These groups separated students and classed them into social and citizenship groups.
The personally responsible citizens are the students who act according to the classroom rules. Falling under the “good” student category mentioned from previous lectures. Students who listened during class, understood the materials and instructions and never acted out in class. This approach casted out students who were deemed as “bad”, the students who were fidgety, always talking during class and sometimes failed to understand the material. Impacting students who believed they would never excel in school and that those who didn’t fully participate in community activities wouldn’t be able to get scholarships or into a good future career.
Now, what category would students who were neither of the groups fall in? How would his impact them?
The purpose of teaching Treaty Ed is to gain knowledge. Whether your classroom has a diverse group of students or not the soul purpose of this education is to gain knowledge. The society we live in ranges in all types of diversity and cultures and teaching those about diversity is essential. Our job as educators is to share the knowledge and diversity that graces our Earth. Students may not see the importance of Treaty Ed but in order to grow we have to learn, learn of the troubling past for Indigenous people and the remaining racism within society. With knowledge grows responsibility, which grows reconciliation.
Living where we do, we are all treaty people. We all live amongst the land that has been assigned Treaty land. The moment the documents were signed, we began our journey as Treaty people. Our relationship influences the belief of being treaty people, connecting us all to each other, the world and the past. This connection makes us all treaty people. Living amongst the land and using the resources it provides for us.
School curriculum and development is harshly implemented through the use of politics. The government holds power and applies this power over the community opinion. Policies are set within the best interest of the government and very little insight of the public opinion. Due to the importance of education in communities, the government controls the matter of policies that are put into place within the curriculum. What they believe is important at the time of setting policies is deemed important to the education system. A surprise of mine was how much of a say textbook companies and businesses within the education system have on the implementation of curriculum.
Within the article it is seen that a review panel is formed of non expert participants and curriculum developers as well. This review panel was situated of parents, students, community members and non-educators as well as some educators. This was sought out to bring in a diverse aid to the curriculum policies. This idea relates to the development of inclusion of Treaty Education, including Elders, students, parents, etc. It can also be seen that within the article Indigenous languages are important to the society, recognizing Treaties within the grade 12 curriculum. This connects to learning of ourselves as all being Treaty people. Tensions can arise when it comes to the implementation of the Treaty knowledge. Whether it was the viewpoint of how it was written or of what the biases are of the teacher acknowledging this information. This misconstrue can create a great tension between Treaty Education and teachers. Treaty Education is a topic that many don’t feel comfortable teaching due to the tensions that could arise because of their lack of knowledge towards other viewpoints and biases that may be hidden within.
A critical pedagogy of place aims for reinhabitation and decolonization, connecting, restoring and creating an area of how to live. Along with sharing and exploiting knowledge through storytelling. These aims can be seen in the article, “Learning from Place” by Jean-Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner and Edmund Metatawabin.
The act of reinhabitation can be seen from generational knowledge, passed on from elders to youth within the communities. Their expression of connecting with the land and nature generating knowledge to be passed on. The importance of their connections with nature being the beginning of a new relationship to be formed. Although it is seen that youth today are lacking this connection and importance, reinhabitation opens up the reconnection with the generational knowledge.
Further, decolonization is expressed through storytelling from the elders. Elders share their knowledge of culture with the youth and form meaningful relationships.This further allows the youth to share their knowledge and continue the cycle of sharing. Creating these bonds allow decolonization to be essential, taking up a new appreciation for storytelling and the content of the stories.
As a future high school teacher, I believe that adapting the ideas of place into my teaching is essential. I may not be able to tell the stories of the Elders but I can attempt to share their story in an aware and professional setting. Being aware of my views and how my teaching can influence students. As a major minor of math and chemistry, incorporating Indigenous culture can be done in both an unknowingly and knowingly ways.
According to common sense a “good” student is meant to listen and obey the instructions of the teacher, following suit of what society deems as good. Readily waiting to learn and pay attention in class. Expected to know the answers and study hard for exams and quizzes, understanding the course content that the teacher is teaching. The students that are privileged from the standpoint of a “good” student are often those that understand the class material, are able to concentrate in class, ask questions, and score well on exams and quizzes. This leaves out the groups of students who are often struggling within the classroom, deeming them to be “lazy” or “bad” students. This can also be privileged by race, culture, gender. etc categorizing these students into areas where they think they are less likely to succeed. The teachers goal is to “fill the empty glass” but the students glasses are not empty, they are simply different due to their home life, experiences, culture, race, etc. These can often be problematic, as the students are knowledgeable of the social norms and common sense ideas of what kind of student they are. Believing that because of their differences in learning that they are “bad”. The common sense ideas create barriers on students, influencing the students to believe they are bad and not a good student. This barrier shuts the student off from connecting within the classroom and creates a divide between the student and teacher. The teacher often sees the students who are learning different as being “difficult” because they do not want to learn but that may not always be the case. The teacher being blind to how to open up the student to different strategies of learning.
Hidden within the curriculum is embedded educational experiences further than the curriculum itself. In the journal article “Revealing the Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education” written by José Víctor Orón Semper and Maribel Blasco, hidden curriculum is explored in higher education with the recognition of the transition from a teacher-centered education to a student-centered education (Oron Semper and Blasco 481). In the context of school, students are taught more than what they are claimed to be taught, influencing their values and behaviours (Oron Semper and Blasco 482). Oron Semper and Blasco examine educational philosophers to support their argument that learning is not only based off of student based teaching but the teacher's engagement with their learning experiences. Examining Peters, Knowles, Kohlberg and Mayer, concerns over learning has been prominent since the origins of education itself.
Oron Semper and Blasco suggest that scholars have previously stated that the hidden curriculum is not actually hidden but over time taken for granted and rarely given attention. Further the term “hidden” is relative to those in perspective, some groups may not see the hidden aspect while others may (Oron Semper and Blasco 484). An aspect of hidden curriculum is also be argued as purposely hidden, as others may not notice it or to ensure the intent of teaching. Oron Semper and Blasco further state that if higher education teachers fail to see their role within personal issues, the hidden curriculum will remain a problem. Offering suggestions, Oron Semper and Blasco make subtle corrections to the relationship between teachers and students that are needed to make the hidden curriculum apparent (495).
To further explore the hidden curriculum, I am going to connect articles revolving around the main argument in higher education settings. Comparing the similarities and differences between articles and their supporting ideas. Detailing the ideas and corrections suggested and compare to other articles suggested corrections. I will also compare the structure and writing of the authors and their approach to their argument.
The curriculum developed has been influenced by many years and theories from a traditional perspective. Within the school system the Tyler rationale can be seen today with; teacher conferences to ensure a student is provided goals within their courses, breaking down curriculum content into smaller units and sections, written exams to test course knowledge. The Tyler rationale goal is to plan out courses and content based off of student and school needs. This goal has both advantages and disadvantages. An advantage can be referred to as the consideration of student and school needs, helping the students be more engaged with their course content and setting specific goals for the students. A disadvantage is the constant revaluation of learning objectives with the constant changing society, this takes time and it may not be readily available. The rationale also fails to recognize home life, whether that is resources, poverty, technology, etc. This curriculum theory is a theory of product, targeting the final product rather than the entire process of teaching.