Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics -- were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?
I have always been fairly good at mathematics. Although, I do remember times where I had no idea what the teacher was talking about, and I do remember lots of my classmates not understanding what the teacher was saying most of the time. Whenever I did not understand something I would take it home and ask my dad, as he is very good at mathematics. My dad would try to explain it to me, and many times he would teach me to do it a different way, which I would understand. Everytime that the teacher gave out math homework, the next day in math we would go over the questions to make sure we did them right. Sometimes we would be invited to write out our work on the board. I remember a time I wrote out my work on the board, in the way my dad taught me and not the teacher. I still ended up getting the right answer, but she told me it was wrong, because I did not show my work properly. This made no sense to me, because I did get the right answer, she just did not like the way I got the answer. It is very surprising to me that a teacher will only teach math in one way, in my entire schooling career I have only had one teacher who would take time to explain it in two different ways, so you could choose which one made the most sense to you. There are so many different ways math can be taught, and it is very frustrating when teachers only teach it one way, and only that one way is correct. This is something I want to improve on when I am teaching, and hope to let the students show me their work in the ways they understand, because just because I understand it a certain way, does not mean they will understand it in that way too.
Using Gale’s lecture and Poirier’s article, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it.
Often times when we were given a math word problem to solve, it would give us a scenario that most of the time would not even happen in real life, or that was completely irrelevant. I remember reading a question about a man who bought 40 stereos, 50 microphones, and 100 CD’s, then lost some of them, and so on and so forth. This problem is not something that would usually occur in real life, so it sometimes would make those math problems hard to understand. For the Inuit community they always use scenarios that could really happen in everyday life. The Inuit will use nature as a way to teach math, they pay attention to things such as the wind, where it could actually be useful in everyday life. The Inuit see numbers and symbols as having a variety of definitions as they are based all around the world around them. The Inuit often use math to keep themselves, and other people safe. Teaching in this way makes the Inuit community understand why math is so important. If math was taught this way all around the world, we may end up having more people interested in learning math, because it will help them in everyday life. A lot of the mathematics content I learned in school, I do not even remember, and if you asked me a pre-calculus question, there is no way I would be able to solve it. That shows that most of the math we are teaching today, is not relevant in real life.
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?
My experiences growing up, I would say were pretty positive on how I read the world. My family was never the type to judge other races, at least in front of me. As I am now 20 years old, I have noticed my grandpa is very biased towards other races, and people who are part of the LGBTQ community. He constantly says negative things about the Indigenous community, for example. I would like to point out, I really do not think he thinks he is doing anything wrong, or saying anything hurtful, because that was how he was brought up, it's normal to him to be judgmental towards another race.
Looking back at my schooling, I noticed that teachers would show many different biases, honestly without even meaning to. If the principal or another teacher ever needed help moving something they would always say “I need 5 volunteers from some strong boys in this classroom, to move some tables to the gym”. Living through this, I never really noticed and it never really bothered me, because I did not see the issue with it. Looking back on it now, there are many issues with that, because the girls in the classroom are just as capable as the boys to move some tables, but we were never asked. Instead we were asked to do things like wipe down the tables, or hand out worksheets to the class, or go photocopy something for the teacher. This was never asked by a boy to do, it was always a girls job. I will learn from these biases, and treat every student the same, no matter what their gender. This may be challenging, but something that seems to be worth trying.
Which “single stories” (see Chimamanda Adichie’s talk, viewed in lecture) were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?
When learning about “single stories” I noticed these were very present in my schooling. The books that were read to us in class, or that we were required to read, never addressed another race, other than white. I never learned about other cultures in my schooling. I feel a big reason for this is my school was all white people, we did not have any other races really at my school. With that being said, this is not a reason for them to decide not to teach us about other races, or cultures. We would also read books that always had the male figure as the “hero” and never the female figure, instead the female figure would be the one always saved by the male hero. This has given me the bias of the male is always the one to protect the female. Which is not always true, females need to protect men too, but this was never shown.
BLOG POST #8
What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling?
In my K-12 education I remember two of the citizenships that were addressed in the article. “The Personally Responsible Citizen” was shown in many different ways. Throughout my elementary and high school years both my schools always did food drives. I went to Michael A. Riffel Catholic High School, and we would make it our biggest priority when the time came for a food drive to beat the previous years record for the amount of food brought to be donated. This was something that really involved every single student and every student made it their duty to make sure the food bank was getting the most amount of food that they possibly could. This same example reminds me of “The Participatory Citizen”. I also have a time in elementary school that reminds me of “The Participatory Citizen”. The elementary school I went to would adopt a less fortunate family, every single year around Christmas time. These families would be made up of usually a mother, with anywhere between 3-5 kids. There usually was not a father in the picture. My classmates and I would all sign up for certain food items, or toys to bring for the mother and children. This family would make up a list of ideas for us to get them, and we would try our best to follow it. Then we would get around 5 volunteers to go with the teacher or their parents to make up a small gift basket for this family as individuals, or a group, and those same volunteers would go drop it off at the families house.
What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus?
The three types of Citizens that were mentioned in this article were “The Personally Responsible Citizen”, “The Participatory Citizen” and “The Justice Oriented Citizen”. Out of these three types that were talked about, “The Personally Responsible Citizen” was the main focus of this article. “Acts responsibly in his/her community by, for example, picking up litter, giving blood, recycling, obeying laws, and staying out of debt.” (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004, p.3)
Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship.
The students who are “The Personally Responsible” citizens are the students who are always listening. They get good grades and will always follow the rules that are given to them. The “Bad” students would be those that interrupt the class, and are always having to be told to be quiet.
In order to teach Treaty Ed in our schools we need to first take responsibility for the past. Then while teaching it, we need to be honest and not leave ANY type of detail out, whether it is small or big. This is something that has shaped so much of our country that even children of today or in ten years from today should know, and should learn about, because it is the country they are living in, and most likely growing up in as well.
2. What does it mean for your understanding of the curriculum that "We are all treaty people"?
“We are all treaty people” what this statement means for me from my understanding of the curriculum is that we live on lands that were founded by treaties, that we call treaty lands. Us as educators need to figure out which treaties are a part of our daily lives, and our neighbours, the land our houses are on, the land the school is one, and so on. If we are going to be teaching that we are all treaty people then we need to do some research on which treaties are most connected to us and our students, and teach our students about those specific treaties. Even if we do not notice, or want to admit it, we live on treaty territory, and it is a part of our lives.
1. Part 1) According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?After reading the Levin article, school curricula are developed and implemented through very complex ways. There are many different meetings, and different types of debates that go on to develop a curriculum. It is much more complex than everyone thinks. I think everyone feels the curriculum needs to be updated, everyone says it like it is something that is so easy to do. Little do they know the amount of time it takes to update the curriculum is a long time. There are so many people involved such as the government, school boards, teachers, parents, ect. It takes a lot of time and effort to get all these people together, and to come to one big agreement about the curriculum. Although all these people are involved, the government still does not gather attention from the public, before making changes or decisions. Nothing really surprised me in this article, but I do find it very concerning on how long it takes to produce a new curriculum. This is very alarming to me, because some parts of the curriculum are 10 years old, that is a very long time. That being said it will be a while before we receive a new curriculum.
2. Part 2) After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, what connections can you make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Saskatchewan? What tensions might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum?
Treaty education is a very complex topic, and something that needs to be specified because it is so complex. The treaty document was very broad and not complex at all. I am sure there were many opinions on how to incorporate treaty education into the curriculum, and I am sad to say I do not think that all of these opinions were taken into consideration. I do not think any outside sources were thought of when writing this document. It seems as though the treaty document believes children do not need to understand treaty education until the end of grade 12. I can definitely relate to this because I was never really taught about treaty education until high school. We touched briefly on it during elementary school, but not enough for me to understand anything about it.
1. List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
The students who went on the ten day river trip, were all assigned to write some sort of reflection about how the land they were on was sacred, and why it is so important to Indigenous people. While on this trip the students really had their eyes opened to Indigdenous culture. They were able to connect with the elders, and gained so much valuable information about Indigenous culture and all the different traditions that are important to Indigenous people.
2. How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
As a pre-service teacher, I think it is extremely important to teach about Indigenous peoples, and their traditions, and why their culture is such an important part of their lives. This ten day river trip was something that was so beneficial for these students. It gave them a deeper understanding of different cultures, traditions, and so on. I think it would be amazing if every single teacher was this passionate about different cultures, and really wanted their students to learn as much as they could about them. As a pre-service teacher this is definitely something that I can see myself doing in my future classroom, and want my future students to experience.
What does it mean to be a "good" student according to the commonsense?
According to commonsense a good student is one that listens when you tell them something they are doing is wrong. Somebody that does not challenge everything the teacher is saying. A good student is one that learns by following the planned lesson. A student who is willing to learn, and is active is class discussions. Someone who behaves and thinks a certain way, because that is what teachers are set out to think. Students that are actively listening, and absorbing all the information the teacher is handing out, is considered a good student. When the teacher tells the students to do an art project or any project a certain way, and the student listens, and does not just do what they please.
Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?
Students who are privileged by this definition of a good student, are the ones who do not have any issues sitting at a desk all day listening, ones who can sit back and listen and absorb all the information. Usually these will be students who have been taught in this way before, and are used to having to sit still, and listen to what the teacher is saying. Students who have been taught in a way where the teacher tells them to do something a certain way, and they do it, because they know that is the right thing to do.
What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?
It is impossible to see the students real potential with these commonsense ideas. Every student learns in different ways, so not every student is going to perform to the best of their ability if they are only being taught one way. Some learn visually, kinesthetically, auditorily, and by reading or writing something out. If teachers only teach in one way, it will be impossible to see if the students are performing the best that they can, learning the best they can, and engaging the best that they can.
For the critical summary assignment, I have chosen the subject of place-based curriculum. Place-Based Education is a type of learning that allows students to soak into different types of heritage, cultures. (“Promise of Place”). Place-Based learning highlights learning new things while actually participating in different types of projects for the school and the community around them. (“Promise of Place”).
The main article is called “Place-Based Education: Learning to be where we are” by Gregory A. Smith. To start the article he talked about his experience with nine high school students, and how they were feeling with being outdoors with their classmates, and learning in a different place. Smith states “Though educators are often quick to say that schools are as much the “real world” as any place else” (587). after this statement he argues that this is not true and says “there is truth to the judgement that what happens in classrooms is qualitatively different from what happens elsewhere”. (Smith 587). Personally with my experience from school, I agree with Smith, when he says classrooms are different from the real world, because I did not learn any real world lessons, it was all based on grades, in your maths, sciences, and so on. On page 588, Smith states that cultural studies are usually focused on “phenomena closely related to their lives, and the lives of their families” (Smith, 588). This is something that is a huge issue in schools, a lot of the time schools do not teach events from around the world, but rather just events that relate to the students or families in the classrooms, which is good, but teachers should start teaching events from all over the world as well.
My plans moving forward are to find two more articles on Place-Based Learning and compare the similarities and differences from each article, to my main article.
Smith, Gregory A. “Place-Based Education: Learning to Be Where We Are - Gregory A. Smith, 2002.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/003172170208300806.
A) The ways in which you may have experienced the Tyler rationale in your own schooling.
Ways I may have experienced the Tyler rationale in my own schooling is in more so elementary school, than high school. In my elementary school my teachers always had a lesson plan prepared before class that we would follow. We would also have a poster listed day one to day five, with all the subjects we were going to cover that specific day. This shows I was personally exposed to curriculum as a product. That being said there were times where the day we were on, we were supposed to have health, or fully alive, the teacher would sometimes skip right past that, feeling it was not as important as math, science, ELA, etc.
B) What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale/what does it make impossible?
Since the Tyler rationale was following the curriculum and having a set schedule or set assignments. I can think of a time in high school where one of my teachers, had done the same assignments throughout their whole teaching career. Some of my friends took the class before me, and we had the exact same lessons and the exact same assignments. When my friends were in the class, one of the assignments a lot of the students failed. In my opinion this teacher should have changed the way they were teaching that specific assignment, because the same thing happened in my own class. But this was the way this particular teacher had always taught this subject, so they did not want to change anything.
C) What are some potential benefits/what is made possible. Be sure to refer to the assigned article in your post; you may also include information from lecture if you wish?
A way the Tyler rationale could have potential benefits, is it could train students to have a schedule, and teach them organization. If every year, at the beginning of the year, students were given what the outcomes of the grade are, this could potentially show why they are being taught what they are, and the reasoning behind it. Just because each student is handed out some sort of layout at the beginning of the school year, does not mean there cannot be changes made to this layout.
How does Kumashiro define ‘commonsense?’
Kumashiro defines common sense as something that limits the, usual, routine and purposes of schooling. Especially in Napali, as Kumashiro was not used to what their common sense was like, so his usual routine, was being limited because teaching was only done straight from the textbook. Kumashiro thinks that common sense tells schools what they should be doing, not what schools could be doing. Like it was said in the reading, people often tell themselves, it’s just common sense that schools teach certain things, and students do certain things. Everyone thinks what is taught in a school, is just common sense, which is not always true. Kumashiro defines common sense as the things that are normal in society today. When Kumashiro was teaching in Nupali, they wanted Kumashiro to teach only what was in the textbook, and nothing else. This was not what Kumashiro was used to because schooling in the United States was completely different. The United States has now adapted to different ways of teaching, and learning. They now realize each student is their own person, so teaching, and learning will be different for each student. For example. students with learning disabilities, are now usually put into a special program, with a smaller group of students, to have more one on one time, to help the student learn. The common sense of teaching in Napali, was very different than what teaching common sense in the United States meant.
Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘commonsense?’
While teaching in Napali, Kumashiro wanted to arrange the desks in the same ways he would when teaching in the United States teaching. Whether this be, in lines, in groups, or pairs, it was always a mix of gender. This was not something that was ‘commonsense’ in this school. The common sense was that girls had to be on one side of the room, and the boys had to be on the other side, it was never mixed. Common sense is important to pay attention to, because you never know where you may end up teaching one day, and some schools may get offended if you do not know the usual common sense that happens around that particular school. We as teachers need to realize that every student will have a different home life, and family life, so what may be common sense to us back home, or at another school, is not common sense everywhere else too. We need to learn to adapt to the normal routines around each school, and classroom that we teach at.