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Digital Storytelling- “My Course Reflection”

My video talks about four major topics that I found really influential and important throughout this course. There are obviously other topics that were discussed, but I found these topics to be fairly useful in implementing in my classroom. My video talks about the topics of common sense, racism, treaty education and the good student. My view on these topics at the beginning of the course was very limited and narrow minded. I had never even really heard of Treaty Education before. Throughout the course, I found myself asking more and more questions on each topic and how it really can be implemented and applied to my classroom. Towards the end of the course, I think I gained lots of new insight and information on all these topics and how important they are to education. I feel really confident going into a classroom now and talking about these topics and how they impact schools and students. Thanks for watching my video and hopefully you liked it!

 

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We live in a racist world

We have gone over many important topics in lecture and seminar for this class. One topic that really stuck with me was on race. Diversity and race are all around us. Sometimes we fear it and sometimes we embrace it. It is such a sad thing to say that we live in a racist world but this is the truth. We walk around Muslims or First Nations people in fear, but why is this? One of the most important things I learned while in my ELNG placement that a teacher was talking about to her students is that “all cultures can be racist, not just one.” I think what this is really saying is that yes, as white settlers we are racist. Isn’t everyone though?

As a future teacher, I think it would be so important to teach about race and racism. Anytime I think about teaching this, I struggle with concepts to talk about and ways to implement it. I fear that I am going to offend someone or say the wrong thing. One thing that I took from Clair’s presentation is that everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay. I think as a teacher it is so important to recognize the past, but implement what we can do to the present and future to make our world less racist and prejudice. I only hope for the day that we don’t walk around on our tip toes because a Muslim or African American person is around us.

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Treaty Education is Essential

Learning and teaching about Treaty Education and Aboriginal culture is so important in classrooms today. I think that whether you have aboriginal students in your classroom, you as a teacher, need to implement these cultural aspects. Students learn about different cultures than their own, which I think it so important. Students should have the opportunity to learn about the past so that as a new generation, they can help implement positive ideas about other cultures. I don’t remember being taught about Treaty Education or Aboriginal Culture at all when I was in Elementary school. I think that if I did, I would be more open to ideas and diversity of other cultures. My school growing up consisted of 90% white girls and boys. There was no diversity, so maybe my teachers thought since we didn’t have diversity, that it wouldn’t be important to teach it. It is so important though. Students need to learn the truth about what happened and how to help the healing process.

When Claire presented to us the phrase, “we are all treaty people,” I was confused. I always thought that “treaty people” were only First Nations or Aboriginal people. I now know that I was wrong. Even though I am not Aboriginal or First Nations, I am still considered a “treaty person.” I am a member of treaty 4, thus making me a treaty person.

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Curriculum Shapes Us

Obviously Curriculum is very important to being able to teach. Without it, we wouldn’t have a guideline of what to teach. Curriculum has shaped the teacher I am today by showing me what teachers are always supposed to implement in the classroom. In a sense, it is so much more than that. It shows me that there are so many things that I can do as a teacher not only from the curriculum. There are so many hidden things in Curriculums that I never realized before.

I think now that I am more aware of the hidden curriculum will help me with implementing the curriculum and what I feel is important vs. irrelevant. Hidden curriculum in a sense changed the way I think about teaching. There are positive and negative implements of hidden curriculum. Of course I want to be able to implement the important positive aspects of it. I will also remember the negative aspects and to make sure to educate myself on not implementing those ideas.

Things that I need to put front and centre in my teaching is talking, discussing and doing activities based on different cultures. Just from the past few weeks of being in class, I have realized that culture is so important in the education system and implementing it in the classroom. Treaty education, Aboriginal Culture, and diversity are also topics that I think are essential for children to learn. Me, being a white privileged student, could have difficulty implementing these aspects, but that is why we educate ourselves and bring in elders etc to talk about the topics.

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Who has all the power?

Obviously curriculum plays an important role in education and teaching. The role of the teacher is equally or even more important. Teachers go through years of schooling, learning about the do’s and don’ts about teaching, the best methods to teach and lesson plans etc. Wouldn’t you think that the person who has gone through all this education would be the best suitor to chose what children learn? Or at least have a say in the way they learn.

People of political power absolutely have the authority and power over the curriculum. Teachers are considered unknowledgeable when it comes to the curriculum and how to implement it. Teachers are often considered just the people who get content across to students but that actually is a very important role. Teachers don’t really get to change the curriculum, or add and subtract to it. As a future teacher, I find it difficult having to follow the curriculum exactly without worrying about missing components or not being able to teach in my certain way.

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How is the “good” student good?

Chapter two of “Against Common Sense,” really defined what is meant by a good student and how they exhibit “common sense” behaviour. According to common sense, a good student is one who sits quietly, does their work, and doesn’t question the teacher or the curriculum. One part of the chapter that displays this that really caught my attention was when M wouldn’t learn how every other child learned. He would often stray away from typical classroom activities. I always knew that not every child learns the exact same way, but the first couple pages of the text really put into perspective about how some children learn.

The privileged children are the ones who sit quietly and regurgitate the information they have been taught. They basically learn best from sitting and listening to the teacher lecture them. therefore the good students are the ones to be considered privileged. I think it is sad how the “bad” student is characterized as wanting to learn in different ways than just sitting and listening and being quiet. In today’s society, this is completely opposite. Since the “good” children just sit quietly and don’t rebel against how the teacher is teaching, it would be difficult to see the child’s views because they are always considered wrong. I think it would also be difficult to see the child’s potential because the “common sense” teacher would just pass the child off as bad and not capable.

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Educational Quote

“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” – Anonymous

I chose this quote because I think it really speaks to how even though teachers should be educating children on life, that they also should be aware that that is not all what education is about. To me education isn’t just about teaching students things, it is about shaping them into who they are or who they want to be. Us as teachers should be aware of our students needs, and sensitivities. One role of the teacher is to be a respectable role model, and I think to “educate their hearts” is to show this to our students. Teachers can’t just think about getting the information across, we must remember that our students are vulnerable and that teachers have to be sensitive to that. When I become a teacher, I want to inspire my students to be the best they can be personally, academically, socially, and so on. It is equally essential to educate their hearts, as well as their minds.

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Teaching Tyler’s Rationale

Throughout my entire middle year and high school days, there was always organized assignments followed by tests at the end of the unit or semester. Our school was very organized and structured like Tyler’s Rationale. There was always a purpose to what the teachers were teaching us, how the information was arranged and organized and then we would be evaluated once we learned everything. Rarely did my classes ever have final projects instead of final exams.

Some major limitations of Tyler’s rationale are that since there is always an evaluation at the end of his theory, some children don’t perform the best or show what they have learned through tests or exams. I can definitely relate to these kids because I would way rather have a final project to be evaluated instead of an exam. Some potential benefits of his rationale is that it is very structured. Some children also benefit and do a lot better through organized activities. Some children also do better at tests than others so the Tyler Rationale would actually benefit them.

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Common Sense In Schools

In the article about common sense, Kumashiro noticed while teaching in Napal was that it was quite different than the American way. In one instance she states that “exam approach to teaching had become so ingrained in the practices of Napal schools as to have become a part of ‘common sense.’” It was almost like common sense to them is to have midterms and exams only instead of assignments worth the students grades as well. Another comment made said that “common sense tells us that experiencing things is what it means to be in school.” So the things that teachers teach, and students learn, are almost common sense things to certain countries. The American way is to have midterms and finals but also assignments to make up their final grade with. This is just the American common sense for learning things in school.

I think it is important to pay attention to common sense because you then recognize that not every teacher teaches the same way, or not every country has the same grading system. ‘Common sense’ is essentially different for different places. In other words, common sense is like the status quo if a school. They have norms and rituals that school does that is just common sense to the school. It is important to realize this so to understand that there is diversity within other schools, teachers, students and even teaching methods.