ECS 210 Final Assignment

 

Hello! So this is my final assignment, my personal curriculum narrative. I believe that my journey throughout this course has been quite influential towards my own personal teaching philosophy and my future career as an educator! It was very interesting to go over everything and compare my initial thoughts on curricula to my current understandings. I went from never having read a curriculum and lesson plan to being able to critique a curriculum and develop my own lesson plan, and even being able to “teach” a specific lesson plan to the class! Overall, I believe as I develop into a fantastic educator, I will learn so much more, as I have learned so much from this class. Thank you all once again for an amazing class that will influence my future teachings and responses. *Note: video is recorded on phone due to technical issues*

 

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ECS 200 – Blog 9

3 Things I learned:

  1. I had not learned the term “postmodern professionalism” until I had read the “EdCan” article. From my understanding, this promotes more of a cultural engagement to solve issues and a more self-directed influence in education. For example, teachers can contribute more to the curriculum in order to produce their own ideas, instead of just changing themselves and the way they teach due to command.
  2. The idea of democratic professionalism and how it promotes teacher empowerment, instead of placing teachers in a lower chain of command. This will influence teachers to have more leadership and an influence on students and education.
  3. Observing the characteristics of a profession, it becomes clear that no job, even teaching, fully obtains all of the characteristics. This is because teaching is not a neutral practice, and it is constantly changing. There are many factors that influence this change, such as the environment, media, and other surroundings and events that can change the ways one would have to teach. For example, teaching now is quite different than in the ’60s as it is a completely different time area and the surroundings are different.

2 Connections:

  1. In regards to the characteristics of professionalism and the constant changes in teaching, I have witnessed this change due to growing up and also observing various schools. For example, I attended a couple of years of middle/high school in Newfoundland. As the surroundings are different, the ways of teaching are different. Compared to Saskatchewan, we did not have Indigenous Education because there were not any existent Indigenous cultures (due to an unfortunate extinction). Growing up, there are obvious changes as well. The media has changed since my childhood. Before, we were only expected to complete our research by using books. Now, technology is included in almost all aspects of schooling and is necessary for almost all classes.
  2. I had a teacher in my high school years who was an activist, and promoted democratic professionalism, although I was not aware of it at the time. She took part in contributing to curriculum, encouraged more participating teachers to have a self-directed teaching attitude, and was very open about her ideas. This could be effective in the future because teachers can go from a lower chain of command to having more of an influence.

1 Question:

  1. How can we, as future professional educators, promote democratic professionalism, while respecting our expectations to keep our profession?

Week 10: Reading Response

It is very hard to determine how I “read the world” based on my schooling, as I have lived in various locations across the country. In the multiple schools that I attended in small towns in Saskatchewan, I noticed a pattern of views. Firstly, everyone was either related to each other or knew each other very closely, so the views of the town were all unanimous and small-minded, as there was no exploration of the views and beliefs of the rest of the world. One of the towns where I attended school was a very religious town that consisted of the same race, so we mostly learned how to read the world from a “white, religious perspective.” We stuck to methods of learning only approved by everyone in the town, so when I am learning, I automatically go to those methods. There were some biases I gained from this, and I can unlearn them by surrounding myself with other ideas and being open-minded. Some biases I can think of are that we learned that immigrants are “stealing jobs,”¬† I believe I am unlearning this, as my boyfriend is an immigrant and I am learning lots from him, a well as my friends who came from another country. I am learning from all of them and unlearning what I have previously learned. With First Nations and single stories, I am reminded of my schooling experience in Newfoundland, where Indigenous education is not common. I did not learn anything about First Nations until I came to the University, because in Newfoundland that part of learning was skipped. They believed learning about Indigenous education is unimportant. I believe we can work to end this belief by introducing this education into the curriculum, and being open to learning any beliefs/values/views/cultures. Representation and education is important, so it needs to be introduced to these schools.

ECS 200 – Blog 8

3 Things I Learned:

  1. The difference between formal and informal teacher leaders. For example, while formal teacher leaders fill various positions and are hired through an application process, informal teacher leaders rise up on their own. In my mind, I never thought of these teacher leaders as formal or informal, nor did I know how they got into the position they were in.
  2. It was very interesting to learn a great method for improving teaching abilities and solving issues in the classroom. The method was in “The Many Faces of Leadership,” where a teacher did not understand why the females in his class were not as enthusiastic towards group activities as he thought they would be. He called in a colleague to observe the class and take notes, and they found the problem. The teacher was not challenging the females as much as the males and gave them the answers sometimes. Asking a colleague to observe your class and take notes can really give an outside perspective on the issues and class experiences.
  3. Another great method of solving issues is mentioned in this article. This issue is related to grading. Students were not reading comments on their grades, and not caring about submitting their assignment if it was already late. Soon, a group of interested teacher leaders came up with a new grading system that included self-assessment. It is now clear that self-assessment is very important in education because students can see their improvement, their strengths, and their weaknesses that they can further work on. This also gives the teachers a sense of their students’ progress in order to grade and evaluate them efficiently.

2 Connections:

  1. In my high school, there came a time when our principal had to be on leave for a while. During this time, two informal teacher leaders filled his place (I now believe due to a selection progress). Since these teacher leaders have taught almost all the students in the school, it was easy for them to be able to make decisions regarding the issues in the school. In my experience, I believe this almost gave them more of a detailed understanding of what happens in the school, but this also gives them a biased view of the students. Since this was in a small town, there was slight favoritism in the methods these teachers used in resolving issues. Therefore, there are both pros and cons to having informal teacher leaders, it may vary on the different schools.
  2. In regards to my second thing I learned, I wanted to compare this to our field work that we future educators will have to complete. Even though I have not experienced my in-class field work yet, I have some opinions about it. From what I have come to understand, a teacher observes you teaching a class and grades you on it. This is similar to the teacher in the example who had a colleague observe his class and take notes. This is very effective because right from the beginning you gain a sense of how you teach, and what you can improve on. I look forward to gaining this experience and being able to reflect on it to improve my teaching.

1 Question:

If teachers were to become teacher leaders (informal or formal), how can we erase the biased opinions that could lead to exclusion or inequality in the classroom, especially in small towns?

Week 9: Reading Response

In my schooling, we did not really have any citizenship education. There was a point in one of my classes where we had to learn the textbook definition of each type of citizen, but we were not tested or further taught on the subject. This is unfortunate as I did not even remember these types until I read the article again. I had no knowledge of them as I simply read the definitions in high school and then forgot about them. So, in regards to citizenship, there is nothing for me to be able to understand about it from that class. I believe it could have been included more into the curriculum instead of just being a simple reading that was probably thrown out the next day.

ECS 200 – Blog 7

3 Things I learned:

  1. It was interesting to learn in the “Why are Schools Brainwashing our Children” article that even though teachers are promoting social justice and change in the classroom, people are assuming that they are brainwashing the children. Parents expect teachers to introduce their children to these topics, and to “teach” them accordingly; so if you expect a teacher to “teach” your kids, why are you calling it brainwashing? The teachers are not forcing the children to have a specific opinion on the topics, only to be aware of what is going on around them and how they can fix issues. It is strange how the teachers are given responsibility and authority over the children and what they learn, yet when they do as told, people say it is “abuse of power” and “brainwashing.”
  2. In “Racial Tolerance vs Anti-Racist Transformation,” the idea that is new to me is that “Individual changes in attitudes and behavior are necessary, but not sufficient to eliminate racism.” This could mean that individual changes are not quite adequate enough to fully eliminate racism. Individual changes are still essential because an entire group of people can not make a change together if the individuals are not willing to make a change. It starts with the individual, then gradually develops into an entire group change.
  3. Considering both of these, if individual changes are still essential, individuals need to understand how to make changes, gain knowledge, and gain respect and appreciation for other cultures. How are children expected to do that without teachers? Parents would just pass down their own biased ideas instead of displaying various knowledge and ideas like a teacher would. In a classroom, children can be exposed to more cultures than if their parents taught them everything. Teachers need to be able to not form opinions for the children but to show them all the ideas, cultures, and surrounding influences. So, in regards to the first article, if it were only parents passing their beliefs to their children, then essentially they would be the ones “brainwashing” (not actually, but as a response to this article), while the teachers express other ways of learning and changing instead of just one.

2 Connections:

  1. Before taking Education courses, I originally had the mindset of the “Racial Tolerance” column in the second article. “Changing individual attitudes and behaviors leads to the elimination of prejudice and discrimination. I never realized that there is more to just individual changes. I believe I still have a lot to learn on this topic though, as I need to explore more on what other ways besides individual changes are required to eliminate racism.
  2. I have heard similar assumptions that teachers are “brainwashing” their students. Especially in older people, they seem to assume that the new ideas and social justice that is being taught in the classroom is “unnecessary” and “forgetting about the basic, important subjects that should be taught.” But, these topics are important as they are all a part of our constantly changing world, which is why I question how this could be considered in any way “brainwashing.”

One Question:

  1. What are more methods to eliminating racism besides individual and group changes in knowledge and behavior?

Week 8: Reading Response

  1. In my experience, I have never been in a math class or witnessed one that seemed oppressive to anyone. The main focus of the mathematics classes I attended was just to solve math problems/equations. The only way I can think that would include oppression is the word problems. If there was any oppression included in these word problems, my classmates and I never noticed, or, at least it was not brought up. Most of these word problems consisted of unrealistic situations, so there was not much to bring up or question/notice.
  2. One method of Inuit mathematics that challenge Eurocentric mathematics is that they have found a way to express numbers and quantities orally, compared to our visual representations of numbers. The second method is that Inuits use a base-20 system while we use a base-10 system that we have integrated all our lives. The last one does challenge Eurocentric methods but also seems to be possibly used when we were younger. They use body parts for measurement. I can connect this to my childhood; when I was a little kid I would think measurement by “feet” is using our actual feet to measure. It took me a while to understand that they are not the same measurement.