3 Things I learned:
1: I was unaware that industrial schools divided students based on gender for the practical courses. Western settlers strongly believed that men and women had completely separate life duties to pursue in order to be functioning citizens in the ‘real world’. The schools structured students to believe that their gender defined their place in society.
2: My home town Moose Jaw was one of the first school districts that was established in 1884. It is upsetting to me that I am first learning about Moose Jaw’s role in education history. It is a shame that our current education systems do not provide adequate information on your cities history and the supporting roles they played with Residential Schools. Moose Jaw is famously known for Al Capone and the Canadian Railway, yet we are rarely given information about uncomfortable topics; such as Residential Schools and colonialism.
3: In 1913 the entirety of the elementary course studies (what we now call the curriculum) was only 37 pages long. It is difficult for me to fathom how the teachers were able to create a full school load with such a minimal structure to reflect back on. I feel as though these teachers must have had a lot of pressure on themselves to decipher what and how they were going to go about teaching each subject.
1: I made a connection in lecture between the Canadian and Italian education systems in relation to language hierarchy’s. I was a nanny in Italy for a year and I noticed that their education systems value the knowledge of multiple languages more so than in Canada. Italian children are not only taught a second language beginning in Kindergarten, but through their education experience they are taught to be fluent speakers in 2 or more languages. This is something that Canadian education systems do not do. Unless we are in a French immersion school, we are not taught to value a second language or are we given the instruments needed to learn a second language fluently. I was a nanny for a 5 and 7 year old who both spoke fluent Italian, German and English. As well as a nanny for another family with a 5 and 13 year old who were fluent in Italian, spoke English well and were learning French. How many students in Saskatchewan have the abilities to speak more than one language fluently? . . .
2: In lecture we were asked about our opinions on school uniforms. After conversing with my classmates I came to the realization that although uniforms can solve many social issues, they can also create conflicts. Bullying is a very real issue in today’s society and it is fair to say that bullies always find something to pick on other students about. With social media influencers sky rocketing in today’s youth, many students are constructed to believe that their self-worth is determined by their self expression in clothing and material goods. By taking away a students ability to freely express themselves through their clothing choice we argued that uniforms may increase the potential for a bully to focus on uncontrollable aspects of an individual such as their physical features, appearance or personality. Which I believe would affect a child more so than being picked on about something they have the ability to change.
For the students who are interested in pursuing a trade after high school, why have we not developed a high school that is specific to developing the skills needed for trades?