ECS 200

ecs 200. Week 12

3 Things I Learned:
1.  I was not aware that principals relationship between the school community made such a lasting effect on the students academic achievement.
2. Prior to this lecture I did not know that the principals were involved in a type of coaching development for the teachers. I was not aware that the principles were involved in other teachers classrooms.
3. I was surprised to see that the principles are also involved in the curriculum development. It is heartening to see that the principles are there to help you if you have questions or concerns about the course curriculum.

2 Connections I Made:
1. As a student, I had the assumption that you only had to talk to the principal if you were in some sort of trouble. I personally rarely conversed with my principals in elementary or high school due to the stigma that they were only to be talked to if something was ‘wrong’. I wish I would have known that the principals core job was to create a relationship with the students and community.
2. Currently I do not think I could ever become a principal. Although they do have the opportunity to create relationships and create a lasting impact on their students lives. I think I would enjoy my occupation more in the classroom; working directly with the students.

1 Question.
-What credentials does one need to become a principal?

ECS 200

ECS 210: Week 10 – Teacher’s Identity.

3 Things I Learned:

1. In lecture we were asked “what does the word ambiguity mean to you”?. My fellow classmates and myself were slightly stumped and were hesitant to share our definitions of this word. After reading Krista Yerkes paper, I was finally able to understand why being knowledgeable of this word is so important for educators to understand. Krista Yerkes says “ I can never prepare for how my students will react to something new I may be teaching them. I cannot prepare for what my students’ responses in class will be when I ask them a certain question. I cannot prepare for how fast or how slow my students will learn new material” (p. 14). It is so important for teachers to be prepared for the ambiguity that occurs in a classroom on a daily basis. We must learn to be prepared for the unexpected.

  1. The classroom environment influences the developing role of a teachers identity. The space, resources, and physical structures available are all aspects that contribute to the expected role of a teacher. For example, if a classroom has limited resources, the role of the teacher is identified by how they make use of what resources they do have. Depending on the teacher, this could have a positive or negative impact on the students’ education journey.

  2. Gregory Michie gives us future teachers a reminder about how easy it can be to fall under the pressuring expectations given to us by ‘superior’ teachers. Being a new teacher is enough pressure at it is, we must remember that it is okay to say no to coaching all of the extra curricular sports teams. It is okay to stand up for your own limits and it is important to do so in order to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Do not allow yourself to disengage your ultimate responsibility of being a teacher in the classroom.

    2 Connections I Made:

1. “If you do not know who you are as a person then teaching is going to be even harder” (Yerkes. p.4)
I find myself pondering about what kind of teacher I am going to be when I finish my University Degree. It is so important to recognize that you must stay true to yourself, your beliefs and values when you are teaching. I think that social media has influenced future teachers to imagine what kind of stereotypical teacher they want to  become. For example media tends to separate teachers into individuals who are crazy, talkative,intimidating, fun, repetitive or cool. Us teachers must disrupt this expectation of teachers having a typical teaching aura. If my fellow students take anything from this course, I hope that it is to stay true to yourself and to not focus on classifying yourself into a specific teaching role.

2. I made a connection with my journey of becoming a teacher and how it relates to ambiguity. It is important as a future teacher to realize that nothing is set in stone. This is something that I need to learn to understand and grow to accept. Although I have full control over the product of my assignments, essays and finals; I have no control of the final grade. My journey of becoming an educator is dependent on numerous factors that are out of my control. Life in general is completely ambiguous, and it is my responsibility to find ways to concretely adapt to the uncertainties of life.   

1 Question:
What are potential ways we can positively disrupt rowdy classrooms; such as the one Chandra Shaw encountered, without raising our voices?

 

ECS 200

ECS 200, Week 8: Social Identity and School Systems.

3 Things I learned:
1:
“economic and power control is interconnected with cultural power and control”  – Micheal Apple
Our education systems decipher what “legitimate knowledge” we perceive all Canadian citizens need to know. The subjects we teach in school are ones that will help students thrive in the Western culture. We also choose to base our holidays and school breaks on days that best suit individuals who conform to Western ideologies only.

2:
“Common sense” in education teaches us that as long as you work hard in school and get good grades you will be successful. But as Micheal Apple said “they [educators] are part of a conscious conspiracy to ‘keep the lower classes in their place”. If a student is brought up in a lower class home they will automatically struggle to succeed in comparison to students who are brought up a higher class.

3: “Good liberal intentions are not enough” – Lisa Delpit 
I think it is important to note that students of minority cultures are mostly inheriting their knowledge from people who are a product of White Settlers. I agree with Lisa that minority students should have the opportunity to receive authentic cultural knowledge from those who share the same cultural values. I believe that this is especially important when teaching students about Indigenous ways of knowing. There is no better teacher than an Elder who can appropriately teach our students about Indigenous culture.

2 Connections:

1:
“Those with power are frequently less aware of – or least willing to acknowledge – its existence”  – Lisa Delpit
I believe that it is instances like this that make it so important for students to be involved in a classroom privilege walk/run.  The privilege walk shows those who are privileged how their lives have been positively influenced by uncontrollable aspects. As rightly said in this YouTube Video “The Race of Life (white privilege)” “every statement I have made has nothing to do with anything you have done”. Every step a student takes is based on white privilege, social class, gender, sexual identity, etc. This race helps students visualize their privilege and lack there of in comparison to their peers. Which I believe helps students become aware and forces them to acknowledge its existence.

2:
While reading Jean Anyon’s description of what occurs at a middle-class school I would assume that both my Elementary and High School would fall under this classification. I felt as though I was re-living my own education experiences because every thing sounded much too familiar. I strongly resonated with her description of the typical social studies class. I remember going through our history textbooks and being subjected to take it in as it was presented, no questions asked. If we were to question something in the textbook I remember being told “that’s just the way it was” and as Jean presumed “there was little attempt to analyze how or why things happen”.

1 Question:
We know that bringing in Elders is the most culturally appropriate way to inform students about Indigenous Ways of Knowing, but are there opportunities made available for classrooms to have such opportunities? Have the education systems considered hiring Elders to share their knowledge and stories in our classrooms?

 

 

ECS 200

Week 7. History of Education in Saskatchewan

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.

2 Connections:

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.

1 Question:

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?

 

Work Cited: History of Education in Saskatchewan

ECS 200

Week 6.

3 things I learned:

Aboriginal languages are continuously being lost and forgotten yet it is the “the most significant factor in the restoration, regeneration, and survival of Indigenous knowledge”. (p. 17) Although people are becoming more aware and are communicating about how language loss is affecting Aboriginal Communities, there is minimal action being taken to reverse it. 

It is interesting to point out the differences between the ways Western and Aboriginal cultures share knowledge. It is common for Westerners to share knowledge through writing and books, where Aboriginal peoples prefer to share wisdom through stories and communication.

In lecture we talked about report cards being used to project how a student is developing in the classroom. I found Stacey’s story about her son interesting. Her son is clearly a competent oral communicator but since he did not use his communication skills in the particular way the curriculum constructs students to use them in; he received a poor grade. I think it is going to be difficult for me as a teacher to find a balance between marking my students based on their abilities and how the curriculum wants their abilities to procreate.

2 connections I made:

I question the quote in the reading Nourishing the Learning Spirit that says “it is expected that schools will validate the existing knowledge base of the students and provide an environment , experiences and knowledge, where students may work toward fulfillment of their gifts and purposes in accordance with the laws of Creator”.  I agree that Aboriginal students should have the opportunity to include these aspects in their education journey. I also think that future educators should have the opportunity to learn more about the Creator and Aboriginal ways of knowing so we have the means to properly educate Aboriginal peoples. What I question is how am I as a descendant of white settlers able to receive the proper education to authentically teach Aboriginal students about something I know very little about, or even believe in? Are we expected to teach in these ways, or are Elders and people who follow the same beliefs the only ones who can appropriately teach this subject?

In the Youtube video ‘What is learning spirit?’ they are asked about the phenomenon; “what is the purpose of life”, and eventually the Herald Keeper at the Sun Dance answered with “we only come here to dream”. They feel like they are “in a dream like stance”. As said in the video he talks about how eurocentric beliefs have never mentioned anything about dreaming, which I can relate to because due to the way I have been brought up I can not grasp the concept of living life “in a dream like stance”.  Just as it is difficult for Sakej Henderson and others to find an answer to the question “what is the purpose of life”, which is a common question asked in the Western culture.

 

1 question: 

How do we balance our grading systems between conforming to the curriculum and our own sense of appropriate achievements?

ECS 200

Week Five: Chapter 6

Things I learned:

I was not aware of the severe affects poverty has on children and how it begins as early as in the womb. I understand that families, specifically the mother may have a difficult pregnancy due to ongoing stress factors. People in poverty have to worry about having enough money to live a healthy life not only for themselves but for their family and unborn child. These stress hormones may result in a higher chance of premature births, which can be detrimental for both the mother and the baby. The mother and families stress that occurs in daily life will transfer to the child throughout their childhood when they become aware of their environmental surroundings. Once a child can understand and compare their life to the ones of their peers they may be affected by the lack of resources and opportunities their family can afford for them.

I was not aware that reading level abilities are effected by socioeconomic class. On page 198 in the textbook it states that “students in poverty begin school about six months behind in reading compared to students in wealthier families.” This is due to families in poverty not being able to provide appropriate reading resources for their kids outside of school. I hope that the education systems can find a way to give these families a free library card for their local library to give the students more opportunities to receive legible resources.

Until now, I have not considered the repercussions followed by asking students to provide their gender on standardized tests. I have learned that this can negatively effect their overall testing grade before they even begin writing the test. The textbook mentions that this commonly takes place for females during mathematics or science exams. The stereotype pertaining to the female gender not being adequate achievers in these subjects causes females to fear conforming to the stereotype. This activates an unnecessary amount of anxiety.

Connections I made:

I would like for education systems to consider why it is mandatory for students to reveal their gender on exams. As a teacher we have to constantly find ways to disrupt gender binary stereotypes because many students do not identify with the gender given to them at birth. I believe that asking students to identify within the gender binary is an unnecessary aspect and a waste of stress. Asking students what gender they identify with can cause uncomfortable situations and may impact the students mental health if they are struggling with their individual gender identity.  

A common way to encourage success towards people of minority is by focusing on their strengths. Discover what they enjoy and excel at, then find a way to help them transfer those strengths they already acquire to benefit them in the subjects they lack skills in. It is important to provide opportunities for your students to boost their confidence. You can achieve this by believing in their abilities and hope that your positive energy brushes off on their beliefs.

Question:

Gender roles are portrayed throughout the entirety of society, causing males and females to receive different types of attention at school. Is it took late to disrupt gender binary roles in the classroom? For example, asking females to help lift the heavy chairs down the hall, instead of the boys. Or asking the boys to help decorate the classroom over the recess break.

If students receive a particular understanding of specific gender roles from alternative educational learning opportunities such as from families, friends, sports teams, religion, television networks, etc,. Is it possible to change the way they see gender if the only educational system challenging their beliefs is taught in school?

ECS 200

Chapter 11. Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

3 Things I learned:

  1. The social cognitive theory describes a system called triarchic reciprocal causality. This theory believes that personal factors, physical and social environment, and behaviour are all influential of one another. You must put all three factors into consideration when deciphering a students’ onset behaviour.
  2. Elements of observational learning suggests that if you expect a student to work on their attention, retention, production and motivation skills you must lead by an example. It is not enough to tell a student how to accomplish something. Students need an adult figure to demonstrate the skills in the same fashion that they will be applying it in.
  3. One of the main goals for a teacher is to help students become self-regulated. The younger a student is able to accumulate self-regulating the skills the higher the chances the child will be successful later on in life. Scaffolding will help students learn independently, motivate them to learn and discover coping mechanisms that will contribute to their self-regulating skills.

2 Connections:

  1. Many students have difficulties self-regulating their organizational skills in schools. This is most evident in elementary classrooms that have individual desks. The majority of students in my elementary classroom (me included) had an abundance of loose papers, pens, random objects that engulf our free space. I believe that many students do not acquire self-regulating skills on their own; I think it is something that must be taught. Therefore, I believe that a students’ desk is partially reflective of a teachers habits. Students need the direction of a teacher to discover the importance of being organized.
  2. “Children are more likely to imitate the actions of others who seem competent, powerful, prestigious…” (Woolfolk, et.all., 2011, p. 371)
    This quote made me consider the impact social media has on young students today. Many students will fantasize and become obsessed with the vision they see portrayed on another individual’s social media page, which can lead down a dangerous road. In today’s society teachers need to make students aware of the differences between real life and the ones they see on social media. The real world is not advertised on social media and it is detrimental for the health of many students to become fully aware of this.

1 Question

  1. Is it possible to apply constructivist ways of teaching in all curriculum based subjects?