It saddens me to read the email sent. As a teacher, you have to remind yourself that Treaty Education is in the curriculum, and therefore, it is your job (as the teacher), to teach it. Although the students may have a negative outlook on this subject matter, it is you job to make this subjects presence known for its importance. Secondly, it brings me unhappiness knowing your staff and co-op teacher do not agree or feel the need to teach Treaty Education either. You did state their reasoning was due to there not being any First Nation students in class, but they can still be educated on the matter because in Canada we celebrate multiculturalism and we live on Treaty 4 Land.
I am glad you asked for help, but I want you to know that you should not feel turned off or afraid to continue teaching Treaty Education. It is okay to make mistakes and mess up when you teach. You need to learn from your mistakes and make them experiences you can grow from to be a better teacher and move forward. Treaty Education can be an extremely intense and ‘scary’ subject to teach but know that you have support to lean on and resources to help you along the way.
Do you have any sources of support? People from University? Family? Other colleagues? These people can help back you up and share information with you on how you can get across to the school you work in about the importance of Treaty Education. It might just be as simple as the staff and co-op teacher not being educated on this subject. Start by telling them that being Indigenous might not be their heritage or culture, but we are ALL Treaty people. We share the land and it needs to be known what was gained and lost when signing the treaties. By sharing simple facts like this, it might begin to get the wheels going. We need to build a strong relationship with Indigenous culture before we can really understand the history in depth.
To start incorporating the importance of Treaty Education, I suggest you bring small aspects into the classroom at least once every day. It could be as easy as learning a new word in Cree, like, Tànisi. This means Hello in Cree. Or playing tradition music while they walk into the classroom each morning. There are many art projects you could have your students get hands on with too. I am a visual and kinaesthetic learner, so for me, I would enjoy participating in these ideas more so than sitting and listening to a lecture type lesson. This does not mean that the history and dates are not important, so please still know that lectures are a great way to present information too. Other ideas like Powwow’s or Healing Centres would be great field trips. Lastly, you could try ask an Elder or speaker who is more knowledgeable on this subject to be requested to come into the classroom. Finding something that will inspire or spark the student’s interests is key. They are more likely to remember or find something interesting if they are fully engaged and involved.
I want you to remember to not give up. This is NOT going to happen over-night. Teaching about Treaty Education is like teaching about gender or culture diversity. These subjects need to be talked about more than once. By doing this, your students will begin to notice how truly important Treaty Education is. Remember, if you take the easy way out, you will not be gaining anything for yourself or the students. Treaty Education is VERY important and it will only continue to grow and bloom.
Levin suggests that, “curriculum is defined as an official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do” (Levin, 8).
Levin’s article suggests that school curricula is developed by government systems. School curriculum processes and decisions are extremely depended of this system. Curriculum decisions are also assisted by professors, teachers, experts, textbook companies, historians and other influential members of the school systems. While creating and working on curriculums, it often involves bringing many groups of sector representatives to build aspects and elements of a new curriculum and also revise previous or current curriculum. While in a curriculum renewal process, experts look at the existing curriculum, bring data, write out the strengths and weaknesses of existing criteria, consider areas for change and build recommendations for the new curriculum. Levin states that there is a need to involve the community and society in the curriculum renewal development and implementation due to the fact that students and community members views and thoughts need to be considered and valued. Levin shared that he found it difficult to think that students have little say in curriculum aspects but yet, students are the ones most effected by the curriculum.
A danger in curriculum development is the production of curricula that is not easily used by most teachers. When the curriculum is dominated by experts, it is often only readily used and effective for people with the same high-level of expertise. Unfortunately, in most school systems, teachers will struggle with this because they may have a limited background on the certain matter or subject area. All teachers should have the opportunity to teach any curriculum successfully. This just shows how politics are the primary process of curriculum decisions.
The pages of the Treaty Education document shared that Treaty Education can be used in the foundation of curriculum. There are many associates that are involved in this implementation. Some of the partners include: First Nation University of Canada, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, and the Ministry of Education. It states in the document that the continuum is proposed for educators and others who support Treaty Education. The Treaty Education document and Levin’s article support each other within this factor.
A tension made with the Treaty Education curriculum development could have argued if Treaty Education was being over taught or if it Treaty Education should even be taught in schools at all. We must celebrate and appreciate this Treaty document for what it is, as all curriculum processes and decisions will bring up some tensions.
While reading the article, it discussed a project that relates back to Indigenous teachings. Throughout this article there are many thoughts and points on reinhabitation and decolonization.
Ways in which you see reinhabitation throughout the narrative:
Ways in which you see decolonization throughout the narrative:
It is quite clear that land and place were two very important aspects in this article. As a future teacher, I believe it is important to share all of the Indigenous backgrounds with my students. I want my students to refer to our land as being Treaty land. We are all Treaty members; therefore, it is important we give respect to that and use the correct and original terminology when referring to places. The history and background on the areas we live are so hidden. This needs to be turned around. We need to start recognizing this as teachers and talk, respect and share about the importance of Treaty land.
Not only is teaching my future student about Treaty land important, I want my students to know the value of connecting with Elders in the community as well. I took a Cree 100 class at the University for my language elective and I hope to carry that knowledge with me as I teach. I hope I can share and make connections with my students to show them how important Indigenous culture is. By doing this, this will create relationships within the classroom and the natural environment with live in.
After going through the reading, being a “good” student is what society considerers children who attend the same education institution with teachers who will shape these students into being very similar. These students will have similar sets of beliefs and values. The “good” student is the one with a good work ethic, pays attention, asks and answers questions in class, and who is always willing the continue to learn. These “good” students are also the ones who produce quality work within standardize testing, reading, writing, and mathematics. They also have polite manners, listen to their teachers and behave appropriately in all situations. They are the children that display the information the teacher is looking for because they are the children that have been retaining the material taught.
Although, this may look fine and dandy, since the students may seem well behaved and taking in all the knowledge taught, not all students are like this. Just because other students in the classroom do not do well in some aspects stated above, it does not mean they are a “bad” student. It is the teachers job to encourage learning to all students. If the student is not interested in a subject area, it is still the teachers job to attend to all of the learners and personalities in the classroom. All children are unique, different and bring new aspects to the table for teachers to also learn from. Not every student in the classroom will listen, work quietly, finish their work correctly, or be polite student, because they are not COOKIE CUTTER students. We need to realize that no one student is the same. That means, we cannot teach one way and think it will get across to each student the same way. We must remember everyone learns differently, at different speeds and levels.
It is hard to classify a “good” student, because it really doesn’t exist. Some people want students that share in class, but not too much. Or, some students are discouraged because they are doing well in language arts but not mathematics. Society is asking too much out of students. Let your students shine in their own ways, let your students excel in different aspects than other. It is the teachers job to see this and learn and work within.
While looking through the criteria for our assignment one, I had tough time choosing just one topic, as I found many of them appealing. I decided to pick the topic, “love and the curriculum.” The first article I came across was, “A Curriculum of Love” by Erik Gleibermann. A quote that stood out to me right away while reading this article said, “consider instead a curriculum centered in deep connectedness, a curriculum of love.”
There are so many types of love for each individual person in a classroom. Teaching love could look like self-love, family, romantic partner, pets, Earth, or community. Many may think that love and inner life should or do not seem like subjects that a student could explore at a desk or lab. Another argument could state that love should not belong in the curriculum because it is a “soft” non-academic subject and by teaching it it may put the students at risk by creating a classroom that is “new age bubble.”
Either way, I think what matters most is that the students are engaging within this complex subject. As long as the teacher are taking an appropriate and sophisticated approach to teach students about love, love should be included in all curriculum.
My next step towards this assignment is to look deeper at other texts found and compare and contrasts the negatives said towards this topic. I can look at love and the curriculum in primary classrooms and high-school settings as well. In addition,
I would like to see examples of how to teach love as a future teacher by taking a constructive approach.
After reading through the article, I could understand what the Tyler rationale was. The Tyler rationale has set a type of standard for teachers to have their students meet for each subject. This standard has been used for a while and is still continued to be used today in schools. It involves a system that has each subject categorized depending on importance, goals and value. It focuses on the educational experiences that can display the final evaluation. Throughout my schooling,
I can pinpoint a few examples of my teacher’s using the Tyler Rationale. Like having a set schedule every day that covered certain subjects more than the other. Or being sent home with readings or sight words that I had to know by the end of the week. I’d then be tested on those sight word to see if I am a “good” speller or not. The final evaluation was to see if I was able to spell the sight words I was assigned, by the end of the week. This could have affected me poorly if I did not do well with evaluations (testing) or struggled with the given information. This type of evaluation only really benefits the students who do well with testing. It limits those who struggle with testing immensely. If students are doing these types of evaluations each week, and struggle with them each week, they will continue to see themselves as being unsuccessful.
That is one area of the Tyler Rationale that I was shown in my schooling and I personally struggled with because I still to this day, do not test well. Although there are many negatives, there are some positives as well. The benefits are mostly for the educators, by doing these type of evaluations, it provides a better understanding for teachers to see where their students are. The teaching styles in the Tyler Rationale are supposed to benefit students too and the students learn a large amount of information in a short time period, which should allow the students to retain the information more easily.
Kumashiro provides a definition as to what common sense is and he relates it back to what we already know. He states that common sense is the knowledge we carry by what we learn from our journey in life or past generations. While Kumashiro was teaching in Nepal, he was criticized by his colleagues and students saying that he did not know how to teach. In return, he was told he was supposed to beat on his students. My own common sense is telling me that that should never be done and is unacceptable to beat students. I think this way because this is what I have been taught and know from my own experiences in school systems.
Kumashiro had to learn through new experiences to find out that his common sense was not the same as the Nepali way. It is important to pay close attention to one’s common sense as it is the process one thinks needs to be displayed. He states that, “common sense is not what should shape educational reform or curriculum design; it is what needs to be examined and challenged.” If school systems never challenge issues of oppression, nothing will ever get solved. This is the same as not being able to see common sense- it will lead to oppression. We have to teach our future to see and deal with these issues in order to help the future from recognizing right from wrong.
Hey, it's Haley!