For the majority of my education, I was taught mathematics through the Math Makes Sense textbook. And honestly, math most certainly did NOT make sense to me. My Mom and I giggle about it now, but looking back at my elementary and high school math learnings, I struggled. I would always have friends that grasped onto the concepts a lot quicker than I did, so I would always be leaning on them for help. They helped me get the correct answers but often times I would still be left confused. I was definitely that child that came home and did math homework with their Dad at the kitchen table, and cried their way through it.
Going forward with my education, I knew I needed to take Math 101 here at the University, and quite honestly, I was worried. I knew it was going to be hard for me due to my past experiences with the subject. I remember telling my parents I needed the class, and my Mom and Dad were positive and told me to try my best but they also added that I may need to look for a “tutor”. I was pleasantly surprised with my experience in Math 101, my very first quiz I received 10/10 (woohoo!!). The class still challenged me and I had to work at it, but because of the way my professor tackled the concepts and broke it down for the class, I found myself easily catching on and I actually found it interesting (I can’t believe I am admitting this because I’ve disliked math for so long).
In Poirer’s article, it states that the main difference within Inuit mathematics is the linguistic aspect. The languages in Inuit math uses different languages. Indigenous languages are often verb based, where Eurocentric is not. This meaning, when explaining math related terms, Indigenous people would just describe what they see. Another difference being, the Inuit numeration system is influenced by the language along with the environment and culture. But Eurocentric math does not incorporate these aspects into the works. Along with the idea that Inuit math does not involve a large focus to solve equations and draw graphs, whereas Eurocentric math does. In many Eurocentric math situations, you will often find the teacher teaching in front of the class in a lecture type base, but in traditional Inuit math, the teaching is based on observing an Elder or having clues called enigmas to work on problem solving skills. Lastly, mathematics is not seen as an universal language and different cultures have developed tools to solve the equations depending on their environment.
Due to my sheltered schooling experiences, I can say that it has shaped how I “read the world”. Throughout my schooling, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, I attended schools where white colored skin was prevalent. My best friend was Jamaican, but she was also the only person of color in my classes. I was not involved with diverse cultures and diversity throughout my schools because there was not a chance to be. Therefore, I was never able to learn and gain a better understanding of what that even meant. My schooling consisted of only public education, meaning that I was not involved with classes (religion/ethics) like some other education systems provide. I now struggle to relate to others when they speak about their values and religion as I was so sheltered. Along with fact that my schooling did not involve the students with special needs into our classrooms. So, I was never able to get to know and share schooling with others with disabilities. When schools do not give students the opportunities to bloom in several areas and to become diverse, it lowers the chances for those students to see and learn what is happening in real-life. I did however, have a very diverse upbringing, my parents allowed for my brother and I to learn that not everyone is the same. They would bring books home for us to read, involve us in activities with people of all cultures and we would spend time with people with disabilities. Although my schooling sheltered me, I was still able to experience the real- world around me. This provided me with an outlook on how fortunate and privileged I am.
I grew up with a typical white, happy family. Due to this, I was not able to experience the challenges and issues that some other families may go through. Chimamanda Adichie talked about how she grew up with books and stories that involved white, blue-eyed people and that she could not identify with the books she was presented with. Students in the classroom should always be able to see themselves in stories. Teachers need to provide books with real-life situations so they can make each child feel safe and welcomed. This will also help with celebrating diversity in the classroom. By allowing different perspectives and learnings will help reduce biases. It will also give a better understanding of the world around us.
Citizenship Education: This is known to be a part of the hidden curriculum. Citizenship Education is when there is focus on teaching the students in the classroom to be genuine, good people in society. The teacher will allow them to learn the importance of voting, kindness, honesty, responsibility, respect and compassion while being in the community. When the students learn this, the teacher has taught them to be good citizens.
Citizenship Education in my own life: Throughout my life, I have created a great list of volunteer opportunities for myself. In elementary school, I was always involved. I babysat children while parents attended PTA (parent-teacher association) meetings. I did the morning announcements, I would volunteer at the school canteen and bake sales too. It wasn’t until high school that I became heavily involved with volunteer work. I would go to elementary schools and volunteer by helping with the children or any preparation work. I volunteered as a community soccer coach for preschool age children. I volunteered as a BUGS (building up girl’s self-esteem) group leader too. These examples were to only gain experience. I was never told to do this volunteer work, I did it because I wanted to and I enjoyed my time doing it.
I was also a head leader for our school’s SRC. I would plan, organize and dedicate hours to volunteer at my school. My high school never had a volunteer portion for a class but my basketball coach did ask us to volunteer often in the school. I would volunteer at canteens, score keeping and act as a hostess at home-game day sporting events. I now still currently volunteer just because I want to. I volunteer at Sophia House (a women’s shelter), I am with their children’s program. I have been there for 3 years now. I love it and it is such a great experience. I think I would fall under the personally-responsible and the participatory citizen.
Types of Citizenship: In the article read, there were three types of citizenship. Personally-responsible was the first. This type of citizen will fulfill their social responsibilities. This includes things like: paying taxes, helping those in need and voting. These citizens are known to be honest and compassionate. They also have a believe citizenship should be brought into education by doing things like: community service and volunteer work. The next type of citizenship is the participatory citizen. Here, this citizen is known for its strategic and skill based actions. This public engagement is often done in situations with decision making and problem solving. This type of citizen is known to be very active in the community and in organizations. Lastly, the third type of citizen is called the justice-oriented citizen. This type of citizen is looks at the deeper end of the problem and wants to know the root cause of the social issue. They work towards equality and think that citizens actions will lead to social change in the community. I think this is a very important hidden curriculum to teach students to be good citizens in life.
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.
Hey, it's Haley!