Summary of Learning Digital Story

ECS 210 – Summary of Learning

Hello, my name is Brody Brown, and this is my ECS 210 Summary of Learning presentation.

This journey started off back in September when I was asked: “What is Curriculum?”

Before taking this course, I assumed curriculum was no more than a document or piece of paper in which teachers taught students from.

From one of my first blogs I wrote that “Curriculum was a document created by the government with the assistance of a council of teachers.” While I was not wrong there was more to it than just that. One of the classes readings titled, “Center for Civic Education. What is public policy?” talked about the process curriculum goes through to become official. I learned that the process involves having people such as teachers, other people with authority who had been elected, administrators, and the government with representatives from the Ministry of Education who together first create a draft. This draft is created from looking at the old curriculum then changes are discussed then tested by small groups to see if it works. If successful it is implemented for everyone, if not it is revised an tested again. The process ended up being more political then I originally thought it was.

Curriculum has become more than just a document to me. Curriculum comes in all forms and is not always stated. These types of curriculum include: Formal Curriculum, Hidden Curriculum, Curriculum as Place, and Null Curriculum to name a few but there are more. Curriculum is what you make it and how to teach it.

I see myself approaching the curriculum with an open-mind and look forward to learning from it as well. I find all the approaches fascinating from one another. One of the things I plan to do is trying to integrate Indigenous teachings or emphasize it more than it currently is in curriculum. I talked about how much Indigenous teachings are involved with curriculum in my curriculum critique paper for this class. In that paper I said I believe it is important that we learn about the Indigenous Ways of Knowing but we need to have it in more than just one or two outcomes. While we are beginning to make progress by including it, we need more emphasis on the topic.

When thinking about my agency and approach to curriculum I see myself as a transmitter of curriculum content and a curriculum enhancer. I see myself as these things because I enjoy bringing in multiple aspects of different subjects and curriculum to help create the best learning environment I can. Cross-Curricular education is a great skill to develop because I believe the combination of multiple subjects helps students learn in many ways. The extra reinforcement from a different stance such as Arts Education in Science can make all the difference for a student who learns differently.

Two parts of this course that I found interesting to learn about were What is ‘Common Sense’ and the Tyler Rationale. In class we did a reading called “The Problem of Common Sense” by Kumashiro. In this reading Kumashiro explains the ‘common sense’ as the way things have been done even though he does not agree with it. The reading goes on to explain that since things are done a certain way that works we should not change it. While the ‘common sense’ is a good thing to know it Is important that we find new things that challenge us and enhance our learning and teaching capabilities. This is one of the problems with curriculum. Since we had a curriculum that worked people did not want to change it. However, as time went on and we realized the importance of indigenous learnings in education it was changed to incorporate it.

The second part that I found interesting was the Tyler Rationale. The Tyler Rationale was a method to teach curriculum that I found very similar to my own education experiences in my middle years and high school. This approach had 4 distinct steps: Setting Objectives, Learning Experiences and Content, Organizing Learning Experience’s, and Evaluation. While this method was useful for teaching I found it did not help find the deeper meaning in works or make meaningful connections when learning by it. Both in my blog and now I feel this model can help teachers be successful by being organized and having an outline, however, with students this model only covers the basics of a lesson. Without reinforcement of any kind I find this model troublesome in long-term learners.

The last things I want to discuss now are my uncomfortable learnings and future growth. The uncomfortable learning that impacted me the most was about Residential Schools. Over the past few years I have begun learning more about residential schools and the horrible things that happened and each time we discuss it I think it will become easier to speak about, but it doesn’t. Even though this is uncomfortable to talk about we must. It is apart of history and is why education is where it is today. We as future educators must learn and understand from past mistakes to make the future better for every learner.

I believe that everything in this class will impact my future growth. I have learned more about curriculum and residential schools then I have in any other class which I feel prepares me for the future. I understand what curriculum is, but I also know it is always changing and evolving. As I progress onward in my learning journey I will always keep an open-mind and reflect on what I have learned from this class.


Week 12: Inclusive Education

Kelsey Culbert spoke to our class today about Inclusive Education.

Three Things I Learned

–       One of the things that Kelsey said to us that really stuck with me was to, “Ask Questions, Listen More, and Talk Less”. I think this explains a lot since we do not really understand what it is like or what is wanted from people with disabilities. We must listen to learn, and this is a step we must take.

–       Kelsey brought up the fact that we must stop using one’s physical and/or intellectual limitations as a defining feature. Also, we cannot view anyone as a diagnosis because they are human as much as anyone else. These do not define who a person is but does help shape who they will become.

–       Many people are intimidated of what they do not know or understand hence why some people are afraid to go out of their own way to talk to people with disabilities.

Two Connections

–       My biggest connection I made was to my own sister who also has disabilities. She has both intellectual and physical disabilities so when Kelsey spoke to some of the challenges her and her family had I could relate. While my sister’s physical disability has improved to the point where she can walk without assistance she still struggles but is more then capable of doing things for herself. She strives for independence which is something Kelsey has also done for herself.

–       I seen the production that Kelsey and other students put on called “Neither Heroes nor Ordinary People”. In this she talked about her challenges as well as other students talking about the challenges they have overcome. My drama class also assisted a class with students who had disabilities create a play. It was an amazing experience that changed my view.

1 One Question

–       How can we as future educators create an environment that feels welcoming to all learners, including those with disabilities both visible and invisible (intellectual)?

Week 11: Curriculum as Numeracy

1.    At the beginning of the reading, Leroy Little Bear (2000) states that colonialism “tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldviews. … Typically, this proposition creates oppression and discrimination” (p. 77). Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics — were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?

 Back when I was taking mathematics in elementary and high school I was taught that there was only one right way to do things. During todays lecture we were taught that there was more than just one way to do math. One of those ways was verbally. In high school if we did the calculations in our head and just wrote the answer it was considered wrong since we did not show our work. However, with the Inuit way of learning this is fine to do.

 2.     After reading Poirier’s article: Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.

 A.   Not with pen and paper. Inuit children learn from observing an elder or listening to enigmas.

B.   Oral Numeration. There are multiple ways to say a number depending on the context it is being used in.

C.   Collaborative Research. Students research the knowledge before doing the math. Understanding the work before being forced to do it. Learning the applications for extra reinforcement.

Week 11: The Secret Path

Three Things I Learned:

–       Only 66% of Canadians have heard or read about residential schools. This was brought up during the discussion panel. This is problematic and we as future educators need to increase this number to as many students as possible.

–       During the 60s there were 20 000-50 000 children taken from families and sent to residential schools

–       If parents refused to send their children to residential schools, they could be arrested or fined.

Two Connections I Made:

–       I made a connection with the statistic of only 66% of Canadians hearing about residential schools. I was apart of the statistic until my first year of university where I learned about residential schools.

–       I found the silence in the animated part of the video powerful. It left me to believe it was to symbolize how First Nations people voices were not heard or were not acknowledged.

One Question I Still Have:

–       How do we as future educators integrate information about residential schools into the classroom if we are teaching subject areas not related to the subject (such as science or math)?

Week 9: Curriculum and Treaty Education

The purpose of teaching Treaty Education is because it is apart of Canadian history. It can be viewed as the origin of Canada. When you learn about the history of Canada in middle and high school, most of the information of settlers is kept in (besides the bad things) so why isn’t the Indigenous part included? I personally find it more important because many of the things that happened would not have been possible due to treaties. The purpose is also to teach students about the oppression and segregation of First Nations people that happened not long ago. We are learning on Treaty land, so we should become educated on how and why that is. This leads in how “We Are All Treaty People”

Canada is built on the treaties which cover the land. Since we are on Treaty land “We are Treaty People” and that applies to everyone who resides here even if you do not have a First Nations or Inuit background. We must understand what happened to develop our own identities. Without understanding we cannot learn nor create our identity. This also provides a new way of learning which opens up many possibilities for every learner.

Week 10: Gender and Sexual Diversity

Three Things I Learned

–       “Thirty percent of all youth suicides are committed by gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. They are three to five times more likely then heterosexual peers and more likely to succeed when they do” (Kourany, pg.59)

–       Within schools,40% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students experience physical violence in schools. Also, with another 40% of students that say that their school work was affected by their environment.

–        ‘Queering’ is the idea “re-educating parents” who object to teaching children about homosexual families

Two Connections

–        I have a friend who recently ‘came out’ as someone who is bisexual. He has been dealing with the idea of sharing it with people for about 4 years. Everyone he has told has been supportive and he’s glad that he has told people.

–        Last term we had a transgender person who came to our class and gave a story of the journey they had to go on. They told us why they did it and the things they had to go through since much of society does not want to acknowledge the situation. It was a sad story but impactful.

One Question

–       How can we make classrooms/schools feel more open to students who maybe struggling with the idea of being LGBTTIQ?

Week 8: Learning from Place

The article suggests that a “critical pedagogy of place” aims to:
(a) identify, recover, and create material spaces and places that teach us how to live well in our total environments (reinhabitation); and (b) identify and change ways of thinking that injure and exploit other people and places (decolonization) (p.74)
1.List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.

– They heard stories from an Elder

– The project renames and reclaims land

– Discussed issues that would support development of local aspirations

– Focusing on Cree land and a story of their history

2.How might you adapt these ideas to considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?

Integrating Aboriginal Ways of Knowing into teaching is very important in todays classroom. Since we also live on a Treaty it seems mandatory to at least bring this to attention inside classrooms. Usually Indigenous Studies tends to be brought up in Social Studies however it can be taught/seen in any class. One of the activities I would bring into my own class is the Blanket Exercise. This was an amazing learning tool that helped me learn some history. For my own area which is Arts Education we could have class outside and have students explore where we come from. Using things found in nature they could then create an at piece or find somewhere to perform a piece speaking about Canada’s history.

Week 9: My Final CBSL Placement

          Being finished my CBSL placement I can talk about my time with Street Culture. When looking back on my initial thoughts from my first experience they have changed slightly. One of the things I thought I would have done more of but sadly did not get to do was work with the youth. I worked with the youth three times which was enjoyable but besides that I was helping more with the operations of how Street Culture works. This was interesting to learn about to, but it was not what I was expecting.

One of the things that surprised me was how much Street Culture does as an organization. These things include:

       Mentorship Programs

       Housing via The Shelter

       Providing Meals to Shelter Youth

       Celebrations on Holidays

       Educational Programs: Music Night, Pit Stop

          I believe my greatest learning experience received were the days I was working Pit Stop. I was able to get to know who the youth were if they we’re willing to open up. Pit Stop had things like cooking together, working out, and other skills useful for life outside of the Shelter. Since it was in more of a social setting the youth would usually relax more and talk to me more.

          Overall, I had a great experience that was unlike anything I had done before. I highly recommend checking out Street Culture and I hope I get to do more work with them again.

Week 7: The Good Student

When discussing what it means to be a “good” student in accordance to common sense it depends on which year we are focusing on. In the lecture today, we talked about the classroom and what “good” students looked like 25-100 years ago. Many on the characteristics included: Being white, male, catholic, wealthy, well mannered, and obedient among other things. By todays standards it is more equal, but the stereotypical idea is still the same to some. As someone who is in education programs I notice that there are far more females than males. The students who are privileged by the definition of “good students” are the white males. This is primarily of early colonization as well as the early 1900’s where it was typically white males who went to school, if not war. The same idea applies to the “good teacher”. Because of these common-sense ideas, it makes it harder to see anyone besides white males as “good students” or “good teachers”. However, I believe in more recent years this idea has begun to become non-existent, or at the least I have not noticed it since most of my educators have been female. I believe in the past the common-sense idea made it impossible for non-white and non-male people to see themselves as educators or “good students”.