ECS 200: Blog Post 9

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned this week was that everyone’s definition for a teacher is different. Of the three people that I turned and talked with during lecture, they all had something different to say about what makes a teacher and what contributes to someone becoming a teacher. Another thing I learned was that you can channel your own personal experiences and identity into teaching in a positive way. I usually thought that letting your identity leak into the classroom was a bad thing. I also learned more about what discourse is. I have heard that word in other classes but have never been totally sure about what it means until now.

2 Connections I Made:

The talk about our identities effects on what kind of teacher we will become reminded me of the class I was in an hour before seminar on Monday where we talked about the exact same thing. Even the same examples were given (age, SES, nationality). The talk of identity also reminded me of the hidden curriculum because I assume that what makes up your identity also would influence what is present in the hidden curriculum in your class.

1 Question I Still Have:

Can any accurate blanket statements be made on the identity of teachers? For example, are all teachers compassionate? Or knowledgeable?

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ECS 200: Blog Post 8

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned this week was about how teacher’s pay is structured. Your salary starts at a certain point based on your education and increases each year. If you go back to school to further your education, you move up a league to make more money. Another thing I learned that is related to my first point is that it seems that no matter how well you do your job, you will be paid the same amount as someone with the same education and experience as you who is just phoning it in. The last thing I learned this week was about the teachers union and how they are instrumental in providing us with things like disability pay and maternity leave.

2 Connections I Made:

The talk about the teachers union reminded me of my mother who works at a school as a secretary. She often has grievances to air about the union and how they’re screwing her over and blah blah blah. The other connection I made was to the debate going on in the United States right now about teachers and what their responsibilities should be in the classroom. For what little teachers are paid south of the boarder, I’m always surprised by the amount that society will dump onto public school teachers.

1 Question I Still Have:

Is it fair that all teachers with the same education and the same experience are paid the same? Is there any way that a teachers wage could be determined by his/her quality of work? Is there a fair way for teachers to be judged against one another?

ECS 200: Blog Post 7

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned about this week was Michael Apple and his ideas about education. This is the first time in my schooling that I have heard this name. I also partook in an interesting discussion on the connection between hidden curriculum and reproduction theory. While I thought that one happened in response to the other, some other people I talked to thought that if you had one in a classroom, then you couldn’t have the other. It was an interesting discussion that made me really think about the information being told to me in class. I also learned about how different classes are taught in school and how some students can be given a lot more control over how they learn based on their class and the type of school they go to.

2 Connections I Made:

The video about Ken Robinson’s take on public schooling reminded me about a video I watched that explored IQ test and how they are usually designed with a certain demographic in mind. The talk about universal education reminded me of the United State’s struggle with healthcare and how their society differs from our because we have universal healthcare and they do not. This leads me into the question I had for this week…

1 Question I Still Have:

How do countries with universal education perceive Canadian and American education systems? Do they think of us in a similar way as we do about the USA?

ECS 200: Blog Post 6

3 Things I Learned:

This week I learned about four philosophies of education that form somewhat of a spectrum. These philosophies are: Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, and Reconstructionism. I find that I fall between essentialism and progressivism when it comes to my personal philosophy. The discussion about naming influential men and women of Canada was also very informative. Although I don’t think I learned any specific lesson from the experience, it was very interesting looking back at my schooling and considering who I was learning about. I also learned a little bit about tribal education and the philosophies that go along with that.

2 Connections I Made:

The talk about dress codes and hat codes reminded me of my experience in my first elementary school. We were right beside another school whose students had to wear uniforms whereas my school didn’t have to. My friends and I thought that they were jealous of us because we could wear whatever we wanted. The other connection I made this week was to my ECS 210 class. We also discussed teaching as a political act and how peoples own politics can never be separate from what they teach. Because of this, I think it is impossible to have an education system that every participant believes in.

1 Question I Still Have:

How is the content of an essentialist philosophy chosen? How is it decided what basic skills are? From my perspective, society decides what is essential. So, wouldn’t what is considered essential change over time? Furthermore, if an essentialist held onto what is considered basic skills today, would they not be considered perennialist once our current ideas on basics skills become out of date? Are these education philosophies acknowledged as something that is defined totally by perception?

Example: In today’s society, reading is definitely considered an essential, basic skill. Let’s say the year is now 3052. Humanity no longer needs to read. All information that needs to be known by someone is instantaneously beamed into their head where it is instantly understood. Now, let’s say Joe was cryogenically frozen in 2018 in a time where he is and essentialist. He believes in the concept of “reading, writing, and arithmetic”. He is frozen and awakens in 3052 where the idea of reading is extinct. Joe still believes himself to be an essentialist who thinks reading is an essential skill. However, the people around consider him a perennialist who cannot move past the old style of learning.

How can the fluidity of peoples perception be acknowledged when it comes to an educational philosophy spectrum that, while being based off of ones own ideas, also forms curriculum that, in turn, will influence others perception.

ECS 200: Blog Post 5

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned this week came from a fellow student who spoke in lecture for a length. He talked about racism and whiteness in the classroom from his perspective as an immigrant from outside of Canada. It was interesting to hear this sort of perspective talked about in class because usually we’re not hearing first-hand accounts. I have also learned about the concept of grand narratives that can influence the way society thinks of particular groups of people. I have also learned more about Indigenous ways of knowledge that I think I can build on in future classes.

2 Connections I Made:

The discussion on grand narratives reminded me about the exploration of ethnocentrism that I took part in during my ECS 210 class. We talked a lot about how the dominant culture will often decide what is normal and what is not. The talk of report cards in lecture also reminded me of my younger sister and the report card she recently received. She was not thrilled about her marks, but I wonder if that report card was measuring her worth effectively and fairly.

1 Question I Still Have:

Do reconceptualists have that much of an influence on the school system if they do not suggest replacement systems for the ones the believe to be broken? If their jobs are just simply to question, does that not mean that we are all reconceptualists for simply taking this course and asking questions?

ECS 200: Blog Post 4

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned this week was “Stereotype Threat”, the fear someone may feel when they are in danger of confirming societies stereotype about them. I already knew that this was a thing because it seems that, in society, when someone of a visible minority does something bad, everyone that shares that ethnicity is punished for it. It is almost like minorities have to be spokespersons for their whole race at all times to ensure no bad will befalls all of them. I’m glad that I have learned a word for this phenomena. I also learned that even seemingly positive stereotypes can have a severely negative impact on an individual by reinforcing conformity and erasing individuality. I have also been newly exposed to the debate surrounding tracking in education. I don’t yet know if I totally disagree with it, but I think that it could be harmful to some students.

2 Connections I Made:

The talk about socioeconomic status reminded me of my Sociology 208 class. In that class, we very thoroughly discussed economic inequality and it’s ties to ones social status and race. The ideas and questions surrounding culture also reminds me of my anthropology class that I am currently attending. That class discusses culture a lot and explores why someone may be ethnocentric.

1 Question I Still Have:

How can society as a whole pull a 180 and turn away from our preconceived notions of gender roles and race stereotypes? I think a majority of people have mostly internalized their ideas about different races and genders. Even if laws were passed to criminalize discrimination and to promote equality among genders, individuals would still hold onto their ideas about people different from them. Is this always inevitable for human beings, is there a solution to combat sexist and bigotry, or do we need to keep making very slow progress in terms of social justice until the unrelenting wheels of time take us away from these sorts of “old fashioned” ways of internalizing race and gender?

ECS 200: Blog Post 3

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned this week was the concept of self-efficacy. I had never even heard that word before this week. It means ones own belief that they will be successful at any given task. I also learned from the lecture that complimenting a child on the work they put into whatever it is they are proud of is often more constructive than just complimenting the thing itself. Lastly, I also learned that it is possible for a teacher and a student to work together to regulate the student in a way that is not based on simply punishing a student. It is called co-regulation and can even have the teacher and student evaluating work together.

2 Connections I Made:

The discussion of self-regulation made me think of when I used to be an amateur boxer when I was in high school. I often had to cut weight for fights, so I had to develop some sense of self-regulation to ensure I did not overeat. Also, the video we watched about the marshmallow test reminded me of a psychology presentation I put together with a friend in my senior year. I realized after the discussion we had in lecture that my friend and I probably could have put a bit more into that presentation because we did not discuss the outcomes of that experiment with quite as much detail as we did in lecture.

1 Question I Still Have:

I still wonder somewhat about the concept of self-efficacy. Is it as simple as having the confidence to tackle something with the knowledge that you have the ability to succeed, or is it more like something you can tell yourself? Can self-efficacy be imitated or mimicked, making people around you think you have a lot of efficacy? Does accepting the concept of self-efficacy mean that understanding your ability and living within those means is seen as a negative? For example, I know that I would not be able to do a full standing somersault. Does having this knowledge and not attempting to prove myself wrong mean I have low self-efficacy? Also, is having self-efficacy always a good thing? If someone was to never challenge themselves and always did things they knew they would succeed at, most would perceive that person as having a sheltered or limited life experience. However, that person would have a very high sense of self-efficacy.

ECS 200: Blog Post 2

3 Things I Learned:

The first thing I learned this week from the lecture and the assigned readings was that there are actual titles and definitions given to certain parenting styles. These labels were: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, an neglectful. At first, I did not know why we were learning about these parenting styles, but then I figured out that, because these parenting styles are what shape children, it would be important for teachers to know this information to better understand where a student is coming from when they act in a particular way. I really enjoyed learning about Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development, the second thing I learned this week. It was really fascinating to think that all the changes we go through in lifeĀ  are based on internal conflicts within ourselves. The third thing I learned about this week was the idea that there are two different types of peer aggression, instrumental and hostile. Instrumental aggression is meant to gain something from someone whereas hostile aggression is more overt and can simply be meant to harm someone.

2 Connections I Made:

The “What Would You Do?” exercise in the textbook that we went over in lecture reminded me of a close female friend of mine in high school. She had similar problems with other girls from our school. These conflicts were based mostly on a social hierarchy and the fact that some students were “popular” and some were not. The talk of reporting child abuse and stuff like that reminded me of my EPSY 217 class that I am taking this semester. That class talks extensively about counseling students, identifying possible problems at home, and reporting things like that to the people that can help further.

1 Question I Still Have:

The exploration of when children learn rules, when they start to question them, and how these shape how they act socially was an interesting part of the lecture on Monday. How can this sort of discourse that normally happens within a student naturally be nurtured for a student that is behind others developmentally? If this kind of nurturing can occur between student and teacher, can it ever be free of a teachers own personal principles and biases?

ECS 200: Blog Post 1

3 Things I Learned:

One of the things I learned after attending the lecture on Monday was that Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories on cognitive development are not mutually exclusive from one another. People who very strongly believe in one theory do not betray any of those ideas or values by believe certain aspects of the other theory. I also learned about the difference between identifying a child at risk now vs. identifying a child at risk in the past. Now, identifying risk depends on both genetic makeup and environment. The third thing I learned this week had to do with the very clear differences between a child in one cognitive level compared to a child in the previous cognitive level. I had not thought of this process with so much structure in mind, but after watching the video shown in class, I was able to see with my own eyes the difference between children at different stages of cognitive development.

2 Connections I Made:

A good chunk of the lecture on Monday reminded me of my high school psychology classes. We often went over children’s developmental stages and even watched a documentary on “wild children” who were thought to have crossed the threshold of being able to learn language because of an isolated childhood. The other connection I made while going over the course work was to one of my younger cousins who I have been able to see at different stages of his life. I was able to connect the different stages discussed in lecture to his life and could retroactively understand his cognitive development and the phases he went through as he grew and had a better understanding as to why he understood things the way he did.

1 Question I Still Have:

How accurate could we say that the interviews with the children shown in lecture are? I don’t doubt that they are credible, but is it not a possibility that these children’s responses to certain questions and scenarios would differ in the controlled environment shown compared to an environment they are comfortable in or familiar with, like their home?