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?

Advertisements

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 life¬† 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?

Curriculum as Numeracy

Looking back, I suppose the way that I learned math could be perceived as oppressive. It was taught in a similar way no matter which teacher you had. You were taught one method of how to do things and were often forced to work in ways that may not have been beneficial to you (showing all steps of process, working alone, etc.). There was not a lot of breathing room for my classmates who did not conform to a standard classroom environment. However, when I was attending math classes through elementary and high school, I liked this sort of teaching. I liked only having one way to do things. I liked that there was a perceived set of universal rules that couldn’t be broken and had to be followed to a T. It was very safe for me. After spending time in this class (and others like it) I think that I liked this more oppressive style of teaching and did well with it because it was likely created with my own worldview in mind. I used to think that what I learned in math was an objective truth and any other style of doing what I was doing was deviant or flat-out wrong. Gale’s discussion about Inuit math and the base 20 system was not only an interesting bit of knowledge to learn just for trivia’s sake, it was also interesting for me to hear about completely different methods to understanding math and comparing it to my own. I’m glad that my previous understanding of what math was is being challenged by different worldviews. I think it makes me more open to different possibilities and a better person in a sense.

Inuit mathematics contrasts from a more Euro-centric understanding by using a base 20 counting system with a subset of 5, using their bodies to model and measure mathematical quantities or lengths, and carrying out their learning through observations and connections to the real world rather than an isolated classroom environment.

Teaching Treaty Education

To begin, I think that this intern had a big job in front of her. From the scarce information we got about the school from the e-mail, it sounds like this could possibly be these students first exposure to Treaty education. Because of this, these students wouldn’t have the basic foundation of Treaty knowledge. To be taught Treaty education effectively, you would have to acknowledge its historical roots before talking about current repercussions and inter-generational effects like the standard of living. If I’m understanding the e-mail correctly, this intern is with this class for three weeks. Even though this doesn’t seem like a lot of time to incorporate an Indigenous perspective with all the other points you would have to hit, I think it could be done. My advice would be to carry on with teaching about standards of living as usual without the explicit Treaty education injected into it. Once these basic lessons are completed and students have a grasp on what a standard of living is and how it varies from places-to-place, go back to the signing of the Treaties and apply the effects of this to what the students just learned. I think by doing this the students who don’t have any familiarity with Treaty education can directly apply it to something that is relevant today. I’m glad that I had an educational experience that taught me about the signing of the Treaties and all of that, but my classmates and I would always complain about how it was taught out of a textbook and didn’t seem like a real-life subject that is still prevalent today. I think that by taking my advice and saving Treaty education for last, these students first experiences with Treaty education will be something that they see as a “real issue” because it applies to something new they’ve just learned.

Even though there are not any Indigenous children in this classroom, Treaty education is still important to students. Canada is a country that was shaped by its relationship with the First Nations who lived here before us and continues to change because of continuing relations. The phrase “We are all Treaty people” is not just a cute slogan to put on a bumper sticker, it’s true. Even if you are a white Canadian, you have Treaty rights. Often these issues surrounding Treaty education are divided into an “us and them” sort of situation, but the truth is that we are all bound by Canada’s Treaties. Even though it is seen as a waste of time by some, acknowledging and learning about the past can help us figure out our societies current situation and may be able to help us predict Canada’s future.

 

 

Pedagogy of Place

  1. Rehabilitation and decolonization happen in many different ways throughout¬†Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing. First of all, the river trip itself helped members of the community share their language and their cultural knowledge. The research project also notice right away that the community was striving to get elders and younger people together to share knowledge about the land and water as well as to develop a sense of meaningful space and re-establishing a connection to nature. This was done by having people of all ages contribute to an audio documentary about Kistachowan’s social, cultural, and economic perspectives. This also involved various skill-building workshops. The text also talked about re-framing ways of thinking that may injure or exploit certain people or places.
  2. Applying this idea of re-framing our thinking about place and what that means is something that I would like to bring to a classroom with me. Educating myself and stepping outside of my own personal worldview is the first necessary step in bringing these ideas to class. Forming my lessons with the idea of how they can be framed in the real world and how it can be used throughout real life is an important aspect to grounding daily lessons. To take that point further, establishing how each individual student interacts with his/her environment is crucial when it comes to individual assessment and personal evaluation. Being able to teach a lesson that is grounded in reality is a great first step, but understand what “reality ” is to a student is even better. The example of financial literacy classes that was brought up in seminar is a perfect example of this. Learning how a mortgage on a house works and the best ways of making payments on cars can seem like practical, grounded knowledge to some, but to those students who don’t feel like they have any chance of owning those things in their life it must seem like a foreign concept. Taking into consideration how exactly students will be using what they learned in class in the real world is, in my opinion, a critical part of teaching effectively.

Reading Response: Good Students

Commonsense as defined in this reading is a student who acts according to the majority. In this weeks reading, the author talked about two students that had trouble following instructions and procedures and would cause disruptions in the classroom. The author was able to retrospectively analyze his experience with these students and recognize them not as “bad” students, but as students who did not flourish from a traditional classroom setting. I think this weeks reading was supposed to show us that following orders and operate like clockwork does not necessarily make one student better than another. By not acknowledging different perspective’s on the lesson, a teacher runs the risk of a lesson not being effective or meaningful to particular types of children. The author gives an example of this by talking about a novel he was teaching and about how he thought he was discussing its important themes only to realize later that he didn’t discuss how racism played out invisibly throughout the story. By teaching only through his perspective, he missed an important point of view that might have been important to some of his students. This way of thinking and teaching makes it almost impossible to encourage non-traditional students and identify them as good students.