My greatest influences in my life have been my family, my teachers, and coaches. These three factors have contributed the most of how I “read the world”. My parents, teachers, and coaches did their best to teach me to treat everyone with respect and not to look down on those who may not receive the same opportunities as others, however they helped me create the biases that I am now able to recognize within myself. I grew up in a middle income household. I always had food in the fridge, clothes on my back, and was able to participate in any activity I wanted to. Little did I know of the life my uncles and aunts were living. I grew up in a family where we did not judge anyone based on the colour of their skin (as my uncles and aunts are Indigenous and I am not). I played sports in a community of inclusion, where we celebrated everyones successes, and leaned on each other, but we would still “chirp” at the other teams because that was the culture surrounding the sport. These teachings have taught me that I need to respect everyone, but if they are on a different team, we can “chirp” them. We did this in hockey with different teams, in the classroom, we chirped the other class. The point I a trying to make with this story, is that my biases is that what ever group I am part of, there is a sense of commadary where we feel superiour, and that is something I could accidentally bring into the classroom.
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).
- I grew up in a very math forward household. My mom is a math teacher, and she felt very strongly that I needed to know my multiplication tables. I growing up I was not the brightest when it came to math because I never really applied myself. I remember in Grade 8 when I received my first 100% on a test I was super excited, and after that Math just clicked with me. I grew up think that I was a “math brain”, while my older brother grew up being told that he was not. Frequently before tests my brother would work with my mom trying to understand a concept, so he could get a 70 on a test. I took the same classes as my brother (I went a step further and took calculus), I put in minimal effort, and hardly ever worked with my mom, and I would get high 90’s. My brother and I even had the same Math teachers, giving similar tests. This is how I saw that Math was oppressive to some students, they were told at a young age that they were not math people and they little that define them their whole lives. In high school I was also a Peer tutor for math. I had to become very creative with my explanation help them approach a question from a different angle, which would help them understand. The whole notion of “not a math person” is oppressive, it gives students an out for not trying or working towards understanding a question.
- From Poirier’s article there were three different ways in which the Inuit math teachings were different then the ides of the Eurocentric ideas.
- The Inuit did not work in Base 10 (the normal Eurocentric base we use), but instead they worked in base 20. Instead of our standard base of ten (ten fingers, ten toes), the Inuit look at it with 20 because they have ten fingers AND ten toes. I found this very very interesting.
- Next the Inuit language is not written, it’s something you know. So they do not have numbers so if you have 1+1=2 that would have no meaning to them. They have a much more literal sense, they use it to calculate the wind, and their fishing ponds. Theirs is less built on literacy and more on logic, and understanding.
- Next I remember in elementary school learning how to measure stuff, but we ALWAYS used a ruler, we compared things in centimetters and inches. The Inuit use their body to measure. The use their fingers and toes. Arms and legs to measure. This adds a certain depth to their understanding of the world around them and how they fit into it. This was probably the neatest fact I learnt, I think it is just really really interesting!
In this weeks lecture we learned about the three types of citizens. Firstly there are the Law abiding citizens. These are the people who follow the rules (societal norms) such as recycling, paying their taxes, and contributing in some way to there community (usually by contribution). Next we have the participatory citizen. These are the people how openly engage within their communities (more socially, attend fundraisers, is an actual part if the community) and are engaged in some civic matters (they show up to a rally to show support). Finally the third type of citizen is the Justice Oriented Citizen. These are the people who focus on root problems and are working towards a solution, such as prejudice, racism, and homelessness. These three ideas show the difference between the different roles which people can take within their communities.
After reading this article I finally realize that difference between the different parts, and this has caused me to reflect on my citizenship education in my own schooling. Citizenship education is apart of the hidden curriculum, teachers do not tell students that this is an aspect of the education they will receive. Thinking about my education we only ever learned to be the law abiding citizen and to be the participatory citizen. We were taught in elementary school that we MUST vote (no matter what), that we should recycle, and we should contribute to our communities. The last one was achieved by having fundraisers, where we would ask our parents to contribute. Then as we got older, (more in high school than elementary), we were encouraged to become more involved in our communities. At my school for our Christian Ethics courses we had to complete ten hours of community service. This was volunteering that we could not do for our parents (like mowing the lawn), we could not receive payment, and we were not supposed to do it for an organization that did not “Christian Values”. This encouraged us to become more involved in our communities. We also had teachers who pushed us to attend rallies, and to voice our opinions. We never were taught to be a Justice Oriented Citizen, but at least we learnt to be more engaged within our communities.
As a Canadian it is extremely infuriating when I hear students/ parents/ teachers/ really anybody say “I don’t get why we have to learn about Indigenous peoples or treaty ed, we need to move on past it”. Or when people do not acknowledge the importance of treaty ed, no matter the Indigenous population in that school. When I hear statements such as these I always think of the famous saying ” If we forget the past, history is bound to repeat itself.” As a society we would never say that we don’t need to learn about the holocaust, because there are no Jewish or Polish students on the school. No that would never happen because this was an atrocity, and as a society we never want to forget what happened because we will never let that happen again. Why do all students need to receive a Treaty Ed education? Simple we created a problem and we need to solve it. Treaty Education helps to close the gaps which have formed in society. Treaty Ed incompases ALL students. It does not only effect Indigenous students, so all students need to learn and understand treaty ed.
To me the saying “we are all treaty people” has a couple different meanings. The main meaning is that treaties effect all of us. Not just Indigenous peoples. It was a contract signed between both parties, which will last forever. With that being said Indigenous People have continuously been negatively effected by treaties, while colonialists continue to prosper. This means as a society we have to be better. We need to recognize that there is a problem, and find a solution which will help level the playing field for everyone.
List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
While reading the narrative the main way I saw reinhabitation and decolonization happening was the way that the youth and the elders went on their 10 day river trip. Story telling is a major aspect of Indigenous culture, this trip allows elders to pass down stories to the youth, this is one example of reinhabitation. Being on the land gives all of the participants to learn something new, in the traditional ways of Indigenous ways of knowing. This also helps with the decolonization of western ways of teaching which have been forced on Indigenous people since settlers arrived in Canada. Giving youth the opportunity to experience learning in a none-western way allows them to understand their history a little better. As well with residential schools there is a whole generation of Indigenous People who do not understand their own history and culture. So by having the one on one time with the elders can help both the youth and elders develop a greater connection to their ancestors, culture, and an understanding of how their ancestors lived.
How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
I want to ensure that I am implementing these ideas into the classroom when I am a teacher. I will achieve this on focusing on cross curricular competencies. I believe that it is extremely important to make sure that students are engaged in their learning. This can be achieved by giving students physically manipulatives and by getting them outside. An aspect of education (which some teachers have moved away from) is the factory model. The idea of sit down, shut up, and write notes. This was used as a part of colonization, so for decolonization we need to move away from this idea. Therefore by going outside we return to traditional ways of learning, prior to colonization.
Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?
Before the Reading:
I understand a little bit of how curricula is made, but not really sure where the ideas come from. I had many teachers in high school who were hired to create new curriculum. I would assume that they bring in teachers who are experienced in the subject area, those who have an understanding of what is missing from the curriculum and how they could make it better, and which parts are good and should stay. Thats about all I know about creating curriculum.
After the Reading:
After doing this reading I have a better understanding and appreciation for creating curriculum. My grade was the grade where teachers started to implement new curriculums (sciences, maths, and almost Christian Ethics) and it was incredibly frustrating for teachers and students, because no one had ever seen curricula like this before. Honestly I never thought of how big of a process it actually is to create curricula. First the ministry of educating needs to provide funding for the development (which I did not know). Then the Ministry brings in people who specialize in the field, where they want to create new curriculum. Those asked to help out are highly specialized in the field, and they are the ones who decide what ideas need to be taught in that course. Then the ministry brings in teachers who are experienced in that subject matter, to create objective and indicators for teachers to follow in the curriculum. Then there are pilot projects of it being implemented and schools. To summarize this process, it is extremely long and a lot of work. Because of this I now understand why it takes so long to implement new curriculum into schools.
Nothing really surprised me after doing this reading. However the one thing that concerns me is how curriculum is sometimes implemented in schools. How the new science curriculum was implemented in my school caused some issues for my education, just based on how classes lined up. I ended up taking Physics 30 (without any prerequists). Another concern I have (not about how curriculum is created) is that the the Science Social curriculum in Saskatchewan is from 1997. I learned the same information, that people were learning since before I was born. This is a major concern for me because how much information is this curriculum missing?
According to our societal norm of “common sense” a good student is someone who follows the classroom rules. They are not disruptive, the sit quietly, only speak when spoken to, gets good grades, shows up to school well rested, and works hard studying. It is someone who is malleable, and not resistant to change. This societal sense of common sense really only benefits students from the upper class. Students who come from lower income households, tend to have to get a job while going to school. While this is not as common for students from middle income households. Giving other students more free time to focus on school work and other things, instead of working. Because of this idea of common sense this becomes difficult for some students to succeed in school. Every student have different life experiences, therefore you can’t expected students to be successful where they are expected to behave the same as their peers.