Digital Reflection

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Challenging Mathematics

In the first reading, “Jagged Worldviews Colliding” it states that there are “always other ways of interpreting the world.” When coming across this point, I thought back to Gales Mathematics presentation and how we can all do math but some of us interpret it differently. Throughout my schooling, I never witnessed or experiences any form of discrimination or oppression in math. We had a choice on which math class we wanted to take in high school. If we received high grades in junior high, the math classes we could take were more open. Math classes were only for the “smart” kids. When I was in grade 12 I was enrolled in Math 30-1. I was doing well in this class but had to drop it before the diploma because I would have failed in the end. Having these standardized tests for math was terrible. If you did not have a certain grade going into the test, your teacher would basically tell you to drop the class because you would not want a failing mark on your transcript. These tests lead a lot of students from taking higher-level math classes because the math diplomas were always the most difficult.

 

In the second reading “Teaching Mathematics and the Inuit community” it challenges the norm. This culture experiences a different and more open way to math then we do in our community. People in the Inuit experience math in their preferred language for the first 3 years of school. Their math allows students to be more open-minded. It challenges the norm because they have various terms for the same number, they have base 20 numeral system and they are taught orally through their elders. The students in the class are only asked questions that the teacher believes the students are prepared to answer. I believe we should be continuing to challenge the Eurocentric ideas about math and make math fit everyone’s needs and cultures.

A Single Story

Throughout my school experience, I never thought about a single story. I believed that everything we encountered in school was important due to society. Reflection back to high school, I remember learning about our history, the history of white Canadians. We did not learn about other countries or learn about how people have different values. We mainly focused on learning about the government and where we sat on the political spectrum. Our singe story was based around middle class white citizens. White privilege dominated in my school system, therefore that is what we learned about. We learned how we should vote and learned about the world wars that maybe our ancestors participated in.

Since my knowledge in school revolved around white knowledge, I only looked at the world through my personal lens. I did not see racism as an issue or knew about white privileges. Every day I saw the world, as how I wanted to see it and what revolved around me. Being in university has challenged my thoughts. We are learning about colonization, discrimination, stereotypes and racism. These concepts that we learn about resolve around varies perspectives and cultures. It allows me to look into the world deeper and find a greater understanding. It is important for me as a future teacher to be challenged by these concepts in university. It is essential to learn about different cultures and to know about reality. I am going to be faced with various abilities and backgrounds everyday in the future, therefore I believe that I need to challenge the bias’s I hold and accept knew understandings.

Citizenship

In my school experience, citizenship was represented to people who wanted to stand out. In high school, there were school groups you could join if you wanted to impact the school. We selected a “president” that was able to talk to the principle and plan school activities. This person was voted for by their peers to be become the “president.” This process starts with a personal form of citizenship. You had to be brave enough to make speeches to the school and be prepared for coming up with activities. This role also went on to a participatory citizenship role because you got to impact the school. Every person who ran for this role was always “the good student”. That is the only form of citizenship I remember in my school.

I believe the curriculum should teach students about citizenship. It is extremely important in the society we live in. Students should be feel knowledgeable about this topic because if effects the whole country and allows students to make a difference. I also believe that every student should have an opportunity in his or her education to have a role and to represent citizenship.

“We are all Treaty People”

I believe it is important to teach Treaty Education in every school, no matter who the students are. It is important for students to learn about diversity and how people value and beliefs differ. Students should realize that there is not one way of life. It is also important to teach Treaty Education in a variety of classes because even if none of your students are Aboriginal, we still live on Treaty Land. It is important for students to learn about the history of Treaty People because learning about the present. Also, we are all Treaty People, therefore it should be mandatory or interesting for students to learn about how that came to be.

I never considered myself a Treaty Person until last semester. I did not think that I was a Treaty Person because of my skin color and my family history. From learning more about what a Treaty Person is, I can now connect on a personal level. I have learned that we are all Treat y People because we live on Treaty Land. Just recently I found out that there was a Treaty map, and that we have to acknowledge that we are on Treaty four land.

Curriculum as Place

In the reading “Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing” by Jean-Paul Restoule, he represents the concept of place. He expresses many points about rein habitation and decolonization. One of the activities he talks about is a 10-day river trip. On this 10-day river trip, a variety of ages of people from youth to elders go out and explore the land. They explain their personal relationships and connections to the land and the water. Another point that Restoules made was that, “connecting to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development (pg.70). Through this point he made make me think about things I could do with the word place.

In my future teaching career I believe that place is extremely important concept. It is important to recognize the past and the future of the curriculum as place. One idea that Restoule helped me understand was students need to connect with the environment and learn from the environment. In my future classrooms I want my students to understand the environment by their experiences. I would want them to go outside and live in the environment and teach through nature. By doing this I would let students share experiences about what the environment means to them and allow elaboration on their ideas that may lead into class discussions.

The Development of the Curriculum

Before the reading I thought that the curriculum is developed from the government. I think the government has a huge say in what students should and will be learning about. It is important for students in the same district to be enforced with the same curriculum.

After the reading I learned that curriculum is developed from many different organizations. These include, the teacher, the community and the elected officials. These higher organizations determine how the curriculum should be written. I believe it is based around their philosophies and world views. One thing that I never thought of was the students point of view. I believe that students should have an influence on the curriculum because they are being presented with it. The curriculum has to adjust to the new generations of students.

The “Good” Student

According to the definition of common sense, the good student is the student who shows up everyday ready to learn. These students have previous knowledge that they learn at home. The good student also has supportive parents when it comes to their learning. This student sits quietly in class, has a good behaviour and only talks when called upon. This student follows all the rules.

Students who are privileged by this common sense would be students who have white privileges. These students are middle-class and have a mom and a dad who have a good relationship with their child. The “good” student is not a student of diversity.

This concept is impossible because I believe there is no such thing as a “good student.” There may be students in your class of different culture and different learning styles. There also will always be students who have behaviour problems that cannot be controlled. Teachers have to adjust to the student rather then the student adjusting to the teacher.

 

Educational Quote

“What matters today… is not how much students know, but what they can do with what they know”

-Tony Wagner

This quote represents the fact that we need students to pursue what they learn. They need to be able to enforce the concepts they learn in school. Many life skills are developed through education, therefore students need to acknowledge that. This quote also is limited because of standardized testing. For a test, students need to show what they learn. They need to memorize all the concepts and be able to repeat it on an exam. I do not believe that grades should be based on what students know, therefore I believe students need to show what they know.

Teachers need to be aware of their surroundings and be knowledgeable about what they teach. They need to teach students to understand concepts in many different ways. Many students have different learning styles, therefore teachers need to be more broad with the way they present material. This will allow students to have a deeper understanding and will help them find the true meaning of the content. They need to do something with the knowledge they are receiving from being in school.

Personal this quote means that education is key. It is important to reenforce the knowledge that you get in school. I believe that students should not prove what they know on  tests but show what they know and represent it in their everyday lives.

Tyler’s Ideology

Throughout my schooling in Alberta, I was faced with similar experiences as the Tyler rational. The teachers had to aim for certain goals in the curriculum that us as students had to meet. We had to meet these goals in preparation for our diploma exams. A diploma exam is a standardized test that is made by the government that all students in Alberta had to write at the same time and same day. These tests were not modified based on students needs. Students with learning differences needed to adjust to the tests, which was something that I experienced. We were taught to the test.

When learning about Tyler’s Efficiency Ideology many limitations were presented. Tyler’s theory is expecting a lot from students. He believes that students should all be changed the same way and nothing should be modified. I believe that it is impossible for students to learn one way and teachers to teach in one direction. Another reason was that no schools are the exact same. Some school systems are extremely diverse and take a different approach to curriculum.

From reading the article a few benefits to Tyler’s Ideology was that it is very repetitive. It is easy for students to go back to previous lessons to help them in the future. By repeating the outlines of the curriculum, it is easier for the teachers to adapt to the outcomes overtime and be prepared each year.