# Mathematics

Throughout my high school experience, I can say that my math experiences were very product and process based. There were people in my class that excelled at math, as it came very easy to them. On the other hand, there were people like me, who had a harder time understanding the concepts of math, therefore, struggling to get the correct outcomes. With math, it is a very direct subject, there is only one right answer for majority of the problems and the teacher usually only teaches one way to get there. If you weren’t good at math, it was harder to understand that there in only one right answer, with one direct pathway to get there. Furthermore, after reading the article, by Leroy Little Bear, it clear that there are many aspects to how math is taught which are discriminatory and oppressive. The mathematical literature that is presented in many textbooks, are oppressive to students who struggle with math, as well as, people who struggle with understanding English ways. Although, I could understand the literary aspects of math, it important to note that all students might not have the same backgrounds, therefore, they will have a harder time understanding the literary concepts in math. Leroy Little Bear’s statement on how colonialism “tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldview … Typically, this proposition creates oppression discrimination” (pg. 77). This statement is true, because oppression and discrimination is present when students comes from diverse backgrounds and cannot convert their understanding to Eurocentric mathematical ways.

In Poirier’s article, Inuit peoples are challenged in many ways when converting to the Eurocentric math system. Inuit peoples use a different base system, which is the base 20 system, in comparison to the Eurocentric system of base 10. I could understand how challenging this would be to learn a whole other system prior to what you have previously learned. Also, they depend on oral dictation to count. There are challenges that arise in counting for Inuit people, because many of their number differ in different context in which they are being used. Lastly, measuring is different for Inuit peoples, as they use their body parts to quantify dimensions. These are the ways they learn, and curriculum should be revised in order to accommodate to those who have a different ways of learning.

References:

# Biases, Lenses, and Single Stories

After watching Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk and reading the chapter from Kumashiro’s book, “Against Common Sense” I’ve came to realize all the biases that were present throughout my schooling experience. Chimamanda mentioned how she read books that were based in white perspectives. I could say the same for myself. My school experience was riddled with Eurocentric perspectives. I never even questioned why every book was dominantly written in a white perspective. I think it is relevant to say, as Kumashiro stated, “students often use lenses that reinforce the status quo.” This was definitely true, there was one lens that I looked through. In my studies, teachers didn’t successfully teach with an anti-oppressive teaching style. Thus, it led us students to have one lens in how we see things. It enabled me to think in only one particular way and only learn about certain experiences that relatable to my own experiences. Kumashiro writes, “When students read literature by only certain groups of people. They learn about only certain experiences and perspectives, especially those of groups that have traditional been privileged in society.” I could agree with Kumshiro, white privilege has shaped me to view things in such a narrow way. We were not taught to critically think on the matter, which is problematic. Reading literature in school that was dominantly viewed through a white perspective, which made it impossible to view things through a different point of view.

In my elementary and high school experience it was clear whose truth mattered. Whiteness mattered, Eurocentric perspectives mattered, there was no diversity in the literature read. There was only a single story that was told and the literature we read was highly political. Although, my experiences with literature has shown to be biased to white culture, it’s time to unlearn things and relearn things with a more coloured lens. As a future educator, it important to question students on the things we learn, as well as, the content we learn ourselves. It is equally important to notice how traditional literature that is usually concrete, in which we have to learn, has to be questioned in an  anti-oppressive way. We have challenge students to see through different lenses.

# Curriculum Policy & Treaty Education

Levin’s article, “Curriculum Policy and the Politics of What Should Be Learned in School” describes how the curriculum is developed and then carried out. “Public policy is about the rules and procedures governing public sector activity – what they are, and they are made” (Levin, 2008). These policies highlight almost every aspect of education. It covers, what in school is being provided, how it is being taught and in what context. It is evident, that school curriculum is highly controlled by the government, in many government forms. It is highly political, which was not surprising to learn. “Politics is about power” (Levin, 2008) and every decision in a sense can portrayed as a political decision. I found this to be interesting, considering in schools we try to abolish hierarchy structures, so that everyone is essentially equal. I think it important to note that as educators we have some say in the curriculum, but not as much say as the government. Which leads to a highly controversial topic, when the teachers are the ones in the classroom teaching and not government officials. Further, there are many people help establish curriculum, these are school boards, parents, work force employees, and teachers. It was intriguing to find out that work force employees have a say in the matter. Work force employees are not people I think of when I think of the development of curriculum. I never weighed how many people actually contribute and influence curriculum.

The document of Treaty Education outlines the outcomes and indictors of understanding and appreciating treaty and cultural learning connections. The goals are based on; treaty relationships, spirit and intent of treaties, historical context of treaties, and treat promises and provisions. All of these are very important factors to our Canadian identities and encouraging treaty relations. It is clear that in the past, Treaty Education was not a primary focus, which resulted with people being uneducated about treaty relations. As a future educator, it is significant to our people to educate them in all areas of study, with a strong association to Indigenous Ways of Knowing. The curriculum and policies in education are highly controlled by government officials, this leads to an inconsistency in curriculum. Curriculum and Treaty Education can differ depending on what party or person is in power and their political views on the matter.

References:

Levin, B. (2008). Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in schools. In F. Connelly, M. He & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction (pp. 7 – 24). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Available on-line from: http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/16905_Chapter_1.pdf.

# Treaty Education

After reading the article by Cynthia Chambers and watching the required videos correlating to Treaty education, it clear that Treaty education plays a significant role in schools to educate our students about the lands that we live on. Teaching non-Indigenous students, as well as, Indigenous students about Treaty education is purposeful in many ways. It allows our students to be aware of our historical roots, acknowledge the interconnectedness between non-indigenous people and indigenous people, it allows us to build relationships and awareness of Canadian cultures. Teaching Treaty education is about the process of truth telling of our country, understanding how this shapes our identities, and learning from the past mistakes and moving forward as one. Treaty education is important for the unity of our people. Like, Claire Kreuger explained in her video chat, Treaty education is not only for the students we teach, but also for the students’ parent’s understanding of treaties, that was not once recognized in past curriculum. It is to expand our knowledge to all people and to enable them to inform everyone that we are all Treaty people.

Dwayne Donald, talks about, “On What Terms Can We Speak” and how when we sit across from one another, we are constantly missing each other. There is a disconnect between the people that are around us due to colonialism. Dwayne further explains, that “colonialism is an extended process of denying relationship” and how we need to discover a way to speak to each other on more ethnical terms. Teaching Treaty education is not only a way to teach history, but it is a chance to educate students to help them construct relationships, disregarding what colour of skin they might have and enforcing the principles such as equality and a renewal of contact and communication to one another.

Treaty is part of our identities and the integrity of our country. It means that we are all part of the treaty and our role is to fulfill our agreement to mend our relationships and live on this land together, holistically. It is important to note, that in the past our ancestors failed to sustain the treaty agreement, which equated to many tragedies in Canadian history. In this day and age, it is our opportunity to reconcile our relationships and strengthen association with each other, because “we are all treaty people”.

# Learning From Place

The article, Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing focuses on the relationship between youth, adults, and elders and their connection to the land. The land is represented in a sacred way and it is an essential for people to learn from the land. They shared knowledge and educated the group of people on the history of the land, language, and cultural identity. In the article, it says that by learning the significance of the land and its traditional ways allows them to act as a resistance to recover and renew traditional and cultural relationships. Elders would share knowledge with youth about the ways to live off the river and the land and sites along the way. This offered the adults and youth an “insight into the importance of land for social and economic well-being among people together in the sharing of knowledge.”

Stressing the importance of the land is crucial to the Indigenous ways of knowing. They say when youth loose a sense of what the land means to them, they lose the connections to form relations together, historically and geographically within their identity. This is true in many ways, if you are not exposed to your culture it may be lost. Learning from place enables the learners to be exposed to certain knowledge that can be effectively gathered by learning from place. After reading and understanding this concept, I gather that the land is a huge part of Muskegowuk culture. It is a determent to younger generations when they lose their connection to the land, because it is such a huge part of their culture and identity. This included their language, traditional values and beliefs, and their spirituality.

After reading this article, it is clear that learning from place is very important. I think there are many ways that learning from place can be useful, within Indigenous culture and within our own cultures. In the article, it is evident that learning from place can teach learners knowledge that they may have never been exposed to otherwise. The idea learning from place could help students connect on a deeper level to their relationship with land, while incorporating Indigenous Ways of Knowing. As a person living on Treaty 4 land and soon to be educating students who live on this land, the knowledge from the article can be used as a tool to teach students about the Indigenous culture, their relationship to the land, and how it shapes their individual identities.

Reference:

# A ‘Good’ Student

According to common sense, being a good student means following the rules, regulations, and expectations in the school and the classroom. A good student is required to think, behave, and act in a certain way. A student is pressured by the school and society to act a specific way in order to be a role model student and citizen. A good student is pressured to perform at the highest standards and follow instructions that allow students to have specific outcomes that enable the student to ‘look good’ on paper. Students who stray away from these classroom management practices by disrupting the class because they cannot pay attention or sit still are not your ideal student. A good student is viewed similarly to a traditional student in accordance to traditional teaching methods where a subject is taught, and outcomes are to be met. However, students who do not follow as a traditional student are viewed as a hindrance to the classroom and disturbance to their peers. In addition, students who don’t meet these requirements are viewed incapable to learn, because they cannot learn in the ‘traditional’ learning environment. Students are diverse learners, and they do not all always learn in the exact same ways. Therefore, students who learn in this traditional type of way are privileged students. Some may say they “have it all together”, they don’t have troubles in school and probably are not conflicted with too many stressors at home. They are what society wants to see and they coincide with the norms and how things are supposed to be done.

Some people might be blinded by common sense ideas, they don’t see a problem what they are doing or how they do it because it is ‘common sense.’ But, like Kumashiro referred to before, common sense is not the same for everyone. Therefore, common sense ideas allow us to disregard certain situations or people when their ideas of common sense do not align with our own. In a teacher perspective, if we all had the same idea of common sense we would still be teaching in the traditional manner. To challenge our common sense allows us to see that not everyone learns the same way, just like everyone does not have the same common sense. It allows us to see how students learn in different ways with unique learnings, skills, and desires, as well as, it allows us to understand and accommodate to certain students skill levels.

Reference:

# Critical Summary Assignment: Hidden Curriculum

Hidden curriculum is my topic of choice to research and analyze for my Critical Summary Assignment. Hidden curriculum is important because it plays a significant role in and outside of the classroom. In “The Effect of Hidden Curriculum on Character Education Process of Primary School Students” the author writes, “hidden curriculum possessed in schools are values, beliefs, attitudes, and norms and values which are important parts of school function, ceremonies, and the quality of interpersonal communication” (Cubukcu, 2012). Through this assignment, I hope to further my understanding about hidden curriculum and narrow in on the diverse aspects of hidden curriculum specifically the negative and positive aspects.

In the article it says, “[hidden curriculum] does not provide a clear and distinctive element of the official curriculum for students” (Cubukcu, 2012), therefore, it will be interesting to learn different components of hidden curriculum and how children’s behaviours and beliefs are impacted through hidden curriculum. I aim to discover different supportive activities of hidden curriculum, such as the impacts of cultural activities or free time activities. Further, it will be meaningful to discover how the educator’s attitudes, behaviours, and values, and the school’s atmosphere, routines, and social frame impact the children and their unintended learning outcomes. This is worth consideration, because as a future educator it is important to understand all aspects of a teacher’s role and to understand how a school system can shape each individual through their experiences.

The next course of action I will take to enhance my understanding about hidden curriculum will be to:

• Research different articles of hidden curriculum
• Discover negative and positive aspects of hidden curriculum
• Identify different situations where hidden curriculum is prominent
• To recognize how society is used as a framework to influence hidden curriculum
• To familiarize myself with different ways hidden curriculum is present in a school

Reference:

Çubukçu, Z. (2012). The Effect of Hidden Curriculum on Character Education Process of Primary School Students*. Kuram Ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, 12(2), 1526-1534.

# Curriculum Theory and Practice

The four models of curriculum described in “Curriculum Theory and Practice” are curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted, curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students is product, curriculum as process, and curriculum as praxis.

Curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted is the first model explained in the article out of the four models. Curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted is beneficial for students who are more experienced learners. This model consists of a concise description and outline of a course subject. The syllabus doesn’t necessarily state the importance of the topics being studied, which is a concerning factor. This model is usually referred as the ‘traditional’ schooling approach and solely focuses on the content of study.

The second model described in the article is curriculum as product. It is “heavily influenced by the development of management thinking and practice.” This is where an intention is proposed, carried out by a written plan, practiced, and the outcomes are measured. This model emphasizes on the practice of skills or components and then carried out. This approach is beneficial because it is an organized way to carry out objectives by providing clear outcomes and results, which are then examined. The drawback to this particular model is that the students learning have little to no voice, which restrains the learner to learn to their full potential. This practice also limits the student’s behaviour to interact, because the plan is concrete where the learner is told what they have to do and how they will execute it. It is also concerning when taking into the fact that what is being measured cannot always be systematic. The experiences learned in schools are not always measurable. This model is sometime referred to as a shopping list, when students learn the measurable competences they are then checked off and shown that the learner has learned something.

The third model is curriculum as process, which widely relies on the setting of behavioural objectives. “The curriculum, essentially, is a set of documents for implementation.” This approach focuses on the interaction between the teacher, students, and knowledge being learned. This approach is an active learning process in the classroom that is then evaluated. This approach is beneficial to both the educator and students because the curriculum in thoroughly though out and executed. This process enhances the students learning abilites by allowing to internalize the knowledge being learned. It focuses on the interactions between students. This enables students to have a voice through their relationships between the teacher and their peers. The drawback for this approach is that it may not pay enough attention to the context in which learning takes places.

The last curriculum and practice theory approach is curriculum as praxis. This curriculum approach practices a dynamic of interaction of action and reflection. It is made up of plans to be implemented through an active process of integrating planning, acting, and evaluating. An important role for curriculum as a praxis is the collective understanding, practices, and structural questions. There is a clear advantage for this model, it highlights a collective understanding of one’s learning abilities. Essentially, teachers use this approach to further understand what works and what does not work in a classroom setting. Similiar to curriculum as process, the drawback for this model is that it doesn’t focus enough on the context.

The model of curriculum that was used in my schooling experience was curriculum as product. This approach worked well for me, having a set plan and clear outcomes. Although, in my experience I enjoyed the structure of clear outcomes and objectives, I could understand why this would not work for everyone and even myself at times. It does not allow the learner to have much of a voice in the classroom. Growing up in a small town with what it seemed like little diversity among students, allowed curriculum as product to be permitted. With an influx of immigrants coming to Canada and more diversity in schools, it is clear that this model of curriculum has its flaws. It does not enable the learner to learn to their full potential, because it is only specific to certain types of students. I think it is important to keep in mind, that our population is more than ever diverse, therefore, we have diverse learners in schools and as a future educator it is important to accommodate to all types of learners.

References:

# Common Sense – Kumashiro

Kumashiro defines common sense as oppressive. He discusses how commonsensical ideas and practices lead to oppression and that these practices and ideas of common sense need to be examined. Kumashiro writes, “The insistence that we “use our common sense” is really an insistence that we view things as some in society have traditionally viewed things and want to continue viewing things” (Kumashiro, 2009).

It is important to pay attention to common sense, because it often makes it easy to continue teaching and learning in a manner that allows for oppression. Common sense is a word or action that influences the social norms and ‘traditional’ education. It is oppressive because common sense in education does not allow all learners to learn to their full potential. Instead, common sense only allows specific types of individuals with certain perspectives to benefit from commonsensical ideas. It is equally important to question or challenge commonsensical ideas and practice an anti-oppressive teaching style, because common sense is fundamentally shaped by the culture and society. Therefore, common sense is not the same for everyone, it depends on where and how one lives to determine their understanding of common sense. Common sense varies due to environmental factors such as culture, religion, upbringing, and society. This means that common sense to us in Canada will be different than the common sense for people who live in Nepal. Common sense to one is not common sense to another.

Sources:

Introduction; Kumashiro. (2009). Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, pp. XXIX – XLI

# Writing Self Analysis: Normative Narratives and Disrupting Normative Narratives of Gender & Sexism

After reading many of my peer’s blog posts, I’ve found that there are many normative narratives highlighted in each post. I made connections to the posts that highlighted the normative narratives of gender and sexism. Growing up as a girl in a male dominate house hold has lead me to believe that a lot of my insights have stemmed from a biased male perspective about women being the weaker sex. I connected to Natasha’s blog post when she explains that at recess she would have much rather played “hockey, basketball, and slow pitch.” She later refers to herself as a tomboy. Google defines a tomboy as, “girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviours of a boy.” Natasha is labelled as a tomboy because she played ‘boy’ sports and games. It is now clear to me that playing ‘boy’ games is a normative narrative. Before this class, I found it very natural to comply with sexist labels and I never truly realized how sexist the label ‘tomboy’ is. We learn at a young age that playing these sports as girls is considered to be counter to the norm and that excepting sexist labels are implanted into us to seem normal. It is easy to comply with the terms of ‘playing a boy sport.’ But, it is empowering to overcome the ideology of a ‘girl’.

Stated in many of my female classmate posts, it is clear that we have all faced some kind of discrimination when it comes to playing sports. Elara expresses in her blog that her Dad suggests that she should ‘stick to ballet’. I resonate with this because there have been numerous times where I have been told to stick to dance or that I should play on a lower, less intense team. Thinking back to my blog, my coach told me I should be placed on a lower level team. It’s evident that the reasoning behind his decision wasn’t because I wasn’t skilled enough; it was because my gender is female. It was evident that I was placed on the lower level team because my gender is female. I can recall many situations when I was discouraged about being a girl when playing with or against boys. I connected to when Alex said, “In the back of my head, the comments made by those boys… has made me refrain and hold back in those sports, reinforcing the stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice that come along with being a gendered female.” I can relate to this greatly, although I still continue to play the sports I love and rebel against the ‘normal’ stereotypes and ideologies, the damaging comments that I have experienced remain at the back of my mind. It is interesting to read that in this Gender Discrimination Article that, “40 percent of women experience gender discrimination in the sports industry,” which clearly illustrates the outcome of normative narrative oppression of females in the sporting world. It is comforting to know that so many women have felt this discrimination and that I wasn’t allow. Although, the normative narratives create doubt, they also creates ambition for women to rise above the stereotypes they face. Conclusively, it is hard to stray away from the ‘normal’ ideologies, due to the ideologies that have been ingrained in us by the culture, media, and perspectives of the world.

Kylie’s blog post is disruptive to the normative narratives. She writes, “I am just as capable as a boy is to play any sport I want. I have seen what people think about girls playing ‘boy’ sports and it’s not necessarily always good.” This is counter to the norm, because of the idea that ‘girls can’t play boy sports.’ Her title, “Girls Can Play Football Too” Kylie disrupts the societal norms that girls are too fragile, innocent, and weak to play football. Although, she talks about the struggles playing football, she counteracts it by continuing to play the sport she loves and combat the ideologies of girls. I can relate to this because I understand what it is like being a girl and playing a ‘boy’ sport or against a male sports team. It’s discriminating to feel unwanted on the boys team and it is degrading to feel like the boys are going to ‘take it easy’ when challenging a girl’s team. Kylie chose not silence the gender inequality and the stigma around women’s athleticism, instead she challenged it and disrupted the normative narrative.

In the book Is Everyone Really Equal by Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo, they discuss how the “culture reinforces the idea that girls’ sports are not as valuable since girls in sports don’t “go” anywhere in terms of professional leagues.”(108). This reinforces the oppression of male dominance in sports and ultimately emphasizes the normative narratives surrounding the women in sports today. In order to disrupt these social norms, we have to understand them first. Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo eloquently describe cultural norms and conformity when they explained a situation when it would not be normal for women to have hairy armpits. They write, “she has the right to not shave under her arms, she also has to deal with the consequences of that choice… she will face looks of disgust, pressure from family and friends, and questions about her sexuality and her hygiene.” Further, they talk about how “she jeopardizes her status a ‘normal’ member of society.”(41). Although, this is only an example, it connects to Kylie’s post when she goes against the social norms. Kylie and many other girls face these negative connotations when resisting against the social norms by; playing a ‘boy’ sport or not dressing in pink and dancing ballet. Despite, what society labels as ‘normal’ it is important to disrupt these normative narratives contend with prejudice, discrimination, and gender inequalities.

Sources:

Pettyjohn, Natasha. “Gender Inequality On The Playground.” Natasha Pettyjohn’s Blog, WordPress, 23 Oct. 2018.

https://natashapettyjohn.wordpress.com/

Trischuk, Elara. “SELF-STORY #3 – YOU PLAY LIKE A GIRL.” Elara The Educator,

WordPress, 23 Oct. 2018.

https://elaratheeducator.wordpress.com/

Buzash, Alex. “WRITING THE SELF #3- GENDERED IN SPORTS.” Alex Buzash’s Blog, WordPress, 22 Oct. 2018.

https://alexbuzash.wordpress.com/

Escott, Kylie. “Writing the Self 3: Girls Can Play Football Too.” Kylie Escott’s Blog, WordPress, 23 Oct. 2018.

https://kylieescott.wordpress.com/