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:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12yUit4yJm9nhWB_wYXGMTZNiCJumaT02/view

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19qJJP3W5xa_Y1Vezet_H18xVo1NUvGqE/view

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/

Google Search:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=tomboy&rlz=1C5CHFA_enCA737CA737&oq=tomboy&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i59j0l4.1720j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Independent Wed Article:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women-sport-industry-gender-discrimination-sexism-jobs-leadership-report-a8407476.html

Sensoy, Ozlem, and Robin J. DiAngelo. Is Everyone Really Equal?: an Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. 2nd ed., Teachers College Press, 2017.

 

 

 

Taking One for the Team

It’s the beginning of January and the first Monday back from the winter break. I’m usually not very enthusiastic about Mondays, but today is the start of basketball season. I’m sitting in class pretending to read Hamlet. I’m too distracted by the ticking sounds of a clock. There are 3 minutes until the bell rings at exactly 3:34pm. My excitement is pumping through my veins and almost out of my chest. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. When you lay awake in bed, waiting for the clock to hit 9am. In my family this is the most appropriate time to wake everyone up on Christmas morning.

The bell rings, I immediately run out of the classroom. I head to my locker to grab my basketball gear and head straight down to the gymnasium. On my way, I navigate through the maze of people. I speed walk passed my classmates, trying not to make eye contact with any of them.

I like to be the first one in the change rooms. The idea of ‘calm before the storm’ appeals to me greatly. After 5 minutes of prepping myself, the rest of the team piles in through the doors. One of my teammates starts her music; “Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake and Lil John is blasting through her small, but mighty boom box.

On the first day of practice, before we even start we head to our Coach’s office and we pick out our uniform numbers. I’m a senior on the junior basketball team and seniors have sonority, so we get to choose our numbers first. I pick number 10. The rest of the team picked their numbers and then we start to discuss if we want matching sweaters, pants, and shoes. We are going over the cost of the clothing. Most of the girls vote ‘yes’ to getting extra clothes. But, not all the girls on the team agree to get extra, unnecessary clothing. One of the new 7th graders explains that she doesn’t want to get other clothing. This causes an outbreak between the team. The girls didn’t understand why she didn’t want to get the sweaters, pants, and shoes. I remember thinking, “Why wouldn’t she want to get the clothes too? We could match as a team?” But, then it came to me that it wasn’t that the 7th graders didn’t want the clothes… It’s probably due to the expense of the clothes. As, a team player I took the girl to the side and she further explained that she didn’t want to purchase the clothes, because her parents wouldn’t pay for the unnecessary clothing.

I found myself reflecting upon the matter. Should we not get the matching clothes, because one person can’t afford them? My answer was yes. I could tell by the girls faces that they were disappointed. But, I could understand why they didn’t see eye to eye with this matter. Growing up in a lower class family gave me a different perspective of the world and people that live in it. I didn’t always have the luxuries my friends had. So, that’s when I found myself thinking, “Being a teammate isn’t symbolized by the matching clothing you wear, being a teammate means to support one another through leadership and kindness.” In the end we didn’t go through with purchasing the matching clothes. What we did do is learn the value of what a true teammate entails and truly understanding the meaning behind “taking one for the team.”

Unnoticed Sexism

It’s the middle of February and I’m on my way home from 5th grade. I trench through the snow on the ground, I can feel the freezing cold air blast my face. The distinct sound of my ski-pants rubbing together as I walk distracts me for a moment from the cold air I breathe in. My house is only 3 blocks from the school; it normally only takes me 10 minutes in the winter to get home. That’s only if I’m not preoccupied with snowball fights with my pals or stopping at “The Hill” to slide down it on my crazy carpet. Today was too cold to do any of those things. As I approach the front entrance of my house, I swing my backpack off my shoulders; I find my key that is attached to my pink keychain. I unlock the door, jump into the house as fast as I can, trying to save the warm air from escaping. I stomp off the snow on my winter boots on the porch rug and start to undress myself from my winter outdoor attire.

I look on the calendar to see what is on the after school schedule. It is Tuesdays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the month it reads, “Lacrosse.” I burst into excitement, as I forgot that today is the day I get to begin my lacrosse practice for the year. I know my responsibilities, before my Dad gets home 4:30. I am suppose to pack up all my Lacrosse gear, fill my water bottle, re-dress myself and wait by the porch for my Dad to pick me up and take me to the rink.

We arrive at the rink, I am both nervous and eager to see whom my teammates are this season. Before we can get changed into our equipment, everyone is invited to sit in a circle with our parents and introduce ourselves. We sit in the shape of an almost complete circle, crossed legged. The coach, he announces that we are supposed to say your first and last name and how many years you have been playing Lacrosse. As I begin to look around, I don’t see any familiar faces, I see all boys, and most of them say this is there 2nd or 3rd year. I worry that I am on the wrong team, as I have been playing lacrosse for 4 years and I should be on a more advanced team. Once we are finished introductions and the parents leave, I approach the coach and asked, “Why I wasn’t place on the more advance team?” He replied, “This is the team is best suit for you as a girl, the other team would have been to rough.” I remember thinking to myself, I never even have a chance to prove them wrong, and I have been underestimated. I thought people could see my ambition and competitiveness. In that moment I don’t think I could have felt more discouraged. After, this very short conversation I was instructed to change in to my lacrosse gear first and the boys will go in after I am finished.

I head back to the dressing room and I start to change. I have all the sport necessary equipment on, but I have not had time put my jersey on. Without a knock, the boys barge in. The first boy to come in spits in the garbage to the left, which was the same side, I was standing. I am afraid; I froze standing there in my equipment and sports bra. The rest of the boys followed in, mimicking the same spitting motion as the first boy. They proudly banged the entrance door against the wall every time they walked in, kicking their shoes off just enough for them to hit the ceiling. They still haven’t noticed me. I remember feeling helpless and fearful of their radical movements. They looked like a bunch of wild animals in the jungle the way they trudged in through the change room. Finally, they noticed me, all them at once. They looked at me, as if I was from a different plant. Their eyes were glued against me, their jaws dropped, and it went silent.

The Colour of Her Skin

The bright and hot sun penetrates through my window and lights up my entire bedroom. The sun is my alarm clock and its time to get up for the day. I peek my eyes open, one at a time. I realize that it’s 9:00am and it’s the first day of summer. It’s like Christmas day, in June. The excitement of the first day of summer is running through my veins and you can see it in my face, as I smile ear to ear. My Dad told me that now that I’m 11 years old and I’ll be going into grade 6 next September, I am now allowed to take my bike downtown Melville all by myself. I’m fired up; I cannot wait to go adventure around downtown.

On the kitchen table, there is a purple dollar bill waiting for me and a note, it says, “Here is $10.00 for downtown. Have a good day, love Dad.” I’m thrilled to see this, because I usually only get five dollars. After, I get ready for the day; I grab my ten-dollar bill slip into my favourite pair of cutoff jean shorts and head to the back shed to grab my bike.

I’m gliding through the streets, peddling as fast I can, dodging every pothole possible. I approach my friend’s house and I knock on her door. Her mother, along with her 5 brothers and sisters answer. As I step into the porch, the smell of bannock floods my senses. Her mother yells up stairs, “Janine is here to play!!” She comes running down from upstairs, in a full sweat. She grabs her bike and we glide through the streets of Melville together.

Once we reach downtown, our first stop is the antique store, also known as “The Cornerstore”, as you can image it’s a store located on the corner of downtown Melville. We open the door and the jiggle of the wind chimes alarm the cash register lady. We step into the store and sniff the air. The dusty and muggy smell approaches us. It’s the type of smell that lingers in an old, run down house. Awaits us, is the cash register lady. The lady’s name-tag reads “Sharon.” Sharon seems to be older, 50 maybe 60 years old. She is short, plump, white, and she has short salt and pepper hair. Sharon, smiles at me and I smile back.

We start looking around, peeking through the dusty old books and picking up and putting down trinkets. As I step left and step right, I feel the presence of Sharon following us around. I never thought anything of it, because she’s obviously just bored and she probably didn’t want us to break anything. Five minutes has gone by and her company is now overbearing. She hasn’t said a word to us. The closeness of her breathing is beginning to make me uncomfortable. My friend I go separate ways in the pathways of the store. Sharon is lurking around every move my friend makes. She is acting like tiger in the wilderness about to attack on its prey. My friend picks up a tiny little butterfly trinket and immediately Sharon shrieks and accuses my friend of trying to steal the trinket. In panic and distress I go over to them to get a better understand of what is going on. Before I get the chance to, my friend is instantly escorted out of the store. I grab my bike and peddle after her, she is sobbing in shame. She explains to me that she is not sobbing over the trinket misunderstanding, she was sobbing in shame of the colour of her skin.

When I Feel at Home

I wake up by the sound of my alarm clock beeping. The alarm clock itself is always the most annoying, and deafening sound in the morning. Its 7:00am, my nose is cold, and my room is pitch black. I try to go back to sleep, but I can already hear my Dad coming down to the basement to wake me. His inconsiderably loud heavy feet stomping in the kitchen above my bedroom or coming down the stairs makes it impossible to fall back asleep. It was either that, or the water running through the pipes when someone showered, the sound of water is so intense, it sounds as if the water is going to pour right on me, or the fact that my dad would peek his head in and roar, “its time to get up.” At this time I knew I only had, 30 minutes to fully prepare myself to get out the door. Growing up with only my Dad and my brother, getting ready fast is the only option. In this time, the both of them had time to make and eat breakfast, time to scrape the snow of the sidewalk and the vehicle, and pack the entire luggage in the car for a weekend of hockey.

It’s 8:00am and we are already loaded on the bus packed of rowdy hockey boys. We are on the snow-covered road to Saskatoon for a hockey tournament. Immediately, after being on the road for less than 30 minutes I fall asleep, I stay asleep until we reach the out skirts of the big city. The traffic begins to slowly thicken. As I look out the window and see how small the other cars are compared to us. I think of a big whale in the ocean surrounded by small schools of fish.

Once, we arrive at the rink the boys are getting very enthusiastic and eager to get off the crowded and tightly packed bus. They unload their hockey equipment out from underneath. Hearing the banging and clanging from underneath my feet makes me impatient to get off as well. We all head into the building with the arena made out of ice, that us Canadian’s like to call the barn. I can already smell the cold air from the freezing cold service with the funny lines and shapes painted on it, the pungent smell of sweat from equipment that’s impossible to ignore, and the smell of rink deep fried burgers and fries cooking in the canteen.

The game is starting; the boys are ready to get on the ice. While they enter the arena Thunderstruck by ACDC plays in the background. “Thunder!” echo’s throughout the rink, its all I can hear as they begin skating circles around their end of the ice. We find our spot on the cold, solid, wooden benches. Surrounding me are fans clapping and cheering with passion. As I stand in the cold, my hands warmed by my mitts, I watch the puck drop and they begin to play for the next 60 minutes, I feel totally and completely at home.