TREATY EDUCATION TO RECONCILIATION

WEEK 7: MARCH 1, 2019

Regardless of race, or the amount of Indigenous people living in the area, Treaty Education is important to learn because they are the first peoples of Canada. Many people only hear negative things about Indigenous people, in which many do not take time to learn and understand why some might live the style or type of life that they do. It is no secret that many Indigenous people live in poverty, however people are unaware of the reason behind it, therefore, they judge without knowing for sure. 

Once people know and learn about intergenerational trauma (which a large portion of Indigenous people struggle with) they seem to understand more. Unfortunately, without treaty education people, Canada would continue to be oppressed and live in a state of desperately needed to walk through reconciliation. Without treaty education, there is no reconciliation. Without truth, there is not justice. Even if it is all just to make them sound good, in order to fully reconcile as a country we need to have truth-telling. Truth-telling- “only through indigenous understandings of this history will Canadians be able to acknowledge their role in keeping Aboriginal peoples on the margins of Canadian society”So, telling the truth about the past is not too not make people feel guilty of their ancestors and their ways of thinking but its to learn to accept what happened, and learn to love one another because love motivates change. In order for reconciliation, we need to openly talk about the things that went wrong, we can’t downplay them, we can’t avoid them,  we can’t be defensive, we need to initiate forgiveness, that is the key to show love and kindness to one another. Broken people continue to break other people, the people running the residential schools were broken and as a result, they broke other people. The cycle continues, the people who were in residential schools they become broken and generations of brokenness began. This is why learning the truth about the past in so important, together we can choose to fight and embrace a hopeful future and while doing that we can produce change. Now, I am not saying we’re going to teach people the truth about Canada’s history and everything is going to be okay because if I did say that, that would be a lie. However, it changes what future generations will go through. We need to partner together in unity, we need to walk through the history of Canada, the making of our country, go through the treaties and how they were established and what went wrong. Instead of camping there we need to walk through it with awareness and come out the end and say what can we do to build a better future for the generations to come and how can we fix it today. I was born in  Regina and went to school in Fort Qu’Appelle for a part of my elementary years. I grew up knowing that the area I was in as treaty four land. In 1876 our leaders signed a treaty with the government known as treaty four territory. The whole intent of the treaty was to share the land, share it so settlers could come and love it as much as we did. I’m glad that happened because my mom’s grandparents were able to come and make it their home, without them coming I would not even be here right now. The whole idea in mind was to be one people, sharing the land, prospering together, and building a country,  a community in common unity. As we all know that is not what happened, people got robbed, people gain success and now we know families and lives are broken and people are continuously hurt, but we have the opportunity to start fixing things, with truth, by teaching treaty education to future generations!!!

In addition to curriculum, there are updates that need to take place. Unfortunately when I was working on my curriculum critique I was noticing how outdated things were. I think treaty education is very important, however there needs to be drastic changes to improve the quality of Indigenous education students are to be learning.

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NARRATIVE OF REHABILITATION AND DECOLONIZATION— WEEK 6

The first thing we need to do as a country is recognize that Indigenous people have been on the land long before European settlers decided to claim it as their own. Prior to Britain getting status over Canada, the French and Indigenous people were getting along. They both helped each other in ways they could not help themselves. Their relationship was good and trusting, however after the Seven Years War— when Britain claimed title over the lands of what we know as Canada, everything changed. Britain did not care about the Indigenous people who were living on the lands, they did not care about anything other than gaining full control of the lands. This is where our history takes a horrible turn, this is where colonialism starts. The Indigenous people of Canada have been going through generations and generations of heartache due to colonialism, it has actually turned into a cycle of intergenerational trauma. Now, we need to get Canada back to a place where everyone can become one Nation— like it was originally intended to be, before greed and selfishness got in the way. However, in order for decolonization, we need truths to be heard and we need education for the average Canadian citizen. 

The reading suggests that rehabilitation and decolonization depend on teacher. Therefore in order to live well in our total environment and change ways of thinking, we need to have an all around change that effects the self, but also the land we are living on. This is important to come together as it creates the notion of a nation. 

Not only as an educator, but as an Indigenous woman I believe it is my duty to help shape and contribute to a a society that knows the truth about how Canada started and who the First Peoples were. I want to make sure I am implementing ways of Indigenous knowledge into my teaching, not just where the curriculum says but I would like to try to apply it to every area where I can— because in my personal opinion, there is not enough education about Indigenous people in the Saskatchewan Curriculum. 

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT— WEEK 5

Before reading: 

 I think school curricula is developed: 

  • By and for the dominant members of society
  • By the provincial government 
  • By teachers and educators 

After the reading: 

It is clear to me that curriculum is created by the dominant members of society for the dominant members of society, or as the reading states, it is developed by government and members of authority. The reading suggests that there is little to no public input on what students are required to learn in the curriculum. Often teachers do get to write curriculum, however not all educators do get a say towards what is being taught, what should be changed and what should stay the same. 

Times are changing and what students are learning should change too. Many things that are being taught to students today are what was implemented from  “male, pale, stale” contributions. A large input in curriculum is dominate society, creating what they think their future generations need to learn. Opinions, ideas and input from people of minority are not taking into consideration. 

COMMON SENSE AND THE GOOD STUDENT— WEEK 4

Four weeks ago our class came across the words “common sense”, today we are back analyzing what a “good” student is through a lens of common sense. Common sense is often referred as knowledge that everyone should know according to the society “norms”, however it is not as common as one might think. In the awareness of common sense, being a good student essentially means to not do anything wrong, outside of societies “norms”. 

Any good students according to common sense would arrive to school on time (if not some what early), would have perfect attendance,  would not talk back to any one (including other students), would have exceptional grades, and would regurgitate what the teacher is saying while doing well on standardized evaluations. 

Defining a student according to common sense is very problematic, especially because the home life does effect a students performance in school. If a student and their family is living in poverty, the child will not receive the nourishment they need to be able to focus on their school work. It also means they might not be fully rested for the day of school, they might not have slept due to hunger. This interferes with the child gaining the “good” student status, however if it out of their control, therefore their chance is robbed before they could even try for it. There are many other situations that would interfere with a student gaining the “good” student status. For example, another issue that is problematic might be a student with exceptionalities. They would not be considered a “good” student according to common sense due to their disability or exceptionality, however it does not mean they are a bad student. A student with an exceptionality might need more explaining time or might need more time off of school for medical appointments. This would rob the “good” out of the student because their exceptionality would be interfering with understanding and perfect attendance. 

Putting students in a category is unfair and should not be done as everyone is different in their own way. This includes ways of learning or retaining information. A student that is good, should not be defined through the lens of common sense, as it is very problematic as it attaches a label to the student. Labels should not be there whether negative or positive. 

“LEARNING IS DEWING” — WEEK 3

I chose the quote “learning is doing” by John Dewey. This quote really spoke to me, as it corresponds with my education philosophy. It also surprises me that thoughts like this were coming out of the 19th and 20th century. Prior to the reading, I did not really have an idea which curriculum theories came up with what ideas. When I first looked at the article, I thought it was going to be a long boring read, however I really took interest in how curriculum was shaped by different people. In the lecture, I was enjoying the content, but could not 100% relate to a theorist. Although I do not 100% relate to John Dewey’s theory, I support the main ideas he portrayed. I think there would be something wrong if I agreed completely with John Dewey’s way of thinking as education is evolving. 

I am very encouraged and inspired by John Dewey, I will also be writing my curriculum theorist paper on him and his work. I wish my grade school teachers took the approach Dewey suggests. He pushed forward the idea that learning is active and not passive, that students need to learn from life experience. I think this is very important too creating a generation of people who are able reflect on their own experiences and be able to critically think. The idea of learning is doing, suggests that students should have hands on experience and relate life experience to learning as a way of understanding. Dewey also suggests that teachers should serve as facilitators. By teachers servicing as a guide or facilitator, this gives students the opportunity to learn by doing; they will be able to discuss experiences that have happened and will be able to relate it to their learning. Another way of looking at this is, if there isn’t an experience, the teacher can provide an opportunity for the students to create their own life experience through this method. 

This says that the teacher is creating an environment for their students where they are understanding the materials. It is easy to fit ways of hands-on-learning! Ways of learning I will implement as a teacher are: 

  • problem solving
  • discussion in small and large group settings 
  • critical thinking 
  • reflections in writing and through discussion

Thinking about curriculum and school, I believe I will be able to use parts of John Dewey’s ideology in my classroom. I really believe that students deserve the right of critical thinking and learning by experience. 

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: A TRADITIONALIST PERSPECTIVE— WEEK 2

Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across Canada and other countries. I personally have experienced the Tyler rationale in my own schooling throughout elementary, high school and some post-secondary courses. This has been a repetitive process since I can remember. The process starts at aims and objects goes to content and then evaluation. This process, or way or thinking is very problematic as the students are not learning how to understand, they are either learning how to memorize and dump information, or doing very poorly in the classes. Unfortunately teaching memorization for the purpose of testing did not fit me, or my style of learning. I am more of a kinaesthetic learner, therefore hammering information into my brain is not going to be retained like it might be by other students. Although I have experienced Tyler Rationale my whole learning career, not all of my educators have used this approach. Teachers who would teach for understanding would have more of my attention as I knew I would be able to retain the information that was being presented. When the information is taught for understanding, it is easier to be successful when it comes to evaluation time. 

The major limitations of Tyler Rational is robbing students from their educational freedom. This style of teaching limits students to one way of learning, this is very problematic as not all students learn the same way. When educational freedom is taken away from the students, they have a hard time reaching expectations from their educators. This is how I felt as a student in some situations. I was unable to achieve success as I am  not a person who can just take memorize information and discard of it. I need to have full understanding before I am able to reiterate what is being taught to me. 

The potential benefit to the the Tyler Rationale is the structure it has to offer. It could be helpful to some teachers (especially new ones) if they are having troubles creating structure for the curriculum they are required to teach. It does create organization, however as time is evolving I think the Tyler Rationale should only be used as a start. There is so much more educators can provide students during their schooling career than learning for memorization. I believe that students deserve to have an understanding to what they are learning. 

As a future educator, I will make it my goal for students to have understanding to what I am teaching them. Education is a right for all people, therefore I think that through education, students should be entitled to complete understanding. 

DEFINING COMMON SENSE— WEEK 1

The definition Kumashiro gives for common sense is “common sense often makes it easy to continue teaching and learning in ways that allow the oppressions already in play to continue to play out unchallenged in our schools and society.” He suggests that common sense can mean one thing to someone and something very different to someone else. He starts off by sharing his journey teaching in Nepal. For the students in Nepal— they learned and were taught in away they would consider common sense. They knew the routine going into school and knew that they were tested strictly on their textbook. When Kumashiro tried to implement other ways of teaching the students were very put off, as they wanted to maintain the regular “schedule”. Kumashiro was also put off, as he thought he was bringing in a new way for the students to learn— however the students were not pleased with it because they thought it would take away from their learning. They also thought because of the fun they were having, there was no way they were learning anything. 

It is so important to pay attention to common sense because, often times things are not always “common sense” to everyone. By being aware and paying attention to common sense can help detect oppression in school and can create a safe environment for the students. Kumashiro suggests an anti-oppressive education in which would help diminish inequality in the school system. With children, you can not assume.