Blog 5: "Learning from Place"

Some ways the narrative shows reinhabitation and decolonization:

  • Bringing generations of community members together 
  • Involving youth in conversation about the importance of land and water 
  • The process of creating an audio documentary – interviews 
  • Community involvement 
  • An excursion to the river 
  • Use of original names and Cree concepts among the youth 
  • “paquataskamik” meaning traditional territory – connects people to land 
  • Deepening relationships 

Within the classroom, you will have a diverse range of students. As educators, we have to respect and welcome all cultures. In relation to my own teaching, the article discusses the importance of relationships between people. To respect and welcome cultures you need to create a relationship. The article discusses how they used the original Cree names to feel more connected to their culture. In the classroom, the students and you could explore languages. The article also mentions that the connection to nature is important for children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development. This point stuck out to me as something I should incorporate into my own teaching. You could do this with trips, such as the river trip in the article. The river trip allowed the people and youth to feel more connected to nature and their culture.

Sex Education and the Curriculum

“The objective of sex education is to provide information about sexuality and sex that children need in order to make informed choices regarding their sexual health and pleasure” (Saarrenharju, Uusiautti and Maatta, 2012). I have chosen sex education in the curriculum for my paper topic. While first researching this topic, a lot of information came up about how abstinence is the main thing taught in sex education, specifically in the United States. Personally, this startled me quite a bit because students need to have the information to make informed and safe decisions and ideas about their own bodies. 

My first article I will be exploring is “It goes beyond the fundamentals of sex and education.” Analysis on the online commenting on the curriculum reform in Ontario” by Maiju Saarreharju, Satu Uusiautti & Kaarina Maatta. This article discusses the issues surrounding teaching sex education to students and the Ontario sex education reform. One main problem that has risen while teaching sex education is resistence or criticism from the parents and public. The article goes on to provide background information regarding the Ontario sex education reform. Sex education has been seen as a basic human right. The absence of sex education violates a child’s right to protection and right to information (Kennedy and Covell, 2009). Majority of people think sexual education is important to protect children from teenage pregnancies, sexually transitted diseases and sexual abuse (Saarrenharju, Uusiautti and Maatta, 2012). Where people start to disagree is the timing of sexual education, religious values and abstinence (Saarrenharju, Uusiautti and Maatta, 2012). 

The article carries on discussing a study done to analyze the public’s view on sex education curriculum reform. This was done by looking at 453 online comments regarding sexual education curriculum. The findings stated; there is a need for curriculum reform, the suitable time for sex education, and the child’s needs. 

While continuing to write my paper, I will discuss the articles findings more in depth. I will also continue to explore the benefits, needs, and issues surrounding sex education

Blog 2: Tyler Rationale

The Tyler Rationale is a curriculum theory I have witnessed in my schooling similar to many others. I can recall in my grade nine social studies class, my teacher printed off the curriculum outcomes and posted them on the board and said “This is what we need to learn.” The Tyler Rationale is focused on the final product and evaluation. In schools, especially post secondary we have finals and midterms that make up the biggest portion of our mark. This is another example of the Tyler Rationale. These tests are often not about learning the material, but memorizing it. 

The major limitations of the Tyler Rationale are it ignores the context of learning environments such as, social or cultural aspects. It is not an effective way for everyone to learn from. The article states, this theory takes away the learners voice and tells them exactly what to do and how. This way of teaching takes students and teachers creativity away, not leaving much room for thinking for themselves. Of course there are some benefits of the Tyler Rationale. Some benefits of the Tyler Rationale are it gives teachers an easy list of what to teach. Another benefit of the rationale is it is also organized and clear. 

Blog 1 – "The Problem Of Common Sense"

Common sense is different for everyone, depending on where you live, culture, age and much more. Kumashiro defines common sense as “what everyone should know.” Kumashiro states, common sense tells us what we should be doing and is often decided by the privileged and when challenged is often seen as irrelevant.

When Kumashiro was in a place where the ‘common sense’ was different than what he was used to, it took him time to learn what was common sense for everyone else in the community. For the students and teachers in Nepal, the commonsense in school was to memorize straight from the textbook to prepare for the year end exam, different than what Kumashire knew. Kumashiro wanted to mix the seating arrangements, but soon found out that was not how things were in Nepal. Kumashiro was even encouraged to hit the students that misbehaved, something very different from North America education. Kumashiro had to change his ‘common sense’ to be culturally sensitive to Nepal’s “common sense” but also inform the school on ‘common sense’ he was sent to teach. Such as, not only learning through tests. It is important to pay attention to the ‘commonsense’ of your students to help you be the best teacher you can be for your students. Teachers must change and develop their commonsense. The article talks about Kumashiro’s colleagues believing the “American Way” of teaching was better that the “Nepali Way.” As teachers from Canada, we have to recognize the superiority and not fail to mention it like Kumashiro’s colleagues. Just because one’s commonsense may be different than ours does not mean it is wrong. It is also important to look at the ‘commonsense’ of your students because something that was meant to be helpful could end up being oppressive. Common sense is often oppressive but not seen this way because it is the “norm” and often needs to be examined, therefore, teachers need to be aware of ‘common sense’ within their classroom.

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