Before this class and the required readings/ videos I had no idea that there was more than one type of mathematics. I thought everyone, every culture learnt the exact same math, and viewed math the same way. But this not the case "Mathematics as a universal language is being challenged (Poirier, 2016)". Every culture "has developed their own different mathematical tools according to their needs and environment (Poirier, 2016)". According to Poirier there are six domains of mathematics in every culture; counting, localization, measuring, design, games, and explanation. Typically in a Eurocentric mathematics classroom, these six domains are taught by children following along with problems on the board and then given the opportunity to try and solve similar ones on their own, or with a partner. This is the way that I thought everyone learnt math, but I was wrong, many other cultures challenge the Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it.
Inuit people have other ideas surrounding the purpose of the mathematics and the way it is taught; they believe that "education and socialization are achieved through praise, reward, recognition, and renewal ceremonies, actual experience and storytelling (Little Bear, 2015)". They also believe that education is a collective responsibility and that teaching through actual experience is done by relatives (Little bear, 2015)". This challenges eurocentric ideas because typically see mathematics as "certain and free from relationships (Russell, 2020)". I believe students should be able to relate and understand what they are learning, which is typically not the case in mathematics which could be why I always struggled with it. Having students be able to relate to the topic brings in more ideas, and can give the students a better understanding. Going back to my point on students using pencil and paper for math, goes against the Inuit way of learning math as they teach through storytelling and explanation.
Our language of the white settlers and the Inuit people are different, "with Inuit people learning schooling up until grade 3 in Inuit language but then in grade 3 they begin to learn in English or French the language of the white settlers (Poirier, 2016)". This would cause confusion for Inuit students, as they would need to learn a new language and way of looking at Mathematics. In Inuit mathematics oral numeration looks different than English or French language, with Inuk meaning one person and Inuuk means two people. This could lead to why Inuit children have lower school scores than white settlers, if white settlers were forced to change their way of thinking and use a foreign language to them they would also have lower test scores.
In many white settler schools the teaching of mathematics was of teaching results, instead of teaching the living and doing. We are teaching many students to fail because people aren't being able to connect to the learning and they are being forced to learn math one way; with a paper and pencil. Many other subjects are interdisciplinary, meaning other subjects can tie into the main subject. This is not taught in mathematics, it is a class that is taught that we can only focus on math and that no other subject can help to teach the subject of math. This is not true students use math daily such as "Calculating how much you have to read, or how much you read, or that you read a quarter or even looking at patterns in poetry (Russell, 2020)". Using other class subjects may allow a student to understand mathematics easier and will lead to success with students.
In my school I grew up with a white settler dominant English speaking community and school. All of my classes were taught in English, making it difficult for any students who's first language wasn't English. Even in French class instructions and communication with teacher was mostly English. Throughout all of my schooling I had one teacher that was able to speak French, the rest of the time we used computer apps to learn French. French is one of Canada's official languages, if it is hardly used in school think about how little other's are used in the classroom. I remember a few First Nation's in my classes but all I heard them speak was English and to be honest I figured that's what they spoke because the education system didn't teach us their language or their culture. When I first remembered First Nation curriculum appearing in my education it was in High school. The First Nation class was optional, and the students who took it only took it because it was easy, all they did was word searches.
My biases and lenses were taught to me all through my education, and within my community. I was thought that only the white English settlers education was important. This isn't the case and this is something I will continue to learn and work on changing, throughout my career and within my daily life. I think it is important to learn, and become educated, so that we learn to fight against the biases and lenses we were given when we were young. Educated myself can allow me to educate my future students, to understand there is more ways of life then the white settlers way.
I do not remember a ton from my education that revolved around citizenship education. After reading "What kind of Citizen?" by Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne, I learnt that there are three kinds of citizenship. Personally Responsible citizen, Participatory citizen and Justice Oriented citizen. The way the article explained the difference between the three was that "personally responsible were the ones that contribute cans of food for homeless, participatory would be the ones that organized the food drive and the justice oriented ones would be asking why people are hungry and then fixing the problem (Westheimer, 2004)".
From my own education I remember little details surrounding around citizenship, but I don't remember teachers putting a focus on helping to shape the students, we mostly just focused on what I assume is from the curriculum. "Schools should help shape citizens; not just about job training (Westheimer, 2015)". Schools tried to teach us to be kind and treat others how we want to be treated, which would fit into the personally responsible citizen. We would also be asked to bring in non-perishable food items for food drives the schools had. We had a small focus also on participatory citizenship when we learnt about how government and community based organizations work; but I do not remember a huge focus on citizenship education.
My lack of citizenship education is most likely similar to others. This could lead to why there isn't a ton of people offering to volunteer or address social issues and injustices. The lack of education around it is showing people that social justice issues and injustices are not important, this is why many people are not fighting for injustices today. We did not receive the education for it and were not shown the importance.
As a future teacher I know it is my job to teach students about the three types of citizens and help them act on movements they find important. It is also important to talk about current events in the classroom because students are not going to learn how to fight for change when they are taught to avoid it. I am going to support my students in standing up for things they believe in, that acts to lead are important such as student walk outs (Cappello, 2018)". I also know it is my duty to keep learning about social justice issues so that I am better educated to educate my students. From the OHASSTA talks I learnt that political correctness occurs when we acknowledge the land but don't learn and fix our ways. I am making the promise to my future students and community that I will keep learning so that I can educate the future leaders.
Treaty Education is a difficult topic to teach, as there is many people who don't believe it is important for students to learn about, especially when there isn't any Aboriginal students in the class or school. I also believe it can be difficult to teach as a white settler because we have no idea how Aboriginal people feel and the discrimination they went through and continue to go through. I also don't know Aboriginal culture and there ways of life but that is why it is so important to learn about Aboriginal culture. I will continue to keep learning so I can educate the youth of our province.
"For the immigrants of my grandmother's generation it was as if their adopted country had no story, or at least not one worth learning about or remembering. They acted as if the story of their new home only began with their arrival on its shores (Chambers, 2020)". I felt this quote from Cynthia Chambers fit how people view the relationship with Aboriginal people and the settlers. Lots of people choose to ignore the past discrimination of Aboriginal people and therefore continue to discriminate against Aboriginal people. If people do not learn the history no one will ever learn from it. "The present and past tie together, we need to work backwards to proceed into the future (Dwayne, 2010)". We also have to recognize that the history of Aboriginal people is our history too. "We are all treaty people; it is our story, what was shared and what was lost (Chambers, 2020)", therefore we shouldn't be looking at learning about Aboriginal people but learning about our history as treaty people.
One thing I found interesting was when Claire Krueger stated that we shouldn't be "programming specifically aimed at educating Aboriginal students (Krueger, 2017)". I always thought the way to integrate Aboriginal students into our classes was to aim our content around those students, so that they saw themselves in the curriculum. Kruger states this is not the case, we "should be focusing on non-indigenous students and aim at fixing racism that we have gotten so good at teaching (Kruger, 2017)".
We as a province must look at the covent of the treaties in Canada "As long as the sun shines and the river flows", "this statement is a true curriculum, the one that calls us to renew our relationship with one another, that calls us to renew our commitment to what we have in common, to our stake in the world and its survival, upon which our own depends (Chambers, 2020)". This statement will help us reach our destination of reconciliation, and will help us to fix the past history we have with Aboriginal people to renew our relationships with the people and the lands.
In the reading "Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in school" by Ben Levin; he discusses different ideas about how school curricula is implemented and developed. Curriculum is defined as the "official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do (Levin, 2007)". Public policy govern every aspect of education- what schooling is provided, how, to whom, in what form, by whom, with what resources.
The article discusses the input that goes into planning the curriculum and which parts are implemented. The planning can be by many different individuals or groups, educational governance usually involves some combination of national, local, and school participation. The final authority over the curriculum usually is voiced by the national or sub national governments. One thing I had learned, was that schools have their own authorities over curriculum. Such as in High school each school has their own say over the electives or optional classes they choose to implement. When planning curriculum public attention is not a factor or has little impact on the curriculum; and even though teachers have degrees in teaching that doesn't mean they have a voice in the planning of the curriculum either. In policy and curriculum planning it is all about power; "those who have the least status tend to have the least influence on political decision making (Levin,2007)". I feel like teachers should have a say on political decision making because they are with the students and know the students better than higher status individuals in the school system.
In the article Treaty Education Outcomes and Indicators it gives an insight into how Treaty Education is implemented into the Saskatchewan curriculum. One thing I noticed before even reading the article was that it was last updated in 2013, which was seven years ago. So many important First Nation events have happened, with more information coming out and being discovered each year. I think this document should be updated at least every couple years.
"The Ministry of Education respects the federal government’s legal, constitutional, and fiscal obligations to First Nations peoples and its primary responsibility for Métis people. As well, the Ministry of Education is committed to providing the appropriate supports and programs that reflect and affirm the unique status of First Nations and Métis peoples"; in this statement we begin to understand how the government is trying to implement First Nation culture heritage into the Saskatchewan school system. I don't know if I am right with saying this but I think that having a separate document for First Nation indicators outcomes further separate them from us. We are all on the same land and we are all treaty people so why are we still separating our education. I think it is important for every school to learn about Treaty Education in Saskatchewan.
When the implementation of the Treaty outcome and indicators happened in 2007, I believe there would have been a ton of push back from parents and citizens in Saskatchewan. Even today there is probably some individuals who don't agree with students learning about Treaty Education. There is nothing that someone doesn't have an issue with though. Even though, some people had push back I still believe it is important for students to learn about Treaty Education, and the history/ culture of First Nation people.
In today's education, teachers are to follow the curriculum and hit every indicator. A teachers job is to "fill the glass with certain things" which is stated by Kumashiro in Against common sense. This means that teachers jobs are just to teach the curriculum and students should be learning only about what schools teach.
Being a good student means that they follow the directions of the teacher, they come into the school year with little knowledge but leave at the end with every indicator from the curriculum learnt, they sit quietly and do their work, they listen attentively, they have good communication skills, they only speak when directed to and most importantly they learn how schools want them to learn.
This is how common sense affects what makes a good student, teachers love to have control over the classroom as this looks good to society and the school. Having control over the classroom allows the students to learn the desired learning outcomes, well that's what we are led to believe but some students learn in ways that aren't seen as following the direction of the teacher. As a teacher we need to have an understanding that students learn in different ways and have different societal factors that affect students learning. I know from my experience working at a daycare, it can be frustrating when students don't do exactly what they are told, but everyone learns differently and we need to respect that. Take a deep breath and remember when you were learning things for the first time, maybe recently or in younger years. Let students learn in whatever way they please, as long as the student is learning is it really that important how they are learning.
The students who are privileged by the definition of a good student in terms of common sense, will be the ones who succeed throughout their education and then into later areas of their lives. They will get a good job because they had the support needed around their learning. The students who are privileged by this are the ones who learn how society views a student should learn, an eager student who asks questions when instructed to and follows the directions of the teacher. These are many different students, but in Canada I would say the majority are white Canadian citizens who grew up in Canada, because they grew up following the common sense of Canada. This doesn't have to be white students though, because as long as a student follows these guidelines they are considered a good student in the eyes of society.
A "good" student is shaped by historical factors because common sense may change after certain historical factors or even just after years. Our ideas change as we grow about the world and everything included in the world, this means that our common sense will change. Right now our common sense is oppressive but if we keep learning and educating others we can work to fix our common sense, and evolve the definition of a 'good student'.
When I first thought about common sense I thought these are things that everyone knows, people from anywhere around the world knew these things. Some common sense things that I could think of like clean up after yourself/ try to keep a tidy house (room), brush your teeth twice a day, check both ways before crossing road for cars, and so much more. My view point on 'common sense' has now changed after reading; "The problem of Common Sense" by Kumashiro.
Kumashiro has their own ideas of what 'common sense' is she understands after her time spent with The Peace Corps in Nepal that common sense is different for everyone, it is different around the world. That they had to change their own thoughts on meals, water, time, privacy, and other aspects of daily life so that they were understanding common sense from the viewpoint of people living in Nepal. It is important to pay attention to the 'common sense' of the community we are living in or visiting as we need to look past our own prejudices and see that our way of living is not the only correct way. We need to be able to fit others ways of living into our own viewpoints, while teaching in other countries because we need to have an understanding of our students lives. We also need to see that 'common sense' may be different for people living in the same community as us. Peoples religions, cultures, lifestyles, identities have an affect on their common sense. This means that it may be common sense for someone that they pray every night but for other families this isn't something they do. As a future teacher this needs to be learnt, and looked at so we are not bringing our own prejudices into the classroom. We should not assume that students follow certain guidelines or know certain things, because many people have different views on 'common sense'.
In Nepal they follow a different curriculum model then we do here in Canada. "Lecture-practice-exam approach to teaching had become so ingrained in the practices of Nepal's schools as to have become a part of 'common sense'. They start their school semester in mid-February but instructions did not start until late-February because most students didn't attend till then. Class lessons focused around government issued textbooks; where the lesson went through some sample lessons and then for homework the students would complete a parallel problem at home. Each morning the teacher would go through the problems from the homework the night before. This was what a typical day in Nepal looked like according to Kumahiro.
In Canada our schedule is different compare to that of Nepal's; Canadian schools go from end of summer to beginning of the next summer. We follow a set curriculum, which is basically a checklist that students need to learn but we have to not look at it that way. We need to figure out what the students need to help them succeed, and what their skill level is. Every student had a different skill level and gain different skills at different times. The Canadian curriculum is outdated and doesn't support certain ways of thinking, of identifying, and of relating to others (isms). We are a multicultural country so our curriculum should support that; the Canadian curriculum reflects the perspectives, experiences, and values of only certain people in society, especially those who have traditionally been privileged or currently wiled political influences. Sometimes it is difficult to look at our own practice, to raise questions about the purpose or effectiveness of many of these practices but we need to look beyond the checklist of the curriculum and support the diversity of our Country.
One part of 'The problem of Common Sense' that struck me the wrong way was when Kumashiro was talking about what The Peace Corps was. She explained that the goal was to help schools in Nepal adopt what many of the United States have learned about teaching and in essence be more like American Schools. Every country is different, they have different common sense and different views on the world. No one should be conformed to be more like someone they aren't, no matter if its in their country or with in your own country. People should be free to express their own selves, their own views and their own lifestyles.