ECS 210

Response to opposition of Treaty ed

When teaching Treaty education teachers often face ignorance and opposition to their work.  Two common arguments related to this oppression include:

  1. I have no Indigenous students in my classroom so I don’t need to teach Treaty Ed.
  2. It all happened a long time ago; it’s not important anymore.

Treaty ed. is a mandatory part of the Saskatchewan curriculum for a reason. Whether you have Indigenous students or not; we as Canadian’s are all Treaty People since we signed the treaties.  You cannot separate Indigenous history from Canadian history, and pretending that we were not a part of this history is doing a great disservice to all of our students.  Yes it’s a history that we should be ashamed of as it’s riddled with hate and oppression, but rather than hiding from it we should acknowledge it and use that to inspire change.  By pretending that we were not a part of the horror of residential schools, the sixties scoop, and the countless other forms of oppression that indigenous peoples have faced is erasing our place in history, and without that reflection we risk continuing the cycle of oppression.  The argument that it doesn’t affect our students because it happened a long time ago is not valid as the last federally run residential school in Saskatchewan “continued to serve as a residential school until 1996, when it was finally closed…and torn down”; having only been nineteen years since the last school was closed and only seven since the Canadian government officially acknowledged their role in residential schools and apologized this is still very recent.  Our students are going to have parents, grandparents, and even siblings that have experienced this horror and abuse.  Aside from that, students are still experiencing stereotypes, abuse, and racism left over from our troubled past

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ECMP 355, Learning project

My knitting project: Overcoming my perfectionist side (Part 2)

You’ll see some knitting videos really soon; my perfectionist side kicked in and made me feel like I had to be an expert before I shared anything, but that’s silly. I will push that aside and post a video of me knitting whether I’m perfect or not when I have a moment to record it. For now I thought it would be useful post a collection of sources I have been using to learn about knitting.

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Cast on – A podcast all about knitting

This video – A great demonstration on how to knit an infinity scarf

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And the @Vogueknitting twitter – I feel like they could be a useful resource for me

ECMP 355, Responses

Does Twitter belong in schools?

The following conversation has been written in two parts to examine potential perspectives on a classroom Twitter account. Madison Osterhout has taken on the role of a questioning or concerned parent, and I have written the response as a teacher, to advocate for the use of Twitter.

It is important to recognize that not all parents or staff may be ‘on board’ with the use of Twitter in schools, at least not initially. As with any tool or pedagogical technique, we as educators must thoughtfully consider why we do what we do, and be able to explain our reasoning to others when necessary.

Dear Teacher,

When my daughter came home today, she told me the class will be using “a classroom Twitter account.” She’s excited, but I have reservations. Namely, how is Twitter of value to students? And why does it need to be in school? In my opinion, kids are spending far too much time on their devices nowadays. It’s all I can do to get my kids to look up from their phones when I am trying to talk to them. It just seems that social media is taking over and we’re losing something as a society. Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, and those other social media sites at all hours, filling up every spare minute of their day. And now the thought of it being a part of my daughter’s schooling, too? I just don’t understand. I send my daughter to school to learn, not to waste time online. I’m just not certain that it is a wise use of class time. I certainly respect you as an educator, and hope this letter is not taken in the wrong way, but I am hoping you can help me understand. Like all parents, I just want my daughter to receive the best education possible. 

Thank you,

A Concerned Parent 

ECS 210

The importance of place

In the article “Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing” there were many examples of both reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative of a research project. One way this project encouraged reinhabitation is that they encouraged young people to converse with older generations about the river because ‘this connection to nature and land was all the more significant for its contributions to an additional dimension of development: the cultural identity of the people”. Allowing the students to take ownership for and reinhabit the land. Decolonization was supported by research project was that the advisory group was formed with the band council “so that the Cree could track environmental and social changes on their own terms for their own purposes”; this is important to decolonization because society’s colonial wallpaper encourages us to get so caught up in helping people that we neglect to ask their own ideas or opinions on the project,

I definitely want to consider place in my own classroom; I will do this by first asking myself who feels comfortable in my classroom and in the school as a whole. I would also like to get my students opinions on the place where they are learning; maybe by having students write in their journals describing their favorite place then sharing with the class what makes up a safe, comforting, and open place. Through English and drama I plan to encourage the exploration of place both through reading and analyzing texts and through play; using my students insights to mold and create the place that is my classroom.

ECMP 355, Responses

Feedley – an important resource for ed tech minded teachers

I chose to explore Feedley because I liked the clean and organized layout. I then searched the words Education, Ed tech, and Education Technology and found many education-related sources. One of my favourite sources I found through Feedley is the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning feed, as I have found the entries very useful. The best part about this source is that every month they have a “new educational web tools series” every month; describing and explaining a list of tech tools related to a specific topic; for example this months topic featured “five interesting tools to use for different educational purposes”. Feedley is a good place for new and pre-service teachers to go when wanting to integrate ed tech into their lessons, as it acts like a jumping off point by giving a wide rage of ideas and uses for the wide variety of ed tech that is out there.

edit: I had this set to post on October 18th, 2015 but it never showed.

ECMP 355, Responses

The balance of teaching digital citizenship

I watched the documentary The Sextortion of Amanda Todd found it extremely eye opening, as I didn’t know the whole story behind her suicide; the extent the extortion had gone to. If you don’t know the story already Amanda Todd was a young girl who was extorted and bullied into committing suicide after pictures of her flashing were released online and sent to people at her school; with the extorters goal being to get more pictures. This documentary really affected me; I felt a lot of anger and disappointment towards the RCMP who told her parents asking for help for their underage daughter who was being extorted that “if Amanda does not stay off the Internet and/or take steps to protect herself online there is only so much we as the police can do”(The Sextortion of Amanda Todd); this essentially teaches kids to not come forward with issues surrounding the internet as they would have to give up their online identity. I also felt both hope and sadness; hope when I did research afterwards and found that there is a person believed to be connected with Amanda’s extortion in custody (Vanmala and Lundman), and that law enforcement will take future cases more seriously, and sadness because this all came much to late to save Amanda.

Knowing that there are places on the internet where adults will gather and coldly and methodically plan the extortion of a young girl is extremely terrifying, and made me realize the importance of teaching online literacy/digital citizenship in my future classrooms. This is important because hopefully we can encourage our students to both become a part of the many inviting communities that can be found online and to alert us if they find something that they are uncomfortable with rather than trying to deal with it on their own. One thing I worry about is how to teach my students to be wary of the internet without making it seem evil, as I know in my educational experience this was not the case; our teachers didn’t know the internet very well if at all and taught us to stay away from it. This teaching method led to us finding our own way into the vast areas of the internet with no support system. It seems like a delicate balance between teaching them about how to be safe/create positive digital identities while supporting them through their exploration.

“The Sextortion of Amanda Todd.” The Fifth Estate. Prod./director, Tamar
Weinstein; prod., Rachel Houlihan. WEB. CBC, 2013.

Vanmala, Surbramaniam and Lundman, Susan. “Dutch man suspected of tormenting Amanda
Todd had 75 other victims, Facebook report says.” CBS News-Canada. CBS News-
Canada, 5 December 2014. Web. 18 October 2015.

ECS 210

Commonsense and the “good” student

During my elementary school years I was the good student according to the modern day, North American commonsense. I was quiet, I did my homework, and I never questioned my teachers; as an introvert the commonsense fit me perfectly. Once in high school though the commonsense seemed to change; no longer was I being praised for my quietness, but rather I was being told that I was a “good student, but needs to speak up more in class”. All of a sudden I was expected to change the commonsense I was raised to believe (that students sit quietly and listen to the teacher) and now speak up and question what I was being taught. Students who privilege from this commonsense are those who are raised in the dominant culture and hence are raised to understand this commonsense as well as those who can adapt to change in the commonsense. In turn students from minority cultures are disadvantaged; as differences between cultures cause the commonsense to not be so common.
Commonsense makes things such as racism, sexism, and homophobia impossible to see/understand/believe because the commonsense causes projection bias; where the dominant culture expects everyone to know the commonsense even when they are of different cultures. This is seen in schools when students from Asian and Indigenous cultures are seen as defiant when they don’t make eye contact even though their cultures feel as if direct eye contact is rude/confrontational. The commonsense allows the dominant culture to feel comfortable without actually learning about the diverse students in your classroom leading to many missed learning opportunities both for the students and teachers.

ECMP 355, Learning project

My knitting project: A new beginning (Part one)

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For my ECMP 355 class we need to learn something over the internet…anything. So I decided to learn how to knit; something I’ve wanted to learn forever but gave up on immediately. I want to lean to knit because as a perfectionist when I want to try something that I feel I might not be able to do well at; I immediatly give up, and I want to change that. As a visual learner I went straight to YouTube and looked up videos on how to knit scarves; as the fall is here and it is getting cold.

I found this video and got my materials; some yarn and size 13 (9mm) knitting needles (Michael’s was a lifesaver here).

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I am extremely excited to begin this project! Please follow along my journey and feel free to leave comments.