Attached above is the link to my final summary of learning through a narrated prezi. Enjoy!
In constructing a response to the interns email about their struggles with teaching treaty education, there are many suggestions one could make:
- The intern should educate the teacher, the students, and even the school, the purpose and importance of treaty education. Whether students are FMNI or not, treaty education is a huge part of understanding Canada and who we are and therefore, affects all citizens of Canada. For example, Claire was not First Nations, but yet treaties affected her and were still very relevant to her life.
- Explain that treaty education is a part of the Sask curriculum and therefore, must be taught in the classroom. Like Claire said along with numerous other profs, you should always back up what you’re doing with the curriculum. If you can relate content to the curriculum, you have the right to be teaching it and the resources to back you up.
- Treaty education is something that is still fairly new to the school systems. This means that those experienced teachers who did not have to teach this content before may not understand the change and know how to approach it. However, as a newer teacher, we must break any treaty ed silence and implement treaty education no matter the opinions of others. Claire mentioned that her school did a tipi and treaty 4 flag raising ceremonies. This would be a great way to get not only your class, but the entire school (including teachers) involved with indigenous ways of knowing and treaty education. Having the lived experience of it and having interactions with Indigenous knowledge keepers will have an impact and spark interest and desire to learn.
- State that “we are all treaty people”. To me, this means that we are all connected to treaties whether we are FMNI or not. For example, in Regina we are on Treaty 4 territory, there is significance to that. Yes, treaties affect FMNI peoples because their land was taken, they were pushed onto reserves, residential schools were developed, and unfair agreements were made. But, our ancestors were the ones who caused all of this. Part of the reconcilliation is recognizing this and understading that we truly are all treaty people.
1. List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.
Before reading this article, I had no idea what these to terms meant and how they were related. Now it is clear that they very much go hand-in-hand throughout this narrative. I believe this narrative shows the importance of elders and the stories they have to share. Because of the river trip, the students had the opportunity to hear stories about the land they live on first hand. This is not only beneficial for elders to be able to pass down their knowledge through generations, but it is also beneficial for students. The students got to hear these stories through lived experiences, a way that cannot be taught sitting in a desk in a classroom. Reconcilliation is a huge in our Treaty Education, inlcuding reconcilliation with the land. Therefore, if the students had the opportunity to take a river trip and experience this first hand through talking to elders, the more powerful and effective this important lesson will be.
2. How might you adapt these ideas to considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?
As an English major, I think this is something important to keep in mind. It is so easy to get caught up in teaching everything through literature. We do this because it is the “commonsense” way of teaching English, even though it may not be the most beneficial. Therefore, I think giving students opportunites to experience this knowledge in the way the students on the river trip did is very important because it opens their eyes to things in a new and exciting way. This could mean scheduling field trips, or simply taking advantage of the resources your school has to offer such as scheduling an elder to come talk to your class. The elder would have way more knowledge to share than I would and from truly genuine place as they are speaking from experiences, so allowing them the opportunity to share would be beneficial for both myself and my students.
A “good” student according to commonsense is easily defined through our readings and class lecture. The students is often considered to be white, quiet, does not question the teacher, does not cause social reform; basically does what the teacher expects them to do and acts the way the teachers wants them to without question.
Unforunately, this was my experience in lots of high school classes. I was very quiet, read the books I was supposed to, and did the assignments I was supposed to. In one class when I tried to speak up and voice an opinion, the teacher got upset and therefore, it did not happen again in class. So I guess at the time, you could consider me priviledged by this definition because it was all I knew and what I did well at. I was trained to enjoy quiet work to do well in class instead of getting involved in discussions where my opinions could be voiced. However, I do not believe this defintion of the “good” student is beneficial to students long term. Students grow from critically thinking, voicing opinions, and engaging in challenging opportunities and we should not deny them this in the classroom by having a class full of “good students”.
As an English major, I have decided to examine the ELA A10 curriculum. Both autonomous and ideological literacies have a presence in the curriculum. The two main units taught are The Challenges of Life and the Mysteries of Life, both topics that contain ideological views as students draw from own experiences. This can be seen through words taken right from the curriculum such as ‘interpret’ and ‘discuss’. However, along with the ideological literacy, there are also the expectations in certain outcomes and idicators that students are expected to perform, showing the autonomous side of the curriculum. For example, students cannot possibly share what they interpreted or discussed if they do not have the basis to write and read. In my opinion, the A10 curriculum has an even amount of both literacies. In a way, even though we aim for ideological literacy, it almost inevitable to avoid autonomous literacy all together as it is an essential tool for learning.
Part A: Before Reading Prediction
I believe that cirriculum is developed by a group of people (educators, professors, students, business people) who come to an agreement on what is deemed as importance for students to know. Once these ideas are layed out and agreed upon, the group determines the outcomes and indicators as a guidline for teachers in order to acheive the specific knowledge in the classroom. This cirriculum is then distributed to teachers once approved by the ministry.
Part B: After Reading
The school curricula is developed by a team of professionals on 3 levels: federal, national, and local. This team gets together and decided on two main factors: what should/should not to be included in the cirriculum and how much time should be spent on certain things. Once this stage has passed, it goes through a team of experts, then to the Federal government. If the federal government agrees with it approves it, they can implement it into the cirriculum. This is a very long process, hence the social studies cirriculum from 1995 that still has not been updated. My original prediction was close on some factors but far off on others. For example, I predicted the proposed cirriculum had to be approved by the Ministry of Education, not the Federal government. I knew implementing new cirriculum was a complicated process, I just never realized how complicated. My biggest concern is for teachers themselves. Teachers are the ones who work with the cirriculum everyday and live it, yet they don’t have much input in what is in the cirriculum. If they do not agree with the cirriculum, it could be very hard to teach it and be excited about, let alone make students learn and be excited about it.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
- Martin Luther King Jr
I believe that from this quote, we are stating that children should be educated as critical thinkers versus students that are programmed (put in a machine and come out the other side with the same knowledge as everyone else). In doing this I think we are creating overall more rounded students not only in their level of knowledge, but as humans as well. They aren’t relying on a facilitator to give them all the information they need know, but thinking for themselves.
In order to accomplish this goal in your classroom, you would have to have the environment of students as the facilitators and you just there as a guide. In doing this, you are giving students the opportunity to build and construct their own learning and knowledge. In doing this, the teacher is both contributing to the students intelligence and making sure the are going through the cirriculum, as well as building their character by giving them responsibilities.