Citizenship Education in my k-12 Schooling
At the beginning of my education, I had started in a public English and French school. As a student, I remember walking to our nearest old folks home and visiting the seniors. This happened in the younger age groups (kindergarten to grade 3); I do not remember exactly how many times a week we went. Once you had got to the older grades( 4-8), you would go in the community to rake up leaves or clear snow for the nearby residents. In elementary(kindergarten- 5), they had made helping in the community mandatory, but it was during class time. As for the middle years (6-8) being involved in the community had become more optional. Most of the activities were during school hours, but there were a couple of things out of school hours. As for high school in wellness for grade 9 and 10, you have to take these classes, and they both require a certain amount of volunteer hours. As for other classes that were optional that you could take being wellness 11, and 12 and work experience 10/11/12 also had required volunteer work. The high school (9-12) also would announce volunteer opportunities were optional. Most volunteering with wellness and the school asking were outside of school time. As for work experience that was during school hours.
The three types of citizenship are:
1. Responsible Citizen: This person or set of people act in ways that show responsibility in the community. Example: volunteering. They partake in events which would promote their image.
2. Participatory Citizen: This person or set of people actively participate socially in the community and take a leadership role. Example: voting. They partake in events which promote to learn how to be an active role in the community and government based.
3. Justice Orientated Citizen: This person or set of people understand the social, economic, and political aspects forces everyone to work together. They partake in events involving justice, fairness and equality. It is also advocates for positive social change.
The Three Types of Citizenship in my Community.
The kinds of citizenship that were primarily focused on my schooling experience were briefly all of these. There are some we talked about a lot and some were we just skimmed the surface.
Responsible: Stated before through my schooling years there are multiple volunteering opportunities available whether they be mandatory or by choice. The main goal of the school is to take to make sure the students were having an active role in the community. I come from a small town, so the importance of the image is really important.
Participatory: I believe that is implemented by having student bodies within the school. Throughout our school years, we have had an active role in voting for student body leaders, pin and stick, and stc leaders, etc. The schooling makes it easier to understand what voting is and by the time we are old enough to vote we will feel more opposed to doing it,
Justice: In school there always a set of rules placed being school base rules and more specifically classroom rules. We are taught to feel bad for doing something wrong. Also if we see something or someone doing something wrong we are supposed to say something. Also, a good point is what is being taught in school that everyone is equal and diverse. That by playing games we are taught by fairness. This type of citizens is a hidden one were we are being taught, and don’t even know it.
Learning on how to be a “good” citizen has shown me that we were taught to be well rounded or average. We might not all be born leaders, but we are taught to take a stand/action. Another is that not everyone may not be wealthy enough to donate, but that is not the point. Some people donate, and some people take from those donations; it is a circle. There may be a big difference on who does what or who doesn’t do it, but everyone that grows up in my small town learns on how to be a “good” citizen. You only can teach so much; it is the citizen now who chooses to take action or to be a good citizen.
For myself, the last memory I had about starting treaty education was in my middle years. That one day we were all shuffled into a computer lab and had to take a quiz online about how much stuff we knew about treaty education. To my surprise, I found out that I really did not know lots about treaty education. I remember briefly going over the medicine wheel but other then that not much. As for high school, it was implemented in most if not all history courses. Looking back at how I was taught treaty education; I thought everyone was learning the same education. In the university education program, treaty education is important and we are constantly talking about how to implement it in our education whether learning or teaching it. Looking amongst my other education peers it is clear that we have all not received the same treaty education.
Treaty education is very important it is not just First Nations peoples history it is everyone’s history. That it is everyone’s past and we are all treaty people. Even though it is in the past it is still affecting us today; it is still a recent event. This is OUR history and it affects our past, present, and future. It is not about what has happened in the past anymore, it is the way people are choosing to act on it in the present and the future. First Nations people are still seen as less than white people. It is important to understand that we are all treaty people. This entails that we all should have rights, responsibility, and relationships. That we all should have equal rights, we were both there. It is our responsibility to learn our history. It is our duty to bond and heal our relationship. It is not just important to teach treaty ed to First Nations including Metis and Inuit but it is VERY important to teach it to EVERYONE because it is not just their history. It should not be depended on how many First Nations people are enrolled at the school because no matter who is in the school, people who live in Canada are all treaty people. History is important it shows and helps us understand OUR home with all the complexity and events.
Decolonization in the narrative was were they talked about traditional Mushkegowuk ways of learning through the word paquataskamik which explains the natural environment that supports life. Thinking in a western/Euro point of view demonstrates that there are no more aspects to traditional teaching ways of learning from the environment. Connecting this to my ESCI class which is trying implement more hands on environmental learning. But it is clearly seen that our style of teaching now reminds me of a box and lacks nature. That the punishment for students is to take away recess which children need recess to help with the development of learning. Another thing comparing to a box is being in class and being told instructions; this bugs me because children are all different learners. But from talking to other educators most effected teaching is hands on and outside. Indigenous studies involves every learning experience through the mother Earth. Those traditions disappeared when the Europeans colonized and only recently have been influenced again. Now that there has been apologizes and provisions to better the relationship with indigenous people we see that type of learning being more implanted specially when learning about The first nations people. It is very important that we learn from our mistake and look at different ways to teach. It is important we incorporate indigenous knowledge in the classrooms as for other cultures.
Reading these ideas and using my current knowledge some ways I can adapt them into my teaching include: looking at different cultures, teaching with different mediums, teaching my kids to respect and preserve others. Specifically looking at indigenous culture but all culture who have been colonized; giving them the power back essentially. That not acknowledging their culture is the biggest part for them to feel decolonized. By teaching in different mediums this will include: going outside, using art, talking, listening, groups and independent work. Teaching students that everyone is an equal and that all cultures need to be preserved. That cultures specially indigenous knowledge need to be implemented and taught in the classroom so they don’t unheard of.
How do you think that school curricula are developed?
- Social norms
- Teaching/ working up learners to play a part in society
- What is deemed to be important
- Government influenced
School curricula development and implementation takes a long process to be renewed or reviewed. That when something is wrong or they want to change it the process takes multiple leads and years for it to be fixed. Also the curricula is being developed by a belief systems in the present time the new implement is being made. Beliefs change and therefore should not be a continuous revision. Rather then beliefs they should be using facts that have demonstrated on working or not. Rules are all about trial and error; why don’t we take advantage of that. The curriculum lacks a positive impact on guiding teachers with teaching. While teachers obtain the knowledge of outdated curriculum and policies this puts a hold on the right things to be teaching children. The curriculum needs a broader horizon for all sorts of teaching styles. A unreliable curriculum projects onto a unsure teacher, and creates a negative learning experience.
While looking through the lenses of commonsense; a “good” student is deemed to know. Saying that a “good” student has a basic understanding of knowledge and house manners. These ” good” students could also be called “proper” and “basic” students. These “good” students don’t raise a challenge, they all receive and understand the material the same. The teacher will be teaching the same way being in a classroom and just showing students. These students wouldn’t need extra engagement or different classroom set ups. With house manners these students know to put up their hands to ask for things or make statements and also to clean up their desk areas. Commonsense is a common understanding amongst a majority which those examples demonstrate common-sense in a classroom. With the “good” student and common sense schools would be so normalized and wouldn’t have challenges. But with no challenges means no change in development or growth or no getting out of their comfort zone.
The students that were privileged by the “good” student definition is students who have wealth, are healthy,culture and don’t venture out of a basic understanding. By saying wealth this is deemed as wearing proper clothing, having lunches, and proper school supplies. They are deemed as socially acceptable on the outside because it shows with money. Healthy is also shown on the outside with given the proper amount food because they can afford it; looking healthy demonstrates being socially acceptable and more approachable. Culture has always been a very big aspect to relate to being a “good” student; due to the fact that the majority is white and deemed acceptable where as every other race is minority and not deemed acceptable. Stereotypes and racism play a huge part in what was seen in the students. If you were a minority you didn’t have money, you were dirty and bad. That most minorities “didn’t” want an education anyway. There expectations and time with the minorities were low because of their background. That a majority of the minority would be the same: not graduate, join gangs and go to jail. That the colour of their skin and their background made a huge difference. If you had those two you weren’t deemed to be “good” student because no one thought you could have a chance to change or even be able to do it. There is always something holding back students, education is changing but it is very slow.
It is impossible to see through a commonsense lenses that everyone is different. Every person, every student is different and all our minds work different. Not all students have the same background or possibly even the same house manners. Commonsense once again is a common understanding amongst a majority. This makes it extremely difficult for minorities to succeed. It is impossible for us to see that their is more then one way to think and that we aren’t just in a commonsense box. That we can accept other ideas and change our own understandings and ideas. We need to understand what we are seeing; change! That sometimes there doesn’t need to be one set idea. Commonsense has us believe that most things have one idea and that idea is deemed right. But our world is changing and our people are changing. We need to change our thinking ideas and expand our knowledge so there is more than one answer. With that our learners are changing therefore our education system needs to change.
“The ultimate aim of education is to enable individuals to become the architects of their own education and through that process to continually reinvent themselves.” ~ Elliot W. Eisner
Possible: This quote is based in a school environment were the children are the builder of their learning. That we set bases and lessons for them but it the students to use it. The student must want to continue learning and willing to keeping building on themselves.
Impossible: This quote demonstrates independent learning to a extent. This is why this quote lacks understanding of different types of learners. Some learners can’t just reinvent themselves or easily take information. There is so many restraints on people/ students these days were they need that extra push/help.
Teacher: This says that the teacher is giving all the tools the students need but it is the students choice on how they want to use those tools to build there house. Also the students job to renew their learning with the new tools they receive. Only can help them along can’t decide what they do with the knowledge they are given.
Student: In this quote they are giving the knowledge and handed the tools. But it is what they built with those tools that demonstrate who they are and what they are. To become the best architects and build the most beautiful houses ( best version of themselves) and to also renovate (work on themselves). They are the builders of their own life.
Relation to my understanding of curriculum and school: After reading this quote I tried to have some sort of connection to it. With my understanding and this quote it demonstrates that we are the tool holders and are trying to create architects. With each bit of information we teach them we give them a tool. Eventually they will have a toolbox (brain) full of tools. With these tools they will build their building (work on themselves). Teachers try their best to give everything to students but it is the students mindset to want more and to not limit themselves. Teachers and school are emplaced to teach children about life and how to work in society. There is a reason why students never stay students; its a part of life that is just helping them evolve. Students have the blue prints of their life, teachers are just the tools and the student is the one who decides what they are going to build.