Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Place

 

Reinhabitation: It is to acknowledge that Aboriginal people are the grassroots of Canada. Perhaps, they are the first to be prioritized since their traditional ways of knowing needs equal attention. Currently, I think we ought to preserve the spiritual value of lands. Elders have shared histories between lands and they illuminate identity, customs, traditions, play, work, seasons, festivals and many more elements. Therefore, I could put life into this as I add value to the community. I want to advocate in the best light to minimize capitalism and spread words of warning against land exploitation and consumeristic attitudes towards Mother Nature. I want to place reciprocity as of high value in my own classroom. The lands deserve some air to breathe and undergo security.

Decolonization: I learned that we need to undo anything that is harmful to Mother Nature. Otherwise, lack of growth will be invincible and result: poisoned gardens, contaminated water and filthy air. I am aware that lands are meant to be cultivated but let’s be careful and wise about it. Indigenous people are experts about this idea and we could learn a great deal from them. As a result, we can revitalize the nature in the most natural process as possible. Let’s do Mother Nature a favour. We are the most complicated thinking being, let’s use our power over creation for the best cause and not greed. 

I would have to say that we need to include other ways of knowing other than the dominant subjects. We need to be open to Indigenous ways of knowing because they train us to be all environmentalists. In their perspective, nature needs our enrichment. Out of all practicality, we have forgotten we have souls. Likewise, the environment also has spirits that are clinging between life and death. Mother Nature is warning us through signs of destruction: global climate, barren lands, and extinction of the rarest animals, plants, minerals, resources and materials. We have integrated laws and policies that are counter-productive and bound to undermine other culture. But we can still build harmony and see the needs of Mother Nature. How? It is through the help of Indigenous knowledge in medicine, lands and nature. We need less talk and more actions in terms of societal, political and economic issues. In this way, we have partnerships that sets up success for the long-term and the following next generations. 

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Curriculum as Public Policy

how do you think that school curricula are developed?

I think the school curricula is developed by the representatives of schools. As an educational guess, the writer of curricula has to coast through many influences: government, policymakers, universities, and perhaps, students. I learned in past seminars that curriculums take time to become official and used in the field. However, I believe politics decide what content should be included. 

How are school curricula developed and implemented?

I think school curricula are developed and implemented through hours of practice in school.  The school tries to put life into these curricula with the fundamentals and rules that are given by the politic. 

What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum?

A new perspective I came across is that students have no say on the curricula. They have been silenced and the government has been close-minded against the defence of some students. Otherwise, I see the political influence in every aspect of schooling. 

Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?

I believe that the school needs to change its tone towards students. Students ought to have the platform to express their needs and at the end of the day, they are next in line. They will take over and watch over the nation. Therefore, they need to practice autonomy and the means to challenge the societal norm. 

Against Common Sense

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to common sense?

 

According to common sense, a good student is a submissive student who meets the expectations of teachers. Likewise, this is the notion that teachers are superior to students. Likewise, this is a type of student who can control his/her ego and conform to the influence and the industrial system of school. In this way, they are keen on the disciplines that play is not tolerated and work is the norm and what is socially and culturally acceptable. 

Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student? What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas? 

The students privileged by this definition are the children who are raised in an industrial setting. Other students could have lived outside the city and they may not understand the lifestyle and the worldview in urban areas. Therefore, the high demands of the school may traumatize children who are collaborative learners and learn effectively when they are involved and in the mode of creativity and productivity. 

The expectations laid upon students are heavy and ought to be reevaluated for the sake of all students with different experience, values, interests, morals and character. This is an example of oppressive education, traditional teaching is normative and is in need of change. If not, we will see failures in the personal and social development of every student. 

Education from John Dewey’s Perspective

I chose the quotation:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”.

If you take a closer look, for John, he believes that education is what sets up students to lead successful lives. I believe in John because the process of education helps students grasp on how life operates. Life consists of many components: culture, language, customs, traditions, habits and systems. Therefore, it is important that students gets the big picture of life. The point given is that John wants to set the basics for students to fit in with their own reality because life is full of uncertainty and as the common saying goes, “you reap what you sow”. Therefore, students should at least understand that you need to know how to think in order to live.

Furthermore, on our previous lecture, we learned that John Dewey is fond of civilization and did not take into consideration the “minority” in his philosophy. Although I liked how he emphasized how students should ‘walk the talk’, this means that students learn best as doers. But the problem is that not all students who differ in colour, gender or race receive the same privilege. Although we are in a period of change. But the problem still exists today where diversity is not welcomed which means some authority out there does not want resolve. But as a teacher, I aspire a day where there is flatness in all gender, colour or race and all students gets the equal treatment. 

 

Writer: Ricky Del Coro

Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective

 

 

 

(a) rationale in my own schooling: 

I could trace Tyler’s rationale in my own school in the Philippines. I remember how the class is categorized into sections based on their peak performance. If you are above the 90s, you will be the head and the rest that follows are tails. In other words, if you are below the average, you are sub servant to students who gets aces. This reflects the factory model, if you do not become the product of school, you are below the hierarchy. 

(b) major limitations of Tyler’s rationale:

The major limitation for Tyler’s rationale is that he limits the potential of students. He measures their talent by the means of test scores which really does not prove a lot about any person’s intellect. Therefore, he does not set up other students for success and does not welcome diversity in school settings like language.  

(c) some potential benefits of Tyler’s rationale: 

The potential of Tyler’s rationale is that it reap rewards for those who can think industrially. Those who learn how to follow instructions and take initiative may excel in their personal walk of life. Unfortunately, this only works for those who have adapted to Western ways which excludes immigrants who are still inexperienced with the system rather the norm.

The Problem With Common Sense

How does Kumashiro define ‘common sense’?

He defines common sense as the view of norms ingrained in society. He believes that there are principles, opinions, and practices that are woven in the mentality of people. They are not liberated to wire themselves for what they believe to be true. He believes that every issues against gender, race, class and other social markers should be drowned out through anti-oppressive education. But this is only possible if we rethink the product of common sense. In this way, he believe there will be no war but instead a truce could emerge if people are taught to not stay certain in one view. Likewise, Kumashiro believe that world peace is inevitable if people just get along on the idea that everyone wants the cozy life but people will have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable to resolve issues once and for all.

Why is it important to pay attention to ‘common sense’?

Its important to pay attention to common sense because we need to reconceptualize the forced worldview imposed on us. In other words, we will never indirectly prevent oppressions and the norm towards a certain social groups.