Treaty Education

Treaty Education is required to be taught to all grade levels, yet there are teachers who do not teach Treaty Education for whatever their reason is.  What bugs me is that teachers do not take math units out of what they teach because they do not think they need to teach it, but somehow teachers can take out teach Treaty Education and some people think this is okay.  For my practicum last year there is a checklist of things that we had needed to do and one was incorporate Treaty Education into a lesson and my professor told the class that many times the box gets checked whether you did it or not.

Some teachers have the mindset that if there is no First Nations, Inuit or Metis students that Treaty education does not need to be taught and that should never happen.  Every Canadian is a Treaty person because we are living on Treaty land and therefore it is important that everyone learns and understands the history of Treaties.  All teachers should acknowledge that and talk with their students about why we are all Treaty People.  It is a difficult position that the preservice teacher is in but I think my advice to her would try and talking to the teacher about why they think Treaty Education is important.  Also, Claire could probably help the person out with resources.  But overall, this makes me sad to hear that some teachers having that philosophy when it comes to Treaty Education.

Learning from Place

For my education class we were asked to read Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk ways of Knowing written by Jean-Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner and Edmund Metawabin and find examples of decolonization in the reading.  In the reading it states the following: “Bringing generations of community members together on the land advanced the community’s recognition and reclamation of Mushkegowuk knowledge and culture.”  This quote demonstrates decolonization because it is bring the community together by sharing their culture and knowledge.  That is important because it brings them together because the elders can share their knowledge with the youth and everyone else.

I am a health minor and in one of my education health classes we talked about the Medicine Wheel.  It has four parts: spiritual, mental, physical and emotional.  In your life you should have a good healthy balance of all four of those things.  The Medicine Wheel is something I will be teaching my students about in health classes and something I will want to incorporate into my lessons are articles like Learning from place.  For instance, the article mentions how important nature is for different aspects of health including the ones mentioned in the Medicine Wheel.  I can mention this article and explain how the trip through nature was beneficial for everyone involved.  Overall, it was an interesting article and made me think of recolonization which is not something that I have talked about in classes much and he different ways I can incorporate that into what I teach.

A “Good” Student

This week in my education class, we were asked to read and respond to a reading by Kevin K. Kumashiro titled “Against Common Sense”, chapter two “Preparing Teachers for Crisis: What it Means to Be a Student”.  A few weeks ago, I talked about what “common sense” is and how it is different from culture to culture.  In a Western culture a “good student” according to common sense accepts everything as it is and does not question anything.  It is a traditional way of learning because the students take notes, do not ask questions that evoke original thought and are able to write a test with the facts learned from class.  The way I can sum this up best is they do not march to the beat of their own drum!

Students are privileged by this definition that what I described above fits their personality.  They will thrive in a classroom where the teachers know everything and have a traditional way of doing things.  Students that this will have trouble doing well in this sort of classrooms are ones who think differently.  Instead of going from A to B, they might to A to D to E to B, it still gets the right answer but they go about it a different way.  Also, students who question things and do not take things at face value might struggle in a classroom environment described in this blog.  Students from other cultures may have different ideas of what common sense is because of the way they are raised.  Overall this was an interesting article and the ideas mentioned in this article is something teachers should keep in mind.