ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 8- Racial Tolerance and Brainwashing Students

We had a couple readings this week and they were both really interesting. The first one I read was on Racial Tolerance and Anti-Racist transformation. This talked about the two paradigms and it had categories to talk about. Some categories were ‘Assumptions about the sources of racial problems and conflicts’ and ‘working with parents’. They offered ideas and explanations on both Racial Tolerance and Anti-Racist transformation.

The second reading was actually an article. This article really interested me because I truly believe there are positives and negatives to teachers getting their students to strike or preach peace. A couple of positives for teachers getting their classroom time to get into the media would be if a school shooting happened and the teacher gave them the choice to leave the classroom to talk to media. In the United States, whenever a classroom leaves the classroom to pray and show respect for a school shooting or something, it is always broadcasted. This can help unify the county and possibly help mend certain emotions. It could also be a really strong platform for better funding for education. It is hard to ignore a problem if it is affecting the future of your country and if everyone is upset.

It can also be an extremely negative thing. Teachers can use their students to push their own political agenda and there is evidence of this almost weekly. Once again, I am more so talking about the United States because this happens more frequently. There was one event in Toronto that took place in May. A grade 3 classroom went to protest with signs and a papier-mache oil pipeline to protest the pipeline in Western Canada. This bothers me because they are grade 3 students. They do not have the slightest clue what the pro’s and cons are to this pipeline. But due to their teacher having a political agenda, he/she used their students to push it. This is completely unacceptable because this is brainwashing those young children. They should be free to accept the pipeline if they want to. I personally support the pipeline, that is my opinion and I respect yours if it differs from mine. But I am not putting my hard earned money into paying/funding for someone’s political agenda that is pushed in an extremely inappropriate manner.

A continually repeating example of political discrimination is with Trump supporters. I want to make this clear, I do not support Trump, but I support equality and the right to exercise your personal views however you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s basic rights. For example, within the past week, there were two Jewish women who support Trump was kicked out of a restaurant just because they were wearing Trump supporting clothing. This is political discrimination, I feel like everyone should be able to show their support as long as it isn’t in a disrespectful way. These two girls were refused at the door and they did nothing wrong but wear some clothing.

 

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ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 7- Residential Schools and Philosophical Systems

One point that really stuck out to me is in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, how teachers actually became teachers. In the 1880’s, you needed no formal education to become a teacher. In 1888 you finally needed some sort of training. The training consisted of only a few classes a month. Later on, they made full courses on education that took 2 years to get and now it is a 4-year program I remember my grandma talking about this because she is a former educator. In her time, she had to take the 2-year course. I think this is extremely weird how educators did not need any form of education. I see myself in the second year and I still do not trust myself to be a truly effective educator.

Residential schools was also a main topic in these readings. I actually read something new in this reading. I never knew that once a residential school was closed, those indigenous children were then without any form of education. The First Nations community then had to provide their own form of education. I don’t know how a community could possibly put together such a large task of putting an entire school together. I have coached volleyball in the past and to simply put together a volleyball team and educate them in that is hard enough.

Another thing I learned was the four major philosophical systems. These systems are idealism, realism, existentialism, and pragmatism. I learned that there is no single right philosophical system to use in a classroom. A combination of all four is the perfect mixture for a learning environment.

A question I would have liked to ask those educators in the 1880’s is if they felt they were properly trained to teach youth. Also what other struggles they faced due to their lack of education.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 6 -Culture and Diversity in Schools

This week’s reading was focused on Culture and Diversity in schools. One thing I learned was the 5 dimensions of multicultural diversity which was thought of by James Banks’. I think that using a more inclusionary based teaching strategy instead of a mainly ‘white culture’ based teaching strategy will benefit the learning of students severely. Another thing I noticed is how success in schools can be largely based off of one’s socioeconomic status. It is proven that a student with money who receives proper health care, books, nutrition and a place to sleep, will be more successful than a student who does not. Also, there are many connections to someone’s skin tone or culture to their success.

I look at my high school experience for many of these responses because all these points I mention lay true to my experiences. The way I was taught through high school was a very linear way of teaching. There is only one right answer etc. This way is a more ‘white’ based way and in my oppinion, it needs to change. In my ECS 110 class, I had to do a presentation on socio-economic status. It was amazing to learn the true facts on this topic. An example of this is a school in a poor area with low funding and low-income housing; their marks can be anywhere from 5-20% lower on average compared to a wealthy public school.

One question I have after reading is why do some schools get more funding compared to others even though the population is the same.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 5- Culture and Diversity

Battiste’s reading was very interesting in the ways of Indigenous culture. He talks much about how they learn and how their culture is honored. The First Nation culture is very rich in the spiritual world. Almost all of their views are based on the spirit world. They believe that everything is interconnected on a spiritual level. This causes their culture to be very rich in language, ceremonies, traditions, prayers, customs, and beliefs. This relates a lot to my KHS 231 class. I recently had First Nation dance, to be more specific we did hoop dancing. All of their movements are connected with mother nature. For example, when they move forward, backward, etc; it is to move in all four directions to respect mother nature. Once they do a movement to the right, it must be reciprocated to the left. Also, many of their movements are to resemble animals.

Another point I noticed in the readings is how schools primarily focus on only the visual ways of the First Nation people. These visuals may be art, dance, and what is found in museums. I noticed this is a very Western way of teaching. European teaching has always been very linear and to the point. This would not be very effective in teaching the First Nation Culture because the two different cultures have completely opposite ways to educating.

The Final thing I noticed in the readings is how linear thinking people such as scientists and engineers are now beginning to accept the more spiritual view of First Nations people. The key word here is “beginning”, there is still much more work to do to move away from the fully developed Western mindset.

One question I have is how can we teach First Nation culture using Western society’s linear approach of educating to teach such a spiritual culture like the First Nation’s.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 4- Social and Cognitive Development

What I got out of this week’s lecture and reading was about how everything connects. The reciprocal influences, how our social influences which are environmental variables, our achievement outcomes which can be behaviors, and our self-influence (personal variables) all interconnect to one another. I also found Brandura’s concept of self- efficacy, “The greater the self- efficacy the greater task initiation, and persistence… the greater the likelihood of success”. I have never thought of it that way before so it was interesting to me on the concept and one that really made sense. It was also interesting to read about all the different kind of “Self’s” and understanding what they mean; self-concept, self-perception, self-confidence, self-esteem, self- efficacy, and self-regulation.

The connections I was able to make this week was, on the different influences that people or I have and how they can affect self- efficacy, and development. I know that to this day there are certain people who I try to make happy or follow their strategies on how to do things. I live in residence so I have roommates. I have to change the way I would ideally like to live just to suit them more so we get along better. Another connection I made this week was on feedback. When I used to play HVC, feedback was always critical and gave me ways to improve. Feedback can be both positive and negative and is extremely important to make you better at anything.

One question I still have from this week is how would I be a coach or teacher, give feedback to my students or athletes without being offensive and blunt. How could I construct my sentences so it is both building their skills and not being offensive.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 3- Self, Social, and Moral Development

In the reading this week, we read about self, social, and moral development. The reading started off by talking about physical development. Throughout early childhood, middle years and high school, students are constantly developing. During early childhood, they are beginning to become coordinated with their young body’s. In middle years, most students experience puberty. Finally, in high-school, the student may experience puberty or are now catching up to their newly grown body’s and adapting to the changes. This part of the reading was huge for me because I am 6 foot 4, and was that height by grade 10. I was not at all coordinated and I hope the teachers understood.

The reading Also talked about the differences between, self-concept and self- esteem. It really has not been a topic that has been talked about before, so to learn the two are different really interested me.

I also found a section about aggression. This talked about aggressive behavior and cheating. They started off talking about how video games can make kids violent and how common cheating is. This was interesting to me because I have seen violence in the classroom and cheating. I have seen students physically fight in the middle of class on several occasions and wonder how this could have been prevented. I also have seen cheating more times then I can count; and also wonder how it could be stopped.

One question I have after reading is how long do we as teachers wait before talking about such things as child abuse or eating disorders with our students?

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 2- Cognitive development

I found this week’s reading really interesting. There were a few concepts that really stuck out to me. The main subject was about cognitive development but it started off explaining what parts of the brain were involved with learning. The thalamus area of the brain is involved with learning new information, and the cerebellum area is involved with fluid physical movement. If this area of your brain is underdeveloped, your balance and overall physical movement would be uncoordinated or limited. I am minoring in Kinesiology so I was able to make many connections to my prior classes such as KIN 120. The KIN class talked about how and why some students would be slower than others in the physical sense and this reading relates greatly to that.

While reading, I found a category called “Lessons for Teachers: General Principles”. It gave 10 points on how students all learn differently and why that may be. Number 10 on the list is what I would love to use in my classroom and it says to use stories in your teaching. Stories are able to assist students in making connections to the subject.

Lastly, I found this extremely helpful graph in the text. It explained how there were four stages of cognitive development. The first stage starts at 0-2 years of age and explains how they learn through reflexes, senses, and movement; they begin to imitate others. The second stage begins when the child starts talking and to about 7 years old. At this stage, they can start to develop language and use symbols to represent objects. The third stage begins around grade one and to 11 years old. These students can now think logically about problems that are hands on. The final stage is from adolescence to adulthood. These students can think more scientifically and logically.

One question I had after reading is how certain learning and intellectual disabilities affect these certain parts of the brain and how much of an impact it may put on that helpful graph I found.