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.

ECS100, Reading Responses

This article starts off talking about different laws that have been introduced to promote inclusion. A cool fact stated in this article is how Canada was the first nation to include the rights of people with physical and mental disabilities in its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This right was introduced in 1985. This should make Canadians proud, knowing we were the first to truly start equality.

Inclusion is where someone or something can become more welcomed. This article specifically talks about inclusion in schools. Inclusion has come a very far way in just a matter of decades. Most public schools welcome anyone that is a minority or no matter the disability. Everyone will receive the same education depending on their grade level. In the past, this was not the case. In the early 1900’s, people with disabilities were deemed to be unfit for anything to do with society and should be put in an institution. Starting at about the 1960’s to 1970’s there was a movement for people with disabilities. They began to receive normal rights and became integrated into society. Now legally, everyone can be a fully functional member of society.

One thing that puzzled me is how in the early 1900’s, people thought it was okay to simply ignore people with disabilities. These people are normal people who have feelings and things to contribute. Every people no matter if it is a physical or mental disability, they all have unique information everyone can learn from.

It is awesome we have come so far with inclusion but it still is not perfect. For example, if there is someone with a learning disability; they may be taken out of that classroom and be given special treatment. This may be better for their learning but it takes them away from their social life. For example in my school, students with learning disabilities would go with teacher assistants and learn with them. They would not be in the class with the rest of the grade. This is restricting them to only learning school subjects. There is so much more to learn by simply being in a social environment.

ECS100, Reading Responses

TV Bullies Reading Response

The article “TV Bullies begins with the author, Gerald Walton, talking about how homophobic bullying is a huge problem. Due to it being such a big problem, many sought-after people spoke up against it. People such as Ellen DeGeneres, Cyndi Lauper, Kathy Griffin, Daniel Radcliffe, former President Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton have made videos or have spoken at events against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender bullying. It is awesome that these high profile people do this because it really gets the word out to many people. Television shows have also made a big impact on this movement. A TV show, Glee, really puts a spotlight on this issue of bullying in the LGBTQ community. Glee is focused on a guy named Kurt Hummel who happens to be a member of the music club. He constantly gets bullied by the football team for being more flamboyant than the players. He is never actually called “faggot” but it is heavily implied in some scenes.

A point raised in this article is about how the current system in schools only targets the student’s behavior. This is a great first step, but there is also another element to bullying and that is their general ideological views. All the posters and videos in school are generally centralized on trying to stop the person who is actually doing the bullying. Some students may be homophobic but tend not to speak out. Although they aren’t doing the actual bullying, they are still supporting these other student’s actions. It is tough to change the views of students because they more than likely get it from their home life. Parents are a huge factor in how a child views certain things like being part of the LGBTQ community.

The current school system also generally only targets the actions of the students inside the actual school facility. There is not much on what happens outside the school. In Glee, the character, Finn, gets bullied outside of school as well. Teachers can punish students during school hours and inside the school; but once those students leave, the teachers have no power. This all leads back once again to parenting. Parents have the control outside of school.

One thing I disagreed with in this article is how the author kept bashing the school and school systems. He said, “Why do so many school administrators and teachers, real and fictional ones in shows such as Glee, claim their schools are safe for children while homophobic harassment remains prominent and obvious”? (218).Gerald Walton is over analysing this and blowing it out of proportion. Principals and teachers want students to come to their schools and try their best to make a happy and welcoming environment, but not everything is perfect. It is almost like he is putting some of the blame on teachers and administrators when most of the time, parents are the ones putting these views into their heads.

A thing that puzzles me is how some people still have a problem with the LGBTQ community. They are the same as everyone else and deserve to be treated the same as well. There will always be one stubborn person who does not adapt to the new rules of society but I think a massive improvement has been made for equality. We still have far to go but slowly, less and less people will have these radical ideological views of the LGBTQ community being a bad thing.

ECS100, Reading Responses

Reply to “Leroy Little Bear” by: Marie Battiste

This reading was very interesting. It talks about two different worldviews; the aboriginal view and the Eurocentric worldview. My worldview is Eurocentric and it is cool to imagine another way of looking at the world. The aboriginal worldview is based on how everything’s energy is somehow tied together. In this realm, entities such as energy and interrelationships coexist between all things. The coexisting things could be anything from humans to animals or even Earth-like elements such as rocks and trees. Their language is also interesting. It is very verbally rich and is aimed at happenings rather than objects. The English language is centralized around objects. This allows them to talk to objects such as trees and rocks. Basically, everything is animate and that allows everything to possess spirit and knowledge.

To my Eurocentric view, it was really interesting. English, as mentioned earlier is centralized around objects. Objects cannot possess much more than mass, so objects could no way have any sort of knowledge or spirit. Scientifically the only things that possess knowledge and spirit are biological beings such as humans, insects, and animals. This worldview is mainly based on what you can see and prove. Science is actually mainly based off of the Eurocentric worldview. The aboriginal view is not at all like that; Earth is their mother and therefore whatever is on earth is all related and coincide with each other.

These two views are completely opposite of each other, one is based on science and one of spirit. Due to the two views being so conflicting, it has caused violence in the past. An example of this is residential schools. The Europeans thought the first nation people were savages because of their worldview. At that time the Europeans thought they were right. They then wanted too somehow change them into a more Eurocentric view. What happened was the Europeans took children away from families and put them in schools for their childhood. These children would then learn everything about western religion, science and how their views were not ‘logical’ and were wrong.

Due to my very eurocentric view, I think it would be cool to explore outside my views into alternate ones. My question about this reading is how or why everything can be connected. Scientifically, biological objects and non-biological objects can no way connect with each other speaking from a Eurocentric point of view. I am not at all saying one view is right or wrong, I am just curious the reasoning behind their view. I am hoping to learn about it in future classes because it would be interesting.

One thing that puzzled me about this is how these two cultures came to have these opposite views. All humans started from the same place and are all physically the same. Europeans adapted to what they can see and first nations adapted to spirituality even though the physical environment was basically the same. Both societies should both have the same way of thinking, it is neat how these two cultures have such different views.

ECS100, Reading Responses

Reply to “The Heart of a Teacher” by: Parker J. Palmer

The reading “The Heart of a Teacher” begins where the author, Parker J. Palmer talks about how he cannot contain the happiness teaching brings to him. Throughout the entire reading, the following quote stuck out the most to me: “When my students and I discover uncharted territory to explore, when the pathway out of a thicket opens up before us, when our experience is illumined by the lightning-life of the mind—then teaching is the finest work I know” (Palmer, 1997). This was noticeable because whenever I have to talk about teacher identity, I will always mention the pride I receive from someone else’s success. Although teaching gives you the sense of pride, it can also be frustrating.

Teaching can be stressful at times. As mentioned in the reading, the classroom can be lifeless, frustrating, and you can feel powerless. Some days, I am sure especially in the mornings, the classroom will be lifeless. The students will simply be really tired and not want to learn. This can also be said at the end of the day. Many students will just be burnt out and want to go home. Frustration and the feeling of being powerless can tie in together. Both teachers and students can have these feelings, but to me, the feelings from a teacher’s point of view are particularly relevant. For example, a student who cannot learn a math concept; no matter how many times you explain it and in how many different ways, the student still does not understand it. The frustration could begin with trying to decipher thoughts such as “does this student simply not care enough to learn”, or “are they trying their best but not understanding it”. The feeling of being hopeless could begin once you have exhausted every possible teaching method. There is nothing you can do to help this student.

A big point in the reading was teaching beyond technique. To be able to do this, your career has to integrate into your personal life in some ways. To be able to truly understand your students, you have to know some information on their personal life. What are their interests, hobbies, what is their family life like? By knowing these simple aspects of a person, you are able to have a better understanding of what they might be going through and their capacity to learn.

One burning question I had after this reading, and a general thought all the time is how to be adaptive to every student in your class. Class sizes could be from ten kids to sixty kids. If I had to give an answer, it would be just to be understanding of all situations and possible problems with your students.

One thing that puzzled me about the story is when he mentions when teachers lose heart. It is described in the story: “We lose heart, in part, because teaching is a daily exercise in vulnerability” (Palmer, 1997). This quote is saying that due to the constant repetition of empathy and the need to be positive for your students is tiring. I personally do not think a true teacher should ever become this way. It is understandable if an educator becomes tired for half a day or a day, but never lose full heart.

ECS100, Reading Responses

Reading Response to “Shattering The Silence”

This story started with when Europeans first came over. The Europeans brought many gifts and taught the First Nation people the ways of western culture. Once the west discovered more of the land, ex: resources, buffalo, etc. They got greedy and wanted all these resources. Europeans also brought disease along with them. By the depletion of resources and the introduction of new diseases, we started to ruin the quality of life for first nations. They then started to fight back to try to stay alive and save their families.

I wanted to emphasize on buffalo hunting more due to it being the most crucial resource to the First Nation people. They relied on everything the buffalo had to offer. They ate the meat, grinded bones that provide structural pieces, pigments, and even weapons. They would use absolutely everything the animal had to offer because they did not waste anything. When the europeans came, they hunted the buffalo to the point of extinction. They mainly wanted the buffalo hide due to the fur trade making a ton of money. Lots of the time, when buffalo were hunted by Europeans, most of the animal was thrown away. The parts that were mainly thrown away were the organs and bones. Buffalo then became so scarce that First Nations were dying of hunger. By the time the European people were done hunting there were only a few herds of buffalo left.

Another point in this story was about residential schools. Residential schools were implemented from 1831 to 1996. They were made to convert the First Nation people from

their way of living to the western culture ways of living. Residential schools operated by taking First Nation children ranging in age from 6 to 18. Once they were taken, they went to a school. Every kid was given an identification number, clothing, and a place to sleep. Hearing this makes me think of cattle. Cattle farmers tag their cows using a number. It is terrible to think that these people were treated in the same way as livestock. They were kept in these residential schools until graduation at the age of 17 to 18.

One question I had after reading this story is why did the Europeans think they had the right to invade or infringe on this land. There was no pain or distress in discovering this new land known as North America today. The distress began when the Europeans thought it was okay to invade and deplete the resources of the land. They then took it way too far and thought they owned the land and then tried to terminate an entire culture by the implementation of residential schools. These schools were horrible and in no way or form is right.

One thing that puzzled me is how all these diseases actually made it to the first nations. I do not have extensive education on the topic of early 1800’s diseases; but I do know it took about a month or more to sail from Europe to North America. To viruses such as smallpox or the spanish flu, these killed way before a month could pass.