ECS 210 Curriculum as a Cultural and Social Practice Grading Criteria for Curriculum as Process: Summary of Learning
Here is my Summary of Learning Narrative. ECS 210 has been a journey of my changing understanding of curriculum, my approach to curriculum and uncomfortable learnings. Enjoy!
Here is the link to just the PowerPoint slides (without audio):
Welcome to my video about my summary of learning through ECS 210 about the complexity of curriculum.
1. The evolution process of my understanding of curriculum is apparent in my blog posts throughout the semester. Before this class, I did not think about single stories and how I have been affected by them, but in my first blog I engage with commonsense in education as a form of a single story; "the norms of schooling, like the norms of society, privilege and benefit some groups and identities while marginalizing and subordinating others and on the basis of race, class … and other social markers … has become normal … it has become normal for [some people] to experience oppression." (Kumashiro, 2009, XXXVI)
I used to think that commonsense, and other single stories, were not dependent on the location of a group of people. Now, I know that “commonsense … is learned by newcomers in a new culture and is known by locals because they are accustomed to the norm, they have been raised by/with commonsense” (Is It Commonsense To Know What Commonsense Is?, 11/1/2017). I think my understanding of curriculum in this way has changed, because I didn’t acknowledge commonsense in my life, such as in school, before ECS 210. The single story that I have experienced, and is still present in schools, is that of the white, Western, male. I did not know the prominence of this single story before this course, which may be different than the single story in another society. I’ve recently realized that the curriculum does not have to be discriminatory or oppressive, but schools “[illustrate] colonialism in a hidden way” (Curriculum as Numeracy, 20/3/2017). The curriculum is not as accepting towards everyone as I once assumed it was. For example, I had no idea that mathematics could be oppressive, “I thought ‘how can numbers be bias or reinforce colonialism?’” (Curriculum as Numeracy, 20/3/2017). I know that curriculum includes everything in society that affects schools, such as politics, numeracy, culture, written, planned and taught, place, hidden curriculum (what is taught in schools and the message it sends) null curriculum (what schools do not teach), lived experiences, and context. I have begun to understand curriculum better, including what is hidden within it.
My understanding of the efficiency of curriculum has change throughout the course. Before ECS 210, I thought that the curriculum was not efficient about what is taught and how to teach it, because during my schooling many teachers would rush through units because we were running out of time in the semester, regardless if students understood it or not. This lead me to believe that the curriculum demanded too much content to be taught in not enough time. The formal Saskatchewan curriculum is a long document, so I feel that I would miss teaching something to my students. This understanding of the curriculum has changed because I know now that getting through the desired outcomes in the formal curriculum is not impossible as it once seemed to be. Furthermore, Tyler’s rationale, in which the formal curriculum models, is efficient. An efficient curriculum “allows for students to get information quickly and have an educational experience” (Tyler’s Rationale, or is it just Tyler’s?, 16/1/2017). The curriculum is efficient in that students behaviour can be changed, because “educational objectives are essentially changes in human beings” (Schiro, 2013, p. 60), I have only recently looked at education in this simple way. My understanding of the efficiency of the formal curriculum has changed.
2. My approach to curriculum is not to do what is traditional of education, because my main role is to not only meet the outcomes, but to engage my students while doing so. If students are not engaged in their learning, they will not remember what they learn. I do not want to follow the Tyler Rationale, instead, I want my students to explore, explain, elaborate, engage and evaluate as a part of the inquiry process. Inquiry-based projects focus on curriculum as process and is an interdisciplinary approach, which is important for me to teach towards. Also, inquiry-based projects would enhance the curriculum as I involve students in their learning and allow students to make the formal curriculum more relevant to them, by utilizing their interests and talents. For example, I wrote, “perhaps [I could] incorporate [content] into what [students] already enjoy/know how to do. …this could include drama, maps, visuals, … planting a garden, writing/singing a song, making videos, using clay, [and much more] … Working with the students and catering to their interests and capabilities may make them more accepting of new content” (Dear Pre-service Teacher, 28/2/2017). I want to use the power that I have in transmitting the formal curriculum in my classroom to enhance the curriculum. Inquiry-based projects is just one strategy to engage students while meeting the necessary outcomes, which is my main role.
Furthermore, I also have a role to teach students to develop their own opinions by leading their own learning. I do not want to teach in a way that reinforces what is right and wrong. I can help with this by providing multiple perspectives so that students can be exposed to a variety of understandings to form their own story, not a single story, such as in my schooling experience by learning only “about Christian, white, privileged, Democratic perspectives” (Single Stories, 13/3/2017). Furthermore, I want to inform students to be able to choose literature that is anti-racist because “when students read literature by only certain groups of people, they learn about only certain experiences and perspectives” (Kumashiro, 2010, p. 61). The formal curriculum that is in place also has a hidden curriculum, in which I unknowingly reinforce as the transmitter of curriculum. Due to this, I must be careful about what I say to my students so that I do not influence their perspectives. I am worried that I will say the wrong thing to my students and reinforce negative stereotypes or beliefs. Although I want to meet the necessary outcomes, I strive to provide students with agency over their learning.
3. ECS 210 has shaped how I look at Treaty Education. Before this course, I thought that Treaty Education would be difficult to incorporate while meeting all the necessary outcomes, so I was hesitant to teach Treaty Education. I thought ‘what if other subjects and the corresponding outcomes are not taught because Treaty Education has replaced them?’ I also didn’t know a lot about Treaty Education, which made me uncomfortable because my peers knew more about it, and I felt obligated to know more. I have become more open and willing to incorporate Treaty Education in my classes, even interdisciplinary. My beliefs about Treaty Education have changed since I had the opportunity to contribute to an interdisciplinary lesson plan with Treaty Education for the Curriculum as Written, Planned and Taught assignment. This has allowed me to see how seamlessly Treaty Education can be incorporated into various curriculum outcomes and indicators in various subjects. However, I am still concerned about how I will handle students, parents or coworkers that defy my teaching of Treaty Education. My blog post, “Dear Pre-service Teacher”, has helped me to deal with my uncomfortableness regarding defiance. I think that the most important reasoning for including Treaty Education or any FNMI Content and Perspectives is that “if children, citizens of our society, do not know about other cultures and diversity, there is a chance of harm towards minorities” (Dear Pre-service Teacher, 28/2/2017). My learning process in ECS 210 has shaped my understanding of Treaty Education in a positive way, my comfort and knowledge about Treaty Education has increased due to the opportunity to teach Treaty Education to my peers.
Thanks for watching my video about my learning experiences about curriculum and uncomfortable learnings in ECS 210.
Kumashiro. (2009). The Problem of Common Sense, In Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning
Toward Social Justice, pp. XXIX – XLI.
Kumashiro, Kevin. (2010). Against Common Sense. Routledge. Retrieved from
Schiro, M. (2013). Social Efficiency Ideology. In Curriculum Theory; conflicting visions and enduring concerns,
2nd edition. Retrieved from
http://ecs210.wikispaces.com/file/view/Schiro_2013_Social_Efficiency_Ideology_of_Curriculu m%20copy.pdf/593340440/Schiro_2013_Social_Efficiency_Ideology_of_Curriculum%20copy .pdf