Category Archives: ECS200

Blog post for November 26th, 2018

This week’s readings were about teacher professionalism with there job.  I feel that being professional is important to do a good job as an educator.

One of the things that I learned was that as teachers we are on the job all of the time and are expected to uphold the code of conduct at all times and be an example of a morally perfect life.  However, that can vary between provinces, and the rules aren’t always crystal clear.  For the most part, it seems that a teacher must honor and uphold the dignity of the profession.  Furthermore, the teacher must not act in a way that affects there ability to do their job properly.

I also learned that each provincial teachers association has there own code of ethics but there are many similarities in all the codes.  However, the code of ethics is only an outline of what it means to be professional.  there are advantages to a code of ethics, gives confidence to the public that teachers are worthy of public support and trust.   A code also provides reassurance that people will be treated in accordance with a standard. A code of conduct also offers a set of defined rules and standards that set a standard for teachers conduct.

In the teaching profession, there is a great importance for teachers to work together with other teachers to receive help and support to aid teachers to do the best that they can and to grow the teaching profession.  This is what Hargreaves and Fullan referred to as social capital, which is professional experiences that allow teachers to learn together.  This can extend beyond schools to other schools in the area and other places that teachers interact.  social capital cannot exist if the teacher is in isolation during their workday.  social capital can be beneficial in many ways, to help build relationships but also to help create a better teaching environment.

I made connections to the reading from this week. the collaboration process is important in any job, whether it is a group of writers for Saturday Night Live or a group of volunteer firefighters, all jobs can benefit from the effects of social capital.  another connection was that the teacher must respect the opinions and the expertise of there colleagues.  I also feel that this could apply to any job, it is important to give respect where respect is due.

One question that still remains for me is, the code(s) of ethics often have grey areas, so how does a teacher really know where the grey area is and how to know what is right?

 

Blog Post for November 19, 2018

The article for this week deals with the school as a workplace as well as a setting for growth and learning for both the teacher and the students.  I found this article very practical and useful.

In the introduction, I laerned about a different perspective to look at the school setting.  The article outlined that a school is a setting that is already formed and has its own set of rules, regulations, and policies that the new staff member has to adapt to.  The new staff member has to adapt to the new setting which can cause challenges.  furthermore, the article also addresses that idea that the school has its own unique culture.  Also, the teacher may be changed as much as they will change what surrounds them.

Also in the article, the topic of leadership was addressed, laede4rship is very important in a school.  the teacher must lead their students into a good education.   The principal is very important in a school setting, and there is a need for more “active leadership”.  leadership in schools can be both positive and negative, Principals promoting positive leadership the sense that they create a positive environment and a sense of purpose and efficiency, and shared power and responsibility among teachers.  The less positive aspect is that what works in one school in a particular atmosphere, with staff, students, and the community does not necessarily work elsewhere, this is called contingency or situational theory of leadership. the requirement of leadership is very contingent on the staff, students, and community.  there are also barriers that block good leadership as well, change is a large one.  This concept of leadership was also addressed in the second article for this week.

The topic of academic freedom attracted my attention, this is the idea that teachers are not free to teach whatever they want, teachers are bound to the guidelines and restrictions set out by the government.  therefor academic freedom would be the ability for educators to teach whatever they wanted, like in Universities.

The connections that came out of the two articles for this week were that each school has its own culture, is very true, as I have seen in the schools that I have worked and learned in.  The culture of a school is influenced by many things as a person’s culture is.  The students are influenced by this culture and that can have an effect on their life after school.

The other connection was to that of academic freedom, I saw this issue in my schooling it was always an issue for my teachers to teach exactly what is on the curriculum.  Whether it was what novels to look at or what textbook to use, it all had an effect on the way they could complete their job.

my question coming from the reading is with all the issues addressed, which one is the most important and which one needs reform the most?

 

Blog Post: November 5

The reading this week was about social justice issues in schools and about problems in the education.

In the Maclean’s article, the issue was how teacher incorporates social justice issues into the classroom without crossing lines and making students feel uncomfortable.  I personally was appalled by what some schools in Canda where doing in their classrooms.  Many social issues of today are very important to discuss in classrooms and for students to learn.  But as it was pointed out in the article, the time to teach these students these things is the question.  my belief is that although it is important to teach these hot-button topics, they should only be brought up when the student is in grades 9 to 12.  Furthermore, the facts about these issues should only be brought up and then the students should be left to form there own opinions,  students in elementary school are not mentally developed enough to form there own opinions.

In the United States, the use of standardized testing is heavily relied upon.  The amount of funding for schools depends on how well the students do on their tests. which in turn causes the teachers to teach to the test and not give a perfect balanced education to the students.  I find this to be a major flaw, a students ability should not be a direct influence on the amount of funding that a school gets.  its proven that the more funding that a school gets the better chance there students will be better educated, therefore if the school gets less funding because their students don’t do as well, how will the school improve if they don’t get extra funding to succeed.

In looking at the chart on the University of Toronto website, my thinking was shaped for looking at this chart because I had never looked at these issues in this light.  I find myself thinking about some of these topics and thinking about them in a new way after reading through the information.  The part dealing with change is the one that resonated with me the most because change is a part that I often have trouble coming up with on these topics.

I connect to standardized testing, in Saskatchewan many students have to write departmental exams, which are a type of standardized test.  For the ones I wrote in high school, I always felt that the teacher should make the tests because they know what they tough in the class.  whereas when the government is involved the students could be ill-prepared.  looking back on  my high school years, I feel fortunate because opinions were not forced upon us, I had one teacher tell his students that “this is my opinion, however, I expect you to form your own from the information that I give you”

What is the appropriate time to introduce social justice issues into the classroom and what issues are more important?

Blog post for October 29th, 2018

For this week the overwhelming topic of all the articles was the development and progression of education in Canada.  Education in Canda has a long history, beginning from 1867 and we see education continue to grow and develop as issues change and so does society.

Some particular changes that are worth noting are the changes that happened after the end of world war two in 1945.  Education was not the only sector that saw a major change, almost every aspect of peoples lives were changed after the second world war.  everything from the cars that you drove to the house that you lived in.  More women than ever before were entering the workforce and no longer being just the housewife.  the second world war proved that women could be valuable to society in more ways than one.  In education there was a push to incorporate more classes in Canadain schools like the ones in places like the Soviet Union.   the push was to expand the scientific and technical programs, there is a practical reason for this, Canada and especially the USA were feeling left behind because they were not as advanced in science as the Soviet Union was.  with these programs, the emphasis was placed on child-centered learning opportunities and flexibility in education.  This is interesting and these changes are still relevant because science and innovation are a big part of our education system today.

when the education system in Canada was created, the purpose was to educate the growing population of children that was the result of increased immigration from several fronts.  This was the first time that an education system was needed prior to this there were very few children, as most of the workers that worked to mine resources where single and without children.  the new education system was focused on providing formal learning opportunities through the use of a curriculum.  another purpose was to contribute to moral regulation.

The roots of education are mostly formed from philosophy using its terms.  terms like Idealism, which is the idea that there is a perfect world as well as a practical world that we live in. Existentialism emphasizes personal responsibility for one’s choices and living an authentic life.

The case study that is addressed in the article Philosophies of education I looked at with great detail, I like the idea of having the students self-taught, however, I do believe room for error is heightened.  The way I was taught in school was a heavy use of writing notes, which was effective but could be greatly improved.  I would have the children get into groups of two or three and each group would get a First Nations community to research, then each group would present their findings and hand the report in.  that way the students are involved, but there is little room for error.

when looking at the philosophies of education Existentialism is the one that I connect to because I believe that is is important and one that I value more than others.

One question that comes to mind is what the next big change in education will be an and where will we be taken from here.

Blog post for October 22, 2018

Looking at chapter six of the textbook which is about culture and diversity, I feel this chapter is important because more then ever schools are becoming more diverse and teachers needed to know how to handle diverse situations.

One thing that I laerned about was the iceberg model, by Ricardo Garcia, where culture is represented as an iceberg.  The top of the iceberg that is visible entails, aspects of culture like, food, clothing, and language.  Whereas the bottom and the largest part of the iceberg entails aspects of culture like rules of eye contact, roles of men and women, and the concept of personal space.  After a brief examination of my own culture, I find this theory to be true.  There are many aspects of a person’s culture that we don’t think about because we have never compared them to anything.  I think this was a point that Garcia was getting at as well, that in a lot of cases the bottom of the iceberg is hidden even from the people living within that culture.

I also learned about tracking and its relation to poor teaching.  This is the concept is another explanation to for lower achievement of low SES students.  tracking refers to the placement in classes based on judgments of ability.  The text outlines that children that are tracked into “low ability” or “general classes” they may be taught differently, the teaching may be more memorization as opposed to the higher classes being more about independent thinking.  Furthermore, the text explains that even if a low-income student is not tracked, they are more likely to attend schools with fewer resources and less effective teachers, they go on to call this “inferior education” I have a problem with this term and the idea of tracking.  I believe that tracking is done with the well being and the success of the students in mind.  furthermore with tracking the student can be focused on and they can learn at a pace that is similar with the students around them.  whereas without tracking, these students would be left behind and able to slip through the cracks.  Furthermore, the teachers in low-income schools are often just as well qualified any teacher, they do the best they can with the resources that they are given.

Another aspect of this chapter was sexual orientation in schools and how as a teacher we deal with it.  the text outlines signs to look out for as a teacher.  this issue is cumming up more and more in schools, so it has never been more important that teachers and school staff know how to handle the situation when it comes up.  The biggest take away that I got from that section was to listen to a student if they come to you with a problem, and a little reassurance goes a long way.   I connect to my old high school when looking at this section, the topic of sexual orientation was never discussed, there was only one openly gay person in my class and he had a problem with drugs and alcohol and now looking at this and other thinking that I have done, I believe that the substance abuse was in response to the way that he was treated in small-town Saskatchewan and being gay.

One question that still lingers after reading this chapter is if tracking is eliminated, what will take its place to make sure that the students that need specialized help will not fall through the cracks and get forgotten about.

 

Blog Post October 14, 2018

In the assigned reading for the week, the focus in the first article was about learning and Aboriginal peoples. the Article focus’ on the art of learning for them. also the importance of learning.

Some of the things that I learned where:

The first thing that I learned was about a “soul wound” this is described by  Duran and
Duran as collective and individual experiences of so many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.  The article points out that the Aboriginal peoples have suffered a great amount of trauma. Whether it is the events of the residential schools and the poverty that is suffered by them today.  This all as to do with the idea of a “soul wound”. Furthermore even today, most aboriginal people live in third world type situations. the Aboriginal people are plagued with isolation, poverty, powerlessness,  cultural imperialism, and racism.  with all of these problems and experiences, the children are the ones who suffer the most.  these experiences result in unresolved trauma which will build up and cause many problems in adulthood for these children.

In the second article, I learned the idea of the reconceptualist early childhood theory.  It focuses on challenging grand narratives that serve to control and limit the capabilities of humans. I laerned that reconceptualist work is also enacted to expose instances where privilege and power are available for some groups where others are discriminated against.

similarly, I learned that this work being done, the work of reconceptualist early childhood educators and researchers.  Have been able to connect power and privilege to poverty in the lives of children. furthermore, the researchers have tested the children’s recall of colonialist binaries feminist methodologies and gender issues.

When I look at these and other theories and useful information in these two articles, I do make connections. first of all, when the question came up about privilege and power and discrimination, I found myself contemplating a similar question.  in my placement, where I work with immigrants, some of whom, have only been in Canada a few months or even weeks.  I found myself thinking about why these good people had to make the big move to a strange country.  why did they have to leave there country, why was Canada chosen to be a first world nation when others were not and did not become first world nations.

When the idea of a “soul wound” was brought to my attention, I remembered on the radio I heard a musician being interviewed, and in the interview, he mentioned that the passing of his mother at a young age, helped to influence the music that he later wrote and became famous for.

After reading both these articles a have some questions, the most pressing I feel is with talk about racism and a narrative lense. I wonder how do we as future educators begin to rove this lense that we have become so accustomed to looking through and make sure that no one is left to fall through the cracks?

 

Blog Post: October 1, 2018

In Chapter 11, the primary focus was the Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation.

In this chapter, I learned of Albert Bandura, a Canadain psychologist who developed a social learning theory.  In this theory, Bandura observed and modeled others who were reinforced or punished for there behavior.   His later theory he called the “social cognitive theory”  puts emphasis on the role of other people as they serve as models and teachers.  This theory also focuses on cognitive factors such as certain beliefs, self-perceptions, and expectations to social learning theory.  this theory is a dynamic system that sets out to explain many aspects of human development such as human adaptations, learning, and motivation.

Furthermore, n this chapter I learned about self Efficacy.  Self-efficacy is future-oriented ” a context-specific assessment of competence to perform a specific task” (Pajares, 1997, p. 15) similarly, I learned about self-concept, and self-esteem, which is related to self-efficacy. Self-concept is a more global construct which includes self-efficacy. self-concept is developed as a result of external and internal comparisons.

Self-Efficacy can come from many places, Bandura identified four sources they are mastery experiences, physiological and emotional arousal, vicarious experiences, social persuasion.

Mastery experiences are direct experiences, usually the most powerful. whereas levels of arousal effects self-efficacy by the amount that a person is aroused, high arousal means lots of efficacy, similarly low arousal means less efficacy. In vicarious experiences is when someone else models success. social persuasion is specific performance feedback, this can allow a student to make a greater effort, therefore increasing self-efficacy.

it is further outlined in the text that teachers possess a special amount of self-efficacy, that gives them the ability to reach even difficult students.

Furthermore, the concept of self-regulated learning, Bandura believed that a goal of teaching should be to free students of the need for a teacher to guide there learning. I see this as cutting the “umbilical cord” from student to teachers, I have seen this practice used in many places in the schools.

Three factors influence self-regulation, these are knowledge, motivation, and self-discipline.

For me personally, these theories create connections in my mind, when it comes to self-regulation.  As a university student, I developed the concept of self-regulation early on in my high school career, I later became aware of how important that skill is until I became a University student.

The concept of Self-efficacy also resonates, as I have noticed the effects of having confidence and high self-esteem are and what it is like without these traits. I believe that confidence is essential to the success of anybody.

Finally, a question that I have is, in reference to self-efficacy, whether the four sources outlined are true for everyone and whether everyone experiences them in the same way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog post. Sept. 23, 2018

Chapter 3

This chapter focuses on the developing child in regards to physical development and development in the school years.

I learned many things when reading this chapter.  Many of the points in this chapter were points that I had heard in one place or just in passing which was confirmed while reading this chapter.

first of all, I learned that child development could be categorized into three different areas.

  1. First is “young children” at this stage the children will be very active and improve or develop important motor and fine motor skills. these are things like improving on the child’s balance and learning to run and throw things.  the child develops fine motor skills like being able to tie there own shoes and fastening buttons. the child will also improve on there hand eye coordination and which hand will be there “strong hand”
  2. Second is “Elementary schools years” the child experiences steady growth however some children will be smaller or larger than the average, but can still be perfectly healthy.  However, the children at this age are aware of physical differences so they will point them out.  throughout this stage, many of the girls will be larger, this could give them an advantage but many girls downplay this.
  3. The third is the “Adolescent years” in this stage children entire puberty, which involves a series of events that involve every part of the body.  Girls will start to develop sooner than boys will.  it is at this stage that children reach sexual maturity.

Furthermore, I learned that recess is very important in the success of a child in school.  this was one of those things that I had noticed over the years but had never heard it made official like in this book.  play at recess time or anytime allows the child to experiment with there environment safety.  as the child gets older they begin to play more complex games that involve winning and losing and negotiations.

Lastly, I learned there are four different parenting styles there is the authoritative, Authoritarian, permissive, and rejecting/ neglecting.  all of these styles have lasting effects on the children exposed to them.

After reading this chapter I was able to make some connections.  Firstly, the need for recess is very important as I have seen the effects of little recess for young children.  The need to burn off energy for children is essential in order for them to focus better.   Second, I made a connection with the idea of self-concept, I find myself often asking myself “how I am doing” almost every day.

One question that I still have is: how we as teachers pick up on all the stages and issues that children go through and how teachers know exactly what to do?

ECS 200 blog post, Sept. 17

Chapter 2: Cognitive Development

When reading this chapter I learned lots about Cognitive Development in the child’s brain.

The textbook outlines that human development can be divided into different aspects of development.  being, Physical development, personal development, social development, and cognitive development.

Physical development involves changes in the body.

Personal development is defined as changes in a individuals personality.

Social Development is defined as changes in the way that a person relates to other people around them.

Cognitive Development refers to changes in a persons thinking, reasoning and decision making.

Another aspect of cognitive development that I learned is the concept of nurture vs. nature. 

Nature involves aspects of human development like heredity, genes, biological process, and maturation.  whereas Nurture involves education, parenting, culture, and social policies.  the debate is which is more important in development, nurture of environmental contexts or the nature of an individual.

In this chapter, I learned about Jean Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development.

The first stage is, Sensorimotor with children age 0-2 years.  the child learns through reflexes scenes and other movements. also, begins to imitate others and remember things like events and people.

the second stage is Preperational with children after they start talking to 7 years old. the child develops language.  Has difficulty with past and present, thinks in the present.  has difficulty thinking from another person perspective.

The third stage is Concrete Operational with children age 6 to 11.  the child can think logically about concrete problems.  understands conversations and is able to understand, organization, past, present, and future.

The fourth and final stage is Formal Operational with children from adolescence to adulthood.  the child can think hypothetically and deductively.  Thinking becomes more scientific and begins thinking more like an adult in terms of multiple perspectives, and develops a concern for social issues like justice and personal identity.

While reading this chapter I made some connections to my own life.  the idea that a person internal clock is changed as a person gets older is very true as I see it as I have witnessed this is my own life.  not only in myself but also the people around me.  furthermore, I related to the “value of play” as the games I played as a child was vital to how I live today. whether it was playing board games with my grandmother where I developed a sense of strategy or the fact that we were farmers, and the toys I played with allowed me to do what dad was doing too.

one question that I still have is where the happy medium is between Nature and Nurture aspect of cognitive development. it is clear there is a balance, but what is that balance?