I kind of already mentioned that my school focused a lot on “the personally responsible citizen.” This particular type of citizen, according to the article “acts responsibly in his/her community by, for example, picking up litter, giving blood, recycling, obeying laws, and staying out of debt. Contributes to food and clothing drives. Programs that seek to develop personally responsible citizens hope to build character and personal responsibility by emphasizing honesty, integrity, self-discipline, and hard work” (pp. 3). The education I received was beneficial to my character, and my integrity. But, I do not think it necessarily prepared me to be a functioning member of society. I think, in order to be a good, functioning member of society, you need to have all three kinds of citizenship curriculum incorporated. This includes, the personally responsible citizen, the participatory citizen and the justice-oriented citizen. By having all three, it lets the student be more open-minded and creates a whole member of society.
Part 1) According to the Levin article, how are school curricula developed and implemented?
“curriculum is defined as an official statement of what students are expected to know and be able to do” (pp. 8).
“Policies govern just about every aspect of education-what schooling is provided, how, to whom, in what form, by whom, with what resources, and so on” (pp.8). It is all created through political policies. “Curriculum politics should be understood as part of the overall process of government and especially the influence of politics” (pp.9).
What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? There is a point in the article when they are discussing a poll that was done in Canada, in this poll Canadians said that wanted more of every subject in the school curriculum, but did not want longer school days or years. I found this kind of interesting. Everyone has their own opinion about what should and shouldn’t be taught in schools today, but of course not everyone can be pleased all the time. There is a constant debate about which classes are the most important for students to learn and which can be scrapped. I wonder if there is any way to avoid these kinds of arguments? Or find a way to fit all of the classes people want in the curriculum?
Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you? There was a quote in the article I thought was really interesting, it says “…. an important element of the politics around education is that everyone has gone to school, so just about everyone has a feeling of knowledge and a personal response to educational issues” (pp. 15). Almost everyone that has graduated from school has an opinion about the curriculum, the problem with this is that everyone’s school experiences are going to be different. Small, rural schools do not operate the same way a big, inner city public school would. Because of this difference, the students who attend these two schools will have very different experiences. The rural student might say that there were not enough teachers to teach the curriculum properly, which is a huge issue in meeting all the criteria that the curriculum holds. I just don’t see everyone agreeing on the one right way to teach the curriculum because of these differences.
Part 2) After reading pages 1-4 of the Treaty Education document, what connections can you make between the article and the implementation of Treaty Education in Sask? I just think it is the same curriculum, with Treaty Education integrated into it. I graduated high school in 2017 and I never had to take any form of Treaty Education. We learned about the Treaties in history class, but other than that we did not learn much. I think it is a good idea to implement it into the curriculum, but of course the argument of “is there enough time in the day or year for this?” will always be present.
What tension might you imagine were part of the development of the Treaty Education curriculum? The argument of time is a huge tension in the education system. Like I said before, there will always be people arguing that other topics/subjects are more important than others. I think implementing it is a great way to work towards reconciliation and it is important for us to know more about the past from the point of view of Indigenous peoples.
What does it mean to be a “good” student according to common sense?
Which students are privileged by this definition of a good student?
What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these common sense ideas?
The topic I chose for my critical summary is place-based education. It is education enriched in stimulating environments for students to actually take an interest in what they are learning. Because curriculum is so based around the pre-specified outcomes that students need to meet in order to pass the class, I thought place-based education would be interesting. My main article I chose to focus on for this assignment is Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities by David Sobel.
In David Sobel’s article (2014), he discusses a lot of the pros to place-based education. Sobel discusses the effects of using the environment as an integrating context (EIC) and he found that at a high school called Luke Falls in Minnesota, students with EIC had 54 percent fewer suspensions than other ninth graders. Sobel also found that at Valley high school in Kentucky, EIC students had an 11 percent higher rate of attendance than other students (Sobel, 2014). Standardized testing in schools that had place-based education as their main instructional strategy showed improved reading scores, improved math scores, classroom discipline problems decreased, students developed the ability to make connections and use their knowledge in unfamiliar circumstances (Sobel, 2014). Sobel (2014) then goes on to discuss each subject individually and how they could all benefit from place-based learning. Sobel’s overall opinion of place-based education is that it should be happening in more schools across the globe. He did not give any cons to having more education outside. He believes it genuinely improves the learning process for students of all ages and often times leads to success in higher education.
(a) The ways in which you may have experience the Tyler rationale in your own schooling.
: (b) What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale/what does it make impossible?
: (c) What are some potential benefits/what is made possible?
How does Kumashiro define 'commonsense?' Why is it so important to pay attention to the 'commonsense'?
Kumashiro says that “the peace corps relied on a commonsensical definition of good teaching that was informed primarily by how teaching was generally experienced, discussed, and conceptualized in the United States” (pp. XXXI-XXXII). Kumashiro also stated that most of the peace corps volunteers had received little or no preparation to be teachers, and most of them had had very little teaching experience before joining the Peace corps. Yet, they were told they were all capable of serving as resource teachers because they had over sixteen years’ experience as students in the U.S. educational system (pp. XXXII).
Kumashiro states “common sense does not tell us that this is what schools could be doing; it tells us that this and only this is what schools should be doing. This moral imperative “should” helps to explain why we often feel social pressure to conform, as when we tell ourselves, “it’s just common sense that schools teach these things and students do those things” (pp. XXXV). Kumashiro is saying that most perspectives that challenge common sense are dismissed because they do not fit the norms of the school. It is important to pay attention to common sense because it varies from place to place. As future educators, we need to be able to understand that our way of doing things is not the only logical way to do things. We need to be open to new ways of teaching, and challenging the norms of society.