ECS 210 Blog

Reading Response #1 

Kumashiro: Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice

After reading this article on “common sense” by Kumashiro, my understanding of common sense has differed than previously. This article really helps the reader understand that common sense primarily has to do with where you are from, your background, your community, even the way you are raised. Simply, every body’d common sense will be different because every body’s background is different. In the text, the author travels halfway across the world to become a teacher in Nepal, he quickly realized that their common is much different than someone’s from North America. Simply because of the living conditions they are accustomed to in Nepal. The example I really liked that the author used was the part where one of the students brought up a stick to be used to punish another student by hitting them with it. Just that simple gesture proves how different our way of life is compared to those in Nepal.

That thought then leads me back to my future teaching. In my career I am 100% sure that I will encounter dozens, if not hundreds of students that come from different backgrounds and societies as of those in the text. This reading definitely reminds me that as an educator I need to be mindful of others backgrounds and the differences that we may or may not have grown up in. As an educator it is my goal to be diverse in the classroom and be able to connect with each student no matter where they come from and no matter what conditions they have grown up in. This wont be a simple task, but I do believe it is an achievable one.


Reading Response #2

Smith 2000: Curriculum theory and practice.

Four Models of curriculum described in the article are:

  1. Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted.
  2. Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.
  3. Curriculum as process.
  4. Curriculum as praxis.

In my experience, I would say that all of these models of curriculum were present during my youth in schools.  From the beginning, curriculum has always been looked at as what we are going to learn throughout the year as students. Which is true, but this idea can be expanded, and that is where the product and process approach come into play. Thankfully, growing up in sports teams environment I already had a good understanding of the difference between product and process approach. In simple terms, product approach means that the educator only looks at the final outcome of the student that he/she is teaching. Whereas the process approach has a strong focus on HOW the knowledge is being passed down, so basically the events leading up to the final product. Unfortunately, the product approach was prominent in my own schooling experience. I can think of countless times where I was given an assignment and a due date with absolutely no explanation or guidance in the assignment. This type of thing has its place but I would argue that it is taken advantage of too much. Luckily, I was able to get by with these methods as a student, but these types of assignments are based under the impression that every student can receive and retain information at the same pace. In other words, slower learners were either behind the due date or the assignment was not up to standard. This type of learning makes it impossible for the slower learners or students with disabilities to complete the assignment up to standard. However, it does teach the student independence through figuring things out on they’re own. For those reasons I much prefer the process approach in a classroom setting, especially for younger years. I also prefer the process of learning much more because it gives the student the ability to go at a pace in which is more suitable for them. This will allow the student to understand the material much stronger. Not only will the student understand material stronger but he/she will also get the opportunity to learn more than just what the teacher is telling them.

Reading Response #3

Disability –

For this assignment I have decided to choose a topic on which will be very familiar in every body’s teaching career. Disability is something we as educators will see a lot of in our classrooms and it is important to know how to go about giving these children the same education as the rest of the kids who will not  need the extra help. There are tons of scholars and research articles done on this topic that will be mentioned through out, most of these will talk about inclusion and integration, focusing on strengths and identifying the weaknesses, as well as giving adaption strategies that will suit this student’s needs to give the student the same education as every body else.

Inclusion and Integration can sometimes be mistaken as having the same meaning, however, inclusion and integration have substantially different meanings. Inclusion means that a person with a disability has the same rights, access and choices as everyone else in a community. Where as integration is incorporating into a society or an organisation of different groups. Inclusion is every person’s right, no matter the circumstance, so it is crucial that us as educators have policies that will encourage inclusion in our classrooms. According to Marta Tienda in the article “Inclusion: Promoting Integration in Higher Education” Integration is not an automatic by-product of campus diversity; therefore, to harness the benefits of diverse student bodies, institutional leaders must pursue deliberate strategies that promote inclusion. ( Tienda, 2013 ) This quote by Marta should help us as the “institutional leaders” understand how important it is that we have an inclusive & integrative setting in our classrooms. As well as us having to pursue strategies that promote this inclusion to further the learning of these students with exceptionalities.

Learning from Place:

What examples of Reinhabitation & Decolonization do you see in the article?