Place Based Curriculum

For my project I decided to look into place based curriculum. The article I found discussed how place based learning helps students become more connected with the community and interested in learning. In my opinion that sounds like a good combination so I continued looking at what it had to offer. It continued to talk about how adolescents often deal with issues involved with the place they live so by letting them think about that they get to talk about how it impacts who they are. By learning in this way this is how students become more connected to their community and they get to write about something they are the expert in.

In order to see whether this type of education works they studied an English language arts class at a rural school in North Carolina. The students were split up into three groups to evaluate what they needed to improve. One group was of students who struggled with English. Another group was of students who struggled with connecting socially. Group three had students who often finished their work quickly and then were bored for the rest of the class. They did a variety of assignments on how they are related to their community and how their community has impacted them. After doing these assignments all groups improved in the area that they needed to and had more meaning in their writing.

For the next steps of the assignment I will continue to look for peer reviewed articles about my topic. I might look to see if I can find an article that is against place based curriculum so that I can observe the pros and cons of place based curriculum. So far everything seems to be supporting it though which mean that it must be a good education method. I look forward to finding out more about place based curriculum.

Curriculum Theory and Practice

There are four models of curriculum which are transmitted, product, process and praxis. When looking at curriculum model to be transmitted it is clear what needs to be taught and it is all laid out formally. However, it looks as though the purpose for it is an exam and not all students can display their learning through an exam. The curriculum as a product is good for being organized and clear of the outcomes. It also was good for teaching students what they need to know for being able to be good workers. Disadvantages to this though are that the children do not get much of a voice and this could result in them not being interested or acting out which would not accomplish what this theory is meant for. For curriculum as a process advantages of this are that the students and teachers get to interact differently than other models. There is a lot of out of classroom learning and the students get to experience learning in new ways. It also gives students a voice in class. A weakness of the process model is that teachers might not be comfortable with teaching in this way and lose control of the classroom or go back to teaching the way they were. Curriculum as praxis is good for getting students to think critically and having class discussions.

When I was in school we followed the product theory the most. A lot of the classes were structured where we were taught a lesson, did an assignment and then at the end of the unit we did an exam. For me, this made it easy to remember things because we were frequently getting tested on the information that we were supposed to know. However, for some students this style was not suited for them because they prefer to display their learning by writing or discussions. Our school was also really big on making sure that we new how to behave “properly”. This does not take into account students who might have something big going on in their life. Also, deadlines were important because we were told how once we are working we will have deadlines that cannot be moved. Overall, for meĀ  this worked out but for lots of others they did not enjoy this set up.

Constructing Teacher Identity

Through the reading I learned many things that I have not talked about yet in many of my other education classes. One thing that I learned was how teaching classifies as a profession and what it means to be professional. Another thing that I learned was how the collective bargaining agreement is and how that will affect me as a teacher. The other thing I learned was how even our private life is looked at as a teacher and certain actions can have consequences to our career. Before reading about this I had not really thought about the impact my private life can have on my teaching career. A connection that I had was to the teacher talking about being anxious before her one lesson because I also get very nervous when coming up with lesson plans for classes. Also how she said that teaching is like improv I have heard from many people so that is also something that I was able to connect to. My question that I still have is where the line is on what is allowed for teachers to do in their private life? I understand that you can’t do anything illegal but is there anything else?

Constructions of Authority in Schooling

Through reading this article I learned many things. One thing I learned was are ways to make a more diverse teaching staff. I think this is important since there are all types of students and it would make sense to have a teachers that are the same. Another thing that I learned was that in some school districts, teachers have to get permission to teach about controversial topics. This was very surprising to me at first since a lot of controversial topics are important to teach. Also, I learned how teachers are evaluated and some of the flaws with the system. In my opinion the evaluation is necessary but the way it is done could be improved. A connection that I made to the article is when they were talking about having more diversity in our teachers it related to other classes of mine where we discussed how certain groups of people have a hard time getting certain jobs or are paid less. The other connection that I made was to one of our class discussions where we were talking about how the school is sometimes run as a factory because a lot of the business side of stuff does run like that. My question that I have is should experienced teachers be getting evaluated less than beginning teachers? I ask this because sometimes people who are experienced tend to stick to their ways even if the way we are doing things is changing.

Social Justice in Schools

This week’s reading taught me a lot about social justice issues being taught in schools and the criticism it has drawn. One thing that I learned was that there are schools, that are actually teaching elementary students about social justice issues. Before reading this article I was unaware that there are school who are making students aware of certain issues. Another thing that I learned is how to deal with parents if I were to try and teach social justice issues in my classroom. There are many parents who disagree with such issues being taught by a teacher instead of at home so it will be important to know how to explain why I would be teaching these issues. The other thing I learned from reading this article is how to integrate social justice issues into many classes if that was something I wanted to do. A connection I made was that a lot of our education classes are preparing us to teach some of these social justice issues when we are teachers. My other connection was in high school we would have debates about some of these issues which I think might be the better way to go about a lot of the topics. After reading this article my question I have is if it would be better to start teaching about social justice issues in high school instead of elementary?

Social-Historical Constructions of Schooling

Throughout the reading I learned a lot about how schools and teaching have evolved over the years. Specifically, the list of the duties of the teacher from 1875 was way different from what a teacher has to do now. I understand that schools were smaller then but they were doing the job of three people at least. It would be very hard to do all of their chores on top of teaching the children. Another thing that I learned was how quickly the amount of students in schools increased and became more formalized. When the schools did increase like this I also find it odd that they cut back on community involvement which I think is very important to have in schools. Also, I learned how much of a process it was to get the public school system going. Now with all the school activities we have I have never really thought about how it was before. I just took for granted how the school system is now. One connection that I made while reading this was some of the complaints that people were making about how the education system was not working are complaints that people still have today which shows that the school system needs to keep evolving. Another connection that I made was how when they were talking about how the school system didn’t have much money so they hired women because they were less qualified related to classes of mine where we talk about women rights. When I read that I was very upset that they were able to get away with paying them less. My question that I still have is how can the school system evolve now to meet the needs of our society today?

Culture and Diversity

Through reading this chapter I learned many things. One thing that I learned is how socioeconomic status can impact school achievement. Lower socioeconomic status students tend to not do as well as students who have a high socioeconomic status. This is very upsetting for me to hear and I want to help make a difference in this situation. Another thing that I learned was how common stereotypes are. Its sad to think but I even have them even though I do not really realize this. I will have to work on this and make sure I continue not letting it affect how I treat people. Also, I learned about multicultural education and agree that diversity is very important. A connection that I made while reading this is that on some hockey teams that I played on a lot of the players would assume that teams from a reserve or places up north were going to play a “dirty” style of hockey. The other connection I made is how they were talking about the importance of diversity it reminded me how my school did Culture Day and we had people there showing us traditions and other things about their culture. Then for lunch everyone brought a dish from their culture and we had a potluck. To me this was a good way to show our differences but still be connected. My question I still have is how to make sure children respect diversity and do not stereotype? We as teachers can do some stuff but if the parents are showing this behaviour to their children it could be hard to change.