Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Ways of Knowing

Blog Post # 6 Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional  Ways of Knowing

In this week’s reading we read a paper that details a research project about  honouring Mushkegowuk Cree concepts of land, environment and life in Fort Albany First Nation. In this article we were asked to identify the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative. In this narrative you can see decolonization happening in the Renaming and Reclaiming section. In this part they talk about bringing back the Cree language during their expedition. “During the river excursion the Cree-language terminology was expanded for those participating. The words paquataskamik and Kistachowan Sipi (Albany River’s original name) were written along the fifty-foot long sides of the raft” In the section The First Relationship with the land we see a very specific part of reinhabitation. In this section one of the elders gives insight on how to tell use the wildlife to indicate that their land is safe. “When we hear frogs singing we know the water quality is safe for our consumption. We listen to the song of the birds to know what kind of weather is approaching. The moose will know when we need food and allow themselves to be taken”

I think it is very important to adapt these ways and incorporate them into how I will be teaching. It is important to incorporate this Indigenous knowledge because it was used a long time before European colonization. If we keep these teachings and stories alive then we will benefit from them. It is also crucial to teaching this kind of knowledge because it will educate students on what this land was like. I think you could incorporate this knowledge in many different subjects like science, history and Language arts.


Blog Post 5 How is Curriculum Developed

Blog Post # 5

Before you do the reading, ask yourself the following question: how do you think that school curricula are developed? This is an entry point to this topic and whatever you write will be fine.

  • I think Curriculum is developed by the government and people who study curriculum and come together to improve it. I also think that the provinces have some say in how they will be developed. I think white older men have a say in it what is put in the curriculum as well.

How are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you?

  • Curriculum is developed from the policies studies. Policies control just about everything. “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”. Government politics has a huge influence on curriculum as well. Curriculum seems to be controlled by the people who theorize it rather than actually teach it. It seems that teachers don’t have much of a say in how curriculum is developed which is pretty surprising to me.


What it means to be a “good student”

Blog Post # 4 What it means to be a “good student”


In this weeks Blog prompt we were asked what does it mean to be a “good” student according to the common sense? This question is one that can have many different answers. In terms of common sense, a good student is on who in the teachers eyes does everything they ask of them. In my 3000 hours of being in school the main things that teachers ask of students is to be quiet, be respectful of others, engage with classmates, meet deadlines, do not fight, answer questions when asked, and do exactly what the teacher asks of you. This idea of a good student has been around for a long time and has never really changed. I think that these norms have been set because if you are the stereotypical good student then you will be a “good worker” in the workforce. I believe that this is true to a certain point. I also believe that this limits the potential of students and is problematic because there will be no risks taken. I think that in today’s society it is important to challenge the norms of what it means to be a good student. Lots of the attributes should still follow the norms but teachers should challenge the students to be the best students that they can be, not just a one size fits all normative narrative.


Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?

This question goes with what I said before that teachers should challenge students to be the best students that THEY can be. Typically the students that are privileged are the upper middle class. Families that are financially comfortable are typically the ones whose children are the privileged ones. Also the students that have a “Nuclear family” also are privileged in the definition of good students. In my own experience I have seen that the students whose parents are split up and are financially unstable tend to be the students are labelled “bad”

ECS 210 Blog Post 3- Curriculum and Life

Ecs 210 Blog Post 3


“Curriculum is everything learned and experienced inside and outside the school” (Ayers, Quinn, Stoval, & Scheiern, 2008, p. 309).

Think about what it makes possible and impossible in education?

This quote is made possible in education because it is saying that there is no one way of curriculum. What curriculum is suppose to be teaching students is things both inside and outside of school. This quote is important to education because it claims that what teachers teach in a school will help them learn about life not just books and tests.

What does it say about the teacher, about the student?

This says that the teachers job is to teach the student more than just the content of the subject. It is their job to connect with the student and guide them through life and their experiences.

The role of the student in this case would be to experience as many things as they can and question it to their teachers. They will learn about life by doing things and asking questions both inside and outside of school.

How does it related to your own understandings of curriculum and of school?

My personal understanding of curriculum is related to this because i believe curriculum is the things we need to teach children to get them ready for the next steps in their lives. I believe that there is a lot more to teaching than just books and tests. An example from my life is when I was in the 7th grade, my basketball coach was relating basketball real life. He told our team that the way we carry ourselves on the court is the way we will carry ourselves in real life. He told us that we will experience loss and wins on the court, it is all about staying humble when we win and lose. I believe that this is part of the lesson we should teach in curriculum, relate what we are doing in class to life lessons.


Ecs 210 Blog post 1- Common sense

“My neighbors taught much about the facets of life in the village that many of them seem to take for granted as common sense or what everyone should know”.

His view on common sense was the modern american colonial way. The traditional 3 meals a day and separate faucets for different jobs ie. showering, laundry, drinking.

“One reason that I, and I imagined my Peace Corps colleagues embraced the idea of the American way was both better than the Nepali way and applicable in Nepali contexts was the apartment similarly between practices in Nepali schools and practices that we had just learned were outdated in the United States.”


It is important to pay attention to common sense the way that Kumashiro describes it, because in the western world many people are under the impression that our way of doing things is the right way, and we remain ignorant to the other cultures and ways of doing things. Our version of common sense and their version of common sense differ based on our experience, knowledge, and what we have been surrounded by in our everyday lives. Common sense in the other use of the word, fluctuates between cultures, and making the assumption that everyone is united under one way of doing things is ignorant. Our society is recognized heavily throughout the world, let it be film, politics, and things like our commercials and sports. This gives many the impression our society is dominant, leaving other societies shrouded from our view of consciousness.

Writing the Self Analysis – Looking for Normative Narratives

Part I
A common normative narrative that I have always thought to be true is that men had to show toughness and bravery. This was the type of normative narrative that shaped the way that I lived my life growing up. These stereotyped have given people a “picture” and an outline for them to seem “normal”. Other common stereotypes are that men show dominance and women show submissiveness. Normative narratives are many times just a myth and they shape the way people live their lives in specific ways to avoid looking different. Toys, activities and games also play an effect on the way children grow up. Boys are pushed more towards sports and toys that show violence or competitiveness and girls usually encouraged to dance and play with toys that are show creativity and the art. In my Self story titled “Playing the Role” I talk about gender and discuss how I believed that I had to play the role of a tough guy that was not scared of anything in order to attract girls my age. “I know man it is so fake, and girls don’t like when guys are show they are afraid.” (Braun)
When comparing other stories that have similar normative narratives about gender, Jory Schwean’s story titled “Why is the World Like This” does a good job on pointing out the difference in jobs between men and women. In his story he states “As I thought about it, she was right. All of the kids my age that have jobs had some labour jobs working for the town or on the railway or pipeline, while most of the girls my age had jobs in restaurants or babysitting.” (Schwean) This quote directly relates to the normative narrative that boys are rougher and grittier and were raised to be outside while women pursue the jobs that involve caring loving being gentle and serving the needs of men. Even though I think these stereotypes of men and women are wrong the data says that it is true. More men have careers that require manual labor than women. My parents are a good example of this my dad is an electrical technician for SaskTel and my mom is a medical secretary for doctors at the hospital in our hometown. My dad often works day to day outside while my mom works in the hospital for doctors. This also relates to my self story because children, more specifically boys grow up playing outside where girls grow up playing inside with dolls and more creativity. Boys are then directed to pursue careers that involve being outside because that is what they were raised to do. So even though it is not okay to stereotype what men and women can do, it is unintentionally stereotyped that men are more rough and tough and are designed to work for labor jobs and be outside.

Another story that distinguishes between two genders is Brayden’s self story. In his story he discusses his grade 10 Phys-ed class and how they were split between boys and girls, apart from how it used to be to joined classes. In his story he came to realize how boys used to be more intimidating when playing sports than girls. He states “I started thinking about grade 8 and 9 Phys Ed class, and when we played more intimidating sports, like dodge ball. I began to realize that when activities like this were being played, it was always the weaker and more shy players that would get picked as number one targets. I finally realized that there is a definite separation between males and females.” In this story he suggests that the normative narrative that men are physically intimidating and physically superior to women. When finding the normative narrative in this story it is easy to see that men have always been more physically dominant when it comes to sports. The story relates to my self story because I identified that the normative narrative of men is that they show their physical strength in order to shape a picture that they are tough. Because the school decided to have separate classes between genders, they unintentionally showed hat men are superior to women when it comes to the physical capabilities therefore to even out the playing field.
Part II
When men and women stray away from the normative narratives of their genders people tend to look at them slightly differently but, in a way, that they’re acting out of what their roles are. Disrupting normative narratives is important because allows people as individuals to defy the requirements of their gender. There are two of my classmates that share similar stories about gender. The first one comes from Joy’s self story titled “The Game” In this story the women’s basketball team is against the boys and she is struggling with the referees being in favor of the boy’s team because of their gender, she is also showing that as females they are still able to compete against the boys. In this story she states, “I’m not slouching off on my defender but, yet the favour of the male referees seems to be going to the boys’ team we are up against. We do a quick “give and go” and get the point. There is not very much time left and we could win it… that is if we were actually just playing a basketball game and not the boys’ pride…” This story differs from all the other stories because it shows the women’s basketball team disrupting the stereotype of men being more physically dominant. She can describe how if they were just two teams that they would be equal.
A similar story comes from the classmate Dylan’s self story. In his story he discusses a memory of when he was playing his last high school football game. A girl that played on the boy’s team was their best guard. She was able to make the team better because of the skill she brought to the team. Dylan explains “She was the best guard on our team, I had always admired her play style. It was because her that our running back already had ninety yards rushing by the end of the first half.” These self stories show the disruption of normative narratives in today’s lifestyle, they show that women are very easily able to compete physically with men. With the disruption of normative narratives people are able to identify that that certain stereotypes like men being physically stronger are not always true and are just a myth.

These self stories silence the other self stories that include the normative narratives because they show in people’s first-hand encounters the stereotypes are not always true. Because of this I view myself story a little bit differently, I know that even though there are certain ways that men are supposed to act, we are not limited to certain “picture” of what a “real man” is supposed to look like. Similarly, with girls they don’t have to act a certain way in order to be the “perfect girl”, they are free to prove they have what it takes to compete on the same level as men. The course material that we have been reading and viewing has showed these stereotypes exist but also that they can be disrupted. In the video we watched for class titled “Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood, and corporate power”. We see that many of the normative narratives in movies are men using their strength and bravery to show dominance and women use seductiveness to show their dominance. This normative narrative is disrupted in the movie “Mulan” Where a woman pretends to be a man to show that she is equal to them in the war. These videos shaped child. And it formed an image in their head of what an ideal man or woman look like. Because of the movie Milan, women started to think of themselves as physically equal to men. Both the classmate’s stories and these videos help bust the normative narratives that we have today.

Self Story # 4

My First Rider Game

I remember this day very clearly. We were on our way to the Mosaic Stadium to go watch our very first Roughriders game. I remember my mom and dad saying there will be a lot of people here so stay close to us and don’t wander off. As we parked our car and started walking towards the stadium I remember looking across the street and seeing this man walking with a bunch of bags in his hands, wearing very baggy clothing. I asked my mom why that guy had so many bags in his bags and she said “he may be less fortunate than we are”. As we continued walking to the stadium I noticed that there was a man on the street that was also laying down and again I ask my mom “why is this man lying on the ground?” My mom replies saying “son some people are not as well off as we are”, and I remember not knowing what that meant. So I asked her what does that mean? She replied with “Some people never went  to school and never got a job so therefore they have to live on the street and don’t get to go to the fun rider games”. This made me question why we are more fortunate than other people what makes me different than them. My mom gave me a life lesson that if I studied and went to school that I will be just fine when it comes to money. This is when I realized that we were in the middle class and that this was how I wanted to live my life when I got older. At the same game I remember sitting extremely far back and wondering why I couldn’t see the field as good as some people that were able to have seats that were closer. Again I asked my mom “why can’t we get front row tickets so we can see the field better?” My mom says “Remember how we said some people are more fortunate than others well we are able to attend the game but have to sit further back but some people are able to buy tickets that are really expensive and close to the field so that they can see extremely well. Those people may have more money to spend than us.”


This explanation that my mom gave was able help me wrap my head around people that are more fortunate than us and people that are less fortunate. I was able to distinguish between people that couldn’t even afford homes and people that had lots of money and they could sit front row at every Saskatchewan Rough rider game. This was my first realization that we were part of the middle class.