Curriculum as Productive of Teachers and Learners
“We cannot understand schools today without a look at what they were yesterday.” Becoming a Teacher, 2012, p. 60 What were the ‘places’ of schooling like long ago?
Essential characteristics of the teacher: • instructional efficiency • technical knowledge and skills (with well thought out lesson plans) • physical efficiency (all teachers should be beautiful with no physical abnormalities or weaknesses) • efficiency in control (because disorder means idleness and good discipline is the foundation of moral training) • social quality (to know how to act and who to socialize with in the community) • professional spirit and enthusiasm • high personal character • mechanical proficiency where the "ability to stand at the blackboard and impress instruction by illustrative drawing is always a source of power in the teacher” Normal School, School Management (1912) textbook
I BELIEVE… What do I believe about teaching and learning? What do I believe about students? How do I view knowledge? What do I think should be taught? What knowledge is worth knowing? 1977
NTEP: Nunavut Teacher Education Program Context is the window of understanding…
Images of Teacher Education • Teacher as Learned Practitioner • Teacher as Researcher • Teacher as Professional Producing Teachers Against Common Sense (Kumashiro) Chapter One: Three Teacher Images in U.S. Teacher Education Programs
Teachers as Learned Practitioner Pairs or Triads: What does Kumashiro say are the limitations of this program? What other limitations can you think of?
Teachers as Learned Practitioner • Learn about students, the what and how to teach • Blend theory & practice Problematic: • little focus on differences, equity, power and oppression. • only certain ways of knowing students privileged Need to: • Trouble & disrupt knowledge • See different insights, identities, practices & changes it makes possible while critically examining to see what it closes off • To teach the contradictions, the gaps, the partialities
Teachers as Researcher Pairs or Triads: What does Kumashiro say are the limitations of this program? What other limitations can you think of?
Teacher as Researcher • To be lifelong learners • To reflect on own teaching practices, readings, discussions • To do research projects, working to bridge theory to practice • Learning to teach involves reflecting on, raising own questions and doing research. Problematic: Doing research does not in itself promise anti-oppressive change. Need to: • Look at what we have already learned and want to continue to learn (comfort zone) • Look at what we resist learning (where we feel discomfort). • Ask: what do our students desire learning, how do we desire teaching, and how do these desires make anti-oppressive changes difficult?
Teachers as Professional Pairs or Triads: What does Kumashiro say are the limitations of this program? What other limitations can you think of?
Teacher as Professional • Learning to teach characterized as an entry into a profession • Clear certification expectations with relevant components of program, knowledge, skills, and perspectives valued in society Problematic: • Some in society prescribe ahead of time what all teachers need to know and do and be in order to be “good” teachers • May insist on only certain knowledge and may not encourage troubling knowledge and looking beyond. Needto: • Problematize any effort that claims what it means to be a “good” teacher • Remember commonsensical definitions of good teaching are often complicit with different forms of oppression • Examine “progressive” definitions of good teaching as being partial and contradictory and are always in need of rethought
Images of Teacher Education Which of the three images in the chapter best describe the Teacher Education Program you are in and why? • Teacher as Learned Practitioner • Teacher as Researcher • Teacher as Professional Producing Teachers
Huebner’s Messages: • We must surpass technical foundations of education • We require historical awareness of: • where we once were • sensitivity to present problems, resistances and binds • and openness to future possibilities Dwayne E. Huebner’s (1923 - ) Philosopher of education and curriculum theorist
Curriculum as Production of Learners http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/ministry-overview
What does it mean to be a student?What does it mean to learn?What is significant about place? Context?
Student M • Misbehaving, time outs • Teacher wanting control • Not becoming the kind of student the teacher desired • Deep concentration in art, ask questions • “Was I bad today?” • “Not the kind of student that schools & society often tell them to be” (Kumashiro, p. 21)
Student N • Loved to read (but not bks in class) • Wanted to discuss ways to make sense of books (not just one interpretation) • Writer of own topic in own format • …Weren’t we just finding out YOUR answer? • “If the lesson itself is problematic, then there is little reason for students to be engaged” (Kumashiro, p. 22)
Taken-for-Granted View • Expanding minds • Building foundation • Increasing understanding • Search for strategies to move students from “empty” glasses to “full” ones
Oppression can result from WHAT students learn as well as from HOW students learn • Oppression can also result from WHO we allow students to be
Freire’s pedagogy starts from a deep love, and humility before, poor and oppressed people and a respect for their "common sense" • Trust & communication between educator who also learns and student who also teaches • Students need to learn to think critically to overcome social constructs that are paralyzing • Urges both students and teachers to unlearn their race, class, and gender privileges and to engage in dialogue with those whose experiences are very different from their own Paulo Freire (1921-1997) Critical Pedagogy Shortly before his death, Paulo Freire is reported to have said: “I could never think of education without love and that is why I think I am an educator, first of all because I feel love.”
MINDMAP SHARINGAlternative Schools in Saskatchewan: Who are the learners allowed to be? How does this connect with your thoughts of what a ‘good’ student is? • Choice A: Prairie Sky SchoolPrairie Sky YoutubeOutdoor Kindergarten SmileBox • Choice B: Cornwall Alternative SchoolCAS Youtube“Never giving up on the minds of tomorrow” • Choice C: Montessori School of ReginaMontessori Madness YouTube “Help me learn to do it myself” • Choice D: Mother Teresa Middle SchoolMother Teresa Principal’s MessagePhoto Slideshow: NTEP visit
In my future classroom…Where do I start? • Kid-watch Who are your learners? What gifts do they bring? Where do they come from? What is their story? • ‘See’ and plan for differences as well as sameness • Understand the significance of context • Choose a variety of resources that are meaningful & relevant
Know your own strengths, gifts and weaknesses • Examine your own beliefs, values, assumptions • Know your own knowledge & limitations of being an anti-oppressive education • Be willing to feel ‘discomfort’ in your learning • Ask what you want to learn/teach & what you resist • Challenge yourself to learn, unlearn, relearn • Continue to ask: What do I see? Not see? What do I do? Not do? What do I teach? What do I leave out? Why? What kind of learner is privileged in my classroom? Who is marginalized? • AND if you think you have all the right answers, then start asking different questions!
For Seminar: Please read the following TWO New Teacher Book Readings and jot down key quotes to discuss at this week’s seminar Time to Learn: (Ch. 1: p. 9-19) “While keeping a critical eye on my own practice, I have also begun to think more critically about teacher education programs.” (p. 17) 2. Uncovering the Lessons of Classroom Furniture: You Are Where You Sit (Ch. 2: p. 145-153) “What is the “hidden curriculum” of material school settings?” (p. 148) CLOSING MESSAGES FROM KUMASHIRO……
Kumashiro urges us to… • Transform schools into spaces where all students will be safe, addressed, and affirmed • Create spaces within schools where students can go for help, support, advocacy, and resources • Change the knowledge that all students have about people who are labeled ‘different’ • Broaden students’ understanding of differences and different groups of people by integrating into the curriculum a richer diversity of experiences, perspectives & materials. Kumashiro, K. (2009). Against Common Sense, p. xxxvii AND remember…“An anti-oppressive teacher is not something that someone is. Rather, it is something that someone is always becoming.” Kumashiro, K. (2009). Against Common Sense, p. 15