Martina Leader – The Tyler Rationale

For today’s response I will be addressing the prompt: Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada and other countries. Can you think about: (a) The ways in which you may have experienced 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?

This is in reference to the reading: Schiro, Michael (2013). Curriculum theory: conflicting visions and enduring concerns, (2nd Ed.) SAGE

a) Some ways I have experienced the Tyler Rationale in my schooling are… As a child in elementary school there was always a big emphasis on behavioural skills, hygiene, sharing, and following orders. These are all behavioural things that conform to Tyler’s idea of produce people that act a certain way. I think this is a very positive view of this part of Tyler’s Rationale. In later years, however, there was a negative light to the application of the Tyler Rationale and that was how in classes like Physical Education, or Art. If evaluation is checking for a change in human behaviour to conform to a specific mold and “evaluation is limited to the overt behavior of the evaluee and the specific behaviours stated in the educational objectives,” (Schiro, M. 60) then when you don’t conform to those standards you are unable to get a good grade, no matter how hard you try. This, for me, was a huge advantage in Art class, but a major disadvantage in Phys. Ed.

b) A major limitation of Tyler’s Rationale is when he states that the environment should be manipulated “in such a way as to set up stimulating situations – situations that will evoke the kind of behaviour desired.” (Schiro, M. 59) This to me seems unrealistic and I don’t think this would set students up for success in the real world.

c) A potential benefit of Tyler’s Rationale is the objective of creating good citizens. It is stated: “the way to prepare individuals to lead meaningful lives in society is to provide them with the skills that will allow them to be constructive, active members of society.” (Schiro, M. 70) I think this is a wonderful idea. As a glider pilot instructor I always give my students tips on how to improve their flying and I tell them I am giving them “tools to add to their tool belt.” I see this Tyler Rationale as being much the same. Schools don’t often follow this format today, though. I was never taught how to change my oil, or do my taxes. These would have been highly useful skills that would have made me a more functional member of society.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Martina Leader

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Response to: The Problem of Common Sense – Martina L.

Kumashiro roughly defines common sense as the predominantly existing ideas of the way things should be done. In this case it refers to the ways in which students should be taught and evaluated. This idea of there being a ‘common sense” way to do things limits and silences any new idea on how to do things and makes us ignorant of how other cultures might do things.

It is important to pay attention to “the common sense” because if we don’t we might not even notice that we are conforming to these norms. This is important because often the status quo is quite oppressive and only allows a certain type of person to succeed. In order to move towards a less oppressive education system we must first realize that the way we do things conforms to the “common sense” we must then open our minds to how we might challenge the status quo and change things for the better, and then we must be willing to make changes.

ECS 210 – Bringing my blog back to life!

Welcome to the revival of my beloved Education blog. Here you will find mostly reflections to educational readings I do. Feel free to comment back!

A little about myself: I am a third year Education student at the University of Regina with a major in Social Studies and a minor in Biology (I know, weird combo – but I like it!) Some things I like to do: Sing, dance, paint, read, write, and fly airplanes (again, I know, shocking! But yes, I am a pilot!) Over all , I am a fairly enthusiastic individual with an enthusiasm for learning and I look forward to the day when I become a teacher myself!

ECS 200 – Martina Leader – Inclusive Education

Today’s blog post is in response to the Tedx  talk by Dan Habib, Kelsey Culbert’s blog posts, and a Ted talk by Maysoon Zayid

3 things I learned:

  1. Children with disabilities AND those without both do better academically in inclusive classrooms.
  2. When talking to someone in a wheelchair you should try to ensure your face can be level with them so that neither of you get a sore neck. (This is something I simply never thought of).
  3. “People with disabilities are the largest minority in the world, yet the most underrepresented in entertainment.” -Maysoon Zayid

2 connections I made:

  1. I grew up having a cousin with cerebral palsy. So, to me, the disorder is not unusual. My cousin has never seemed different, or odd, she is just my cousin. When Dan Habib talked about the act of inclusion making people more used to the everyday fact of life that there are people with disabilities, I made this connection. The fact is, growing up with my cousin, I am used to cerebral palsy, it doesn’t scare me, and I don’t hold misconceptions about it. However, I don’t know if this would be true if I had never been exposed to the disorder before. So, by including people with disabilities – of any kind- in the classroom, our children will be more used to this fact of life. But when we hide people with disabilities away we aren’t preparing our children -both disabled and not- for the real world.
  2. Maysoon Zayid talked about how she never encountered rude comments until she was exposed to Social Media. The connection I draw is that you don’t often here racist or sexist jokes out loud, yet they are all over the internet so I can see how it would be the same with ableism. People are  braver when they can hide behind a computer monitor.

1 question I still have:

  1. If there are no disabled children in my school when I am a teacher, what are some ways I can expose my students to this?

ECS 200 – Martina Leader – The Secret Path

This week’s blog post is in response to having watched “The Secret Path” and a panel presentation about it.

Three things I learned:

  • There are close to one hundred communities in Canada that don’t have clean water.
  • Thousands of those who gave testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee had never told anyone their story before. This was a huge act of courage for those who came forward. Especially the first few survivors who began to spread the truth. They were accused of lying and even taken to court. So the process of getting the truth out has so far not been easy.
  • According to a poll by the TRC, only 66% of Canadians had heard about residential schools. That is a shockingly low number considering it is such a big part of Canada’s history.

Two connections I made:

  • Tasha Hubbard mentioned that she tells her non indigenous students learning about indigenous issues to pay attention to their own reactions to certain topics and then question why they feel that way. This makes me think back to high school when we would do a unit on residential schools or just indigenous history in general and I found myself thinking things like, “do we really have to learn this stuff again? I’ve heard it a dozen times.” My thinking about the subject has since changed but I wish I had questioned my feelings back then. Why was I so defensive? Was it because I felt guilty for being part of the culture that committed these atrocities? Was it because I was scared that I would fall from my own pedestal of white privilege? These are questions that I cannot answer.
  • Ry Moran said he has heard people say that residential schools couldn’t have been all Well, that is partially true, there was surely some happy moments in the sad lives of those placed in the residential schools. However, it was mostly bad. And even if there were happy moments, there is no denying that the children would have rather been with their parents. The connection I make is that I have heard this argument myself many times before. In fact, it was a defence I have, myself, made.

One question I still have:

  • How can we ensure that every single Canadian knows about the occurrences at residential schools?

Martina Leader – ECS 200 – Gender and Sexual Diversity

3 Things I learned

  • About thirty percent of all youth suicides are committed by gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. This to me is shocking since I have heard that only about five percent of the population is actually gay, lesbian, or bisexual. I tried looking up the exact number but different websites say different things. Either way, that suicide rate is shockingly high.
  • The odd homophobic comment, or exclusion from a social activity, or moment of feeling invisible might seem like something an LGTBQ student might merely be hurt by, something they might have to just brush off. However, these things all together are actually quite dangerous because they have a “piling effect.” This piling of difficulties can add up until the point where the student feels that their identity is being threatened at school – a place where students are often encouraged to find their identity.
  • The dropout rate for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth has been estimated as high as twenty-eight percent. This comes largely as a result of students not being able to identify themselves within a curriculum. Again, this number is shocking to me. This means that two in every seven LGBTQ youth is likely drop out of school! That is a lot of people!

2 Connections I made:

  • I can remember as a child taking home forms for my parents to fill out and there always being a section for “mother” and a section for “father” (as pointed out in one of the readings.) I never thought much of this. However, this made me think back to a couple months ago when filling out student loan paperwork. Instead of the forms saying “mother and father” they said, “parent one and parent two.” I find it interesting that the government has taken steps towards sexual equality where schools have failed to do so.
  • The second reading stated that even those schools that identify themselves as “safe schools” often fail to incorporate sexual diversity into their agenda. This reminded me of a teachers conference that I was a reporter for back in high school. One session I reported on was about safe schools and I remember one teacher testifying that his school has a “safe school” initiative that includes nothing about sexual freedom. So, even though it would seem obvious to some that LGBTQ issues should be included in a “safe school” initiative, many schools stray away from the subject.

1 question I still have:

  • How can a “safe school” initiative properly address the needs of all LGBTQ students along the spectrum? Is this even possible?

CBSL Blog 2 – Martina Leader

Looking back not too much has changed about the way I see my volunteer placement. One thing that has changed is my idea that not a lot of youth are involved with Street Culture Project but it turns out that is only the case at music night. I got the chance to explore many other programs within the organization and found that the youth involvement was actually quite tremendous! The night where most youth were all together at once was during the Halloween party we put on for them. Those of us that volunteered were tasked with creating our own station for the youth to visit. So I paired up with another volunteer and we were given a budget of $30 for our station. We ended up creating an obstacle course, that ended in bobbing for apples and then you could take that apple and make it into a candy apple! This was one of many activities put on by the volunteers and workers and all the while there was a dance going on. It was a major success and more than fifty youth participated! It was amazing to see them all together and it changed my thoughts about how many youth are involved with the program.

My greatest area of growth in my placement has been my ability to set boundaries with the youth. I struggled with this at first but after having an instance where one of the teenage boys developed a crush on me I decided I had to get better at establishing myself as a staff member, not a friend. It wasn’t easy at first but I have definitely established that boundary now.

I think the most surprising thing I have come across is the same as which I mentioned in my first blog post about my placement: these kids are forced to grow up fast! They know so much more about sex and drugs than me. Maybe “grow up fast” isn’t the best way to describe it, they are just more aware of these things than I am.

All in all I have enjoyed my placement at Street Culture Project! I am done the required twenty hours but I am definitely going to continue volunteering there.

Teachers, Administrators, and the School System – Martina Leader

Today’s blog post is in response to the reading: Young, L., Levin, B., & Wallin, D. (2006).Teachers, Administrators, and the School System.  In Understanding Canadian schools: An Introduction to Educational Administration (4th ed.). Scarborough, ON: Nelson.

Three things I learned:
1) That teaching is referred to as an isolated job. I didn’t realize that most teachers do not talk about their teaching methods. I obviously knew that each teacher spends much of their day isolated from other teachers, but I always assumed that they would be helping each other and giving each other creative ideas about how to teach subjects. It was mentioned that professional development days help with this kind of thing, but I didn’t know that those days were the extent of it.
2) That more women than men complete advanced degrees allowing them to fill administrative roles in the education system, yet there are actually more men than women working as administrators. I found this to be an interesting statistic. It shows that it isn’t that women don’t want administrative positions; it’s that they just aren’t getting them.
3) There are two purposes to evaluating teachers; formative (to improve a teacher’s methods) and summative (to judge whether or not the teacher is doing their job well enough.) However, it is hard to evaluate teachers because they don’t have someone marking them on every class, instead only a couple of times a year, which may not be representative of their work as a whole. I had never thought of these things before!
Two connections I made:
1) The reading this week mentioned that teachers don’t have academic freedom to teach whatever they want and it reminded me of the time one of my high school classmates asked our biology teacher if she could teach us about weather. (She had offhandedly mentioned that she enjoyed meteorology and took a few classes on it in university.) Her response had been something along the lines of, “just because I would like to teach you something, doesn’t mean I have the freedom to do so.” It opened my eyes to the idea that I would have restrictions once I became a teacher.
2) The opening story about the very different environment the two teachers were experiencing reminded me of this summer. I spent the summer teaching teens how to fly gliders and the other glider pilot instructors were immensely helpful. The pilot who tested my skills and taught me how to be an instructor was especially helpful because even after I passed my training and became a qualified instructor he was there as a mentor to me. Each time I struggled to teach a student something he offered some really helpful suggestion, and if that didn’t work I was always able to go to any of the other more experienced instructors for advice. However, my friend who was going through the same training in Nova Scotia said she felt intimidated to ask questions. She got the vibe that because she successfully passed her training she didn’t need any help. Furthermore, she said the instructors seemed to be competing over who could produce the most proficient students, and so nobody was willing to share ideas about teaching. So, even though my friend and I were doing the exact same job, with a specific curriculum laid out for us, we had very different experiences.
One question I still have:
1) If there are so many flaws in the ways in which a teacher may be evaluated, then what could be the best way to evaluate a teacher’s performance? As someone who hopes to someday be an education professor I find this to be a very intriguing question.

-Martina Leader

Martina Leader – Philosophy and Sociology of Education

Three things I learned:

  1. Existentialism is a philosophy where an individual determines what actions will lead to a self-determined, good life  rather than living by a set of rules prescribed that will lead to the “ideal” personal development.
  2. Formal education contributes to moral regulation. When public schools were first put in place in North America part of their purpose was to shape the individuals who go through the system. This still exists today. A teacher plays a major role in shaping students through rules and discipline.
  3. Desks placed in orderly rows, stringent class times, and emphasis on memory work are a result of early education officials looking to create an efficient workforce for industry and business. Although industry officials had little to do with all of this directly they were certainly a deciding factor because education officials needed support from businesses.

Two connections I made:

1. By reading about the educational philosophy known as “Perennialism” I was reminded of the way our current school system is laid out. We have a curriculum to follow that has a desired set of outcomes that students must meet in a “cookie cutter” fashion. Therefore our curriculum, in many ways, follows the Perennialist philosophy. Although, depending on the way this curriculum is delivered, it could also be seen as “Essentialist.” It all depends on how the teacher structures their classroom.

2. The description of “Social Reconstructionism” reminds me of what was taught in Education Core Studies 100 and 110. This theory questions the status quo and looks at the idea of “truth” critically. “Truth” (according to the theory) is just set out by the most privileged but is really subjective and may not reflect the beliefs of a minority. With all this said, the connection I have made is that the faculty of Education is trying to follow the “social reconstructionism” educational theory.

1 question I still have:

1. Both of these readings show that education is an ever changing discipline. After I get my bachelors degree in Education and get out to the field of teaching, how can I ensure that my teaching practices remain up to date as educational philosophy changes?