Learning from Place

List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative. How might you adapt these ideas / consider place in your own subject areas and teaching?

In the article “Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing” by authors Jean-Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner, and Edmund Metatawabin discuss the use of Mushkegowuk perspectives of the environment and why it is important to use it for the future generation of teaching students.

“Kellert (2005) has said that connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development. In the case of the Fort Albany First Nation, this connection to nature and land was all the more significant for its contributions to and additional dimension of development: the cultural identity of the people.”   

In response to this quote I believe that by seeing and doing the students will be able to understand the concepts better. They get the intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development which will give everyone a better understanding. They are able to see and do which is really good to implement in a classroom. I am a firm believer of movement education and by implementing it into your teaching I feel like it can make a big difference for you and your class.

“Gruenewald (2003), paraphrasing Bowers (2001), says decolonization as an act of
resistance must not be limited to rejecting and transforming dominant ideas; it also
depends on recovering and renewing traditional, non-commodified cultural patterns such as mentoring and intergenerational relationships.”

I believe in order to understand and to learn you cannot always be trapped in a classroom. You need to able to see and do. Making connections to place is important if that is teaching it in math using patterns, science, social studies (what is happening currently in the world), health etc. It is important to offer those experiences in a variety of forms. Teaching our students to respect others, ourselves, and mother earth. By incorporating that in our classroom we will be able to teach a richer lesson. Incorporating the arts is important with place if that is covering the strands of music, drama, dance, literature etc. The goal is to make it engaging for the students by experiencing place.




What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense?

In commonsense to be a “good” student is to follow along in class and to have a good behavior. Behavior is a major focus in schools but there a reasons for students acting out. It can be from a variety of things mental health, home life, or even an intellectual or physical disability. It is commonsense in classroom for students to follow along with a lesson to sit still and be quiet. Reflecting on my grade 2 experiences we were rewarded more for good behavior than we were for our school work. We had a “manner money” system where if we showed “good” behavior we would get monopoly money to than later buy a gift from the class store. Reflecting back on this experience all this focussed on was behavior we really weren’t excelling in anything else from my memories.

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

The ones that are privileged are the ones that can sit still and follow directions well. Some students can do that but not all students can do that. We are all different and we have different things that make us tick as human beings. Some students can sit still and follow what is deemed to be commonsense. Some students that cannot sit still struggle with that. Someone that has attention deficit disorder has a way harder time with following along for long lessons or sitting still. Does that make them bad? Of course it doesn’t make them bad but as an educator we need to make adjustments to make it work for everyone. Kicking the student out of the classroom because they may be disruptive to others is not right. It is something that in that moment that student cannot help so instead of removing the student work with them. Commonsense gives us this expectation that if you just work really hard on your behavior that you will be this model student. I personally do not agree with that everyone is different and everyone deserves an opportunity to learn.

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?

It is impossible to understand everything but as educators it is our goal to also not always go with these commonsense ideas. These commonsense ideas do not work for everyone and we need to understand that. We are not a “factory” producing the same clone of a student we want them to be. We as educators should work with our students and mold them and be accepting of their differences. It is hard to understand because even as educators we are still students and we are still learning. We are always going to continue and grow but the only way we can do that is if we stay true to ourselves and stay true to our students.

Deal with It We Must: Education, Social Justice, and the Curriculum of Hip Hop Culture



In the article Deal with It We Must: Education, Social Justice, and the Curriculum of Hip Hop Culture” by Denise Taliaferro Baszile the article discusses the use of hip hop culture in the curriculum. In the article the controversies of hip hop culture comes up as teachers have the struggle on how to approach the subject. Some of these issues can range from not feeling comfortable about teaching something that can be too sensitive for the class. Hip hop culture has evolved with the music, the dress apparel or appearance, and even language and art being used. Students in today’s growing age of hip hop culture are learning from the trends that are happening in social media.

In hip hop culture the article states,

“It has become one of the most popular forms of youth culture. Any quick scan of YouTube or MySpace will confirm that hip hop has not only found its way across various urban landscapes but also into the homes of white suburban youth and across the borders of the U.S. with multiple manifestations in Africa, Asia, and Europe.”

The truth is that even in today’s hip hop culture it keeps on evolving and it is an expressive way of art. Just because some expressive ways of arts in culture may be deemed “too sensitive” to cover in a classroom there is lots you can learn if it pertains to race, gender, social issues, and even identity. Lots of learning can be explored through different ways through hip hop culture it is just how we go about exploring those different avenues with our class. In the article it states, “As educators, then, we cannot afford to dismiss, ignore, or minimize the significance of hip hop and other popular youth cultures.” I personally agree with this statement because as educators we should be continuously growing as learners. It is important to be able to relate with your student’s art expressions through hip hop and make it a learning experience that they will be able to connect with hip hop culture.

My next steps will be to find some similar articles that pertain to the hip hop culture. I am hoping to see two sides and different opinions and be able to compare between the different authors. Everyone is not the same and share different views on what hip hop culture should be used for. I also want to be able to see things from a different lens and also be able to understand the different ways of thinking.

The Problem of Common Sense

The Problem of Common Sense

1. How does Kumashiro define ‘commonsense?’ Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘commonsense’?
Common sense tells us that experiencing such things is what it means to be in school. Were we to learn that there are other ways to structure schooling, or that prevailing views of schooling are actually quite oppressive, we might end up feeling quite disoriented or uncertain or even guilty. It is not hard to imagine feeling quite uncomfortable when learning how everyday social processes define only certain people as normal, or how everyday schooling processes track only certain students toward academic suc cess, including ourselves.
Common sense does not often tell us that the status quo is quite oppressive. It does not often tell us that schools are already contributing to oppression. And it rarely tells us that schools need to place a priority on challenging oppression. Instead, common sense often makes it easy to continue teaching and learning in ways that allow the oppressions already in play to continue to play out unchallenged in our schools and society. The insistence that we use our common sense” is really an insistence that we view things as some in society have traditionally viewed things and want to continue viewing things.
We tend to see things how others interpret commonsense which can be an issue because we are going with the norm rather than challenging ourselves to look at the bigger picture. We need to challenge our minds as teachers but also challenge our students. Seeing things from somebody else’s lens can be challenging because there mind is already made up and you are just going with what they think commonsense is.

Smith – Curriculum Theory and Practice Readers Response

The four models of curriculum described in the article. Smith, M. K. (1996, 2000)

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.


3. In this sense curriculum is not a physical thing, but rather the interaction of teachers, students and knowledge.Curriculum is what actually happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate.


4. While the process model is driven by general principles and places an emphasis on judgment and meaning making, it does not make explicit statements about the interests it serves.

What model(s) of curriculum were prominent in your own schooling experience? What did these models make possible/impossible in the classroom?

All four models of curriculum were prominent in my schooling experience. I would not say anything was impossible because I believe you can make anything possible. I just know as a student what worked and what was needed to be adjusted in order for me to pass that barrier. Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product. In the article it states, “The dominant modes of describing and managing education are today couched in the productive form. Education is most often seen as a technical exercise. Objectives are set, a plan drawn up, then applied, and the outcomes (products) measured.” Smith, M. K. (1996, 2000). In response I know as a grade 3/4 student I struggled at certain subjects and excelled in others. When I struggled my teacher used a technical exercise to get me to understand certain concepts that I was not picking up. That could range from extra work to get extra practice and help.

What could be deemed impossible is if there are no alternative ways to teach a subject. In life we have alternatives and it is our job to explore those alternatives with our students and give them an option on how to learn. I have had classes where we were forced to learn one way and that can be intimidating for some students but there are always alternatives to learning. “But we should not fall into the trap of thinking that to be educators we have to adopt curriculum theory and practice. The fact that so many have been misled into believing this demonstrates just how powerful the ideas of schooling are. Education is something more than schooling.” Smith, M. K. (1996, 2000). 

I agree with what was said. There is so much more to education than just schooling. As educators we are not just teaching but we are also the ones being taught every single day. We should never stop learning because there is always something to learn not just in the classroom but also in life.

Work Cited

Smith, M. K. (1996, 2000) ‘Curriculum theory and practice’ the encyclopaedia of informal
education, http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-curric.htm.