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Showing posts from January, 2014

A People's History of Canada?

Over the past three years I have been slowly working on collecting stories, speeches, articles and any other types of resources that tell Canada's history from a different perspective than the traditional narrative found in most classroom textbooks.

I've been able to collect a few odds and ends but would love to see a Howard Zinn type collection of resources and lesson plans based on Canadian history. It's important that we allow our students to see multiple perspectives of Canadian history to understand that it was not solely based on military engagements and the "filling up of a vacant land".

I would love to see what type of crowd-sourcing skills we have here in the teacher twitter world and to hopefully engage with some teacher folks interested in this idea. At the bottom of this blog is a link to a Google doc where you can easily add a resource to the list. On the document please provide a description of your resource as well as a link to access it (if possib…

Teaching and Society

Teachers have an extremely important job. Every day, we have the opportunity to work with a group of young people to inspire and motivate them to engage with knowledge and the world they live in. It is a unique opportunity that we should never take for granted.

Often times, there are issues happening within a school that can be frustrating for teachers to deal with. We may receive a lack of support from administration, a lack of resources, or even a difficult working environment with other teachers and staff. However, for the most part, we feel that we can control what happens in the four walls of our classrooms.

I see so many teachers in schools (and on twitter!) engaging with impressive techniques and strategies to engage their students in meaningful learning. Coming up with these new ideas is extremely important to push teaching and the education system in the direction that will benefit all students and the society they live in.

However, teachers don't always have control over…

Let's Talk About the Purpose of Education

What is the point of teaching? What is the purpose of education? As you read this blog, I would like you to think about these two questions. Educators must reflect on our practice and have an understanding about what our teaching, and the education system as a whole, is trying to accomplish.

As teachers, we must understand that teaching/education is a political act. Neutral and unbiased teaching/education is a myth that has been cooked up by those who wish to diminish teaching to a transfer of knowledge, skills, and facts. As Henry Giroux (2009) states, "As a political and moral practice, education always presupposes a vision of the future in its introduction to preparation for, and legitimation of particular forms of social life, demanding answers to the questions of whose future is affected by these forms? For what ends and to what purposes do they endure?" (p. 246). If we understand that what we do as teachers is both political and moral, then we should define (along with…

A Case for Social Justice Education

Why is social justice important to teaching and education? As someone who has "branded" themselves a "social justice teacher", I feel I should have a good answer to this question. As I think about the world I live in, I see issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, and colonialism being perpetuated on a daily basis. Within each of those categories, there is a power group that benefits and one that does not. Social justice education is about challenging those power groups and the society that perpetuates the inequality in each one of those categories. Students must begin to confront the realities of their communities and the larger world around them. Social justice education is challenging the notion that education is more than just training students for jobs, it is educating and empowering them to be free-thinking, critical citizens who care about the world they live in.

Now, what does that look like in the classroom? To me, social justice education/t…

Sunshine Blog

So thanks to all the sunshine blog posts going around I was mentioned specifically by Will Gourley and Tanis Thiessen in their posts. Since I was away on vacation and did not respond with my own right away, most of my favourite bloggers have already been mentioned. Therefore, this post will be a modified sunshine blog post as I will just list blogs that I think should be mentioned, but have already been highlighted in other sunshine blog posts

Here is how it is supposed to work: 1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger. 2. Share 11 random facts about yourself. 3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. 4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love! 5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

Thanks again to Tanis and Will. It's been great connecting with them and reading their …