Reading Response- Oct. 15

3 Things I Learned:

  1. In the first article Nourishing the Learning Spirit, I learned about the Learning Spirit that is believed to live in all people from the First Nations way of knowing. From my understanding, the Learning Spirit seeks understanding of the world and strives to make learning a life long practice, in contrast to the Eurocentric thought of linear learning. Through the trauma of Residential Schools this this Learning Spirit has been damaged and our role as educators includes the unlearning of colonialism and relearning of Indigenous practice for learning.
  2. The idea of Reconceptionalism is a new term for me, but the idea that people as human beings will come to a universal truth is interesting as a way of knowing and informing teaching practice. I wonder though what place Vygotsky’s theories of modelling behaviour have in the idea of children and people coming to realizations of their being? Do we come to these realizations through play, context and postitionality or simply because we are human?
  3. A new realization I came to in the Marie Battiste article is the idea that universities and institutions only place value on Indigenous ways of knowing through artistry and as historical figures rather than people that are alive and growing today. This idea of tokenism and convenience of having Indigenous people thought of as convenient and as a past tense culture have been on the forefront of my mind lately, especially through incorporating Indigenous practices into daily life of schools and other places of learning.

2 Connections I Made:

  1. During my Indigenous 100 class we watched a video about the experience of a young Indigenous boy who learned to hunt whales on his own after wondering for years how his father and uncles did so. When watching the video I was concerned about what I now connect to be reconceptual theory that children will learn to do what is required of them. I could not fathom that these parents could have so much trust that their son would learn how to hunt without them directly spoon feeding him this way of life. Although this is a relatively new understanding of learning, I connect that this is common practice throughout Indigenous communities.
  2. Again connecting from my Indigenous 100 class, I often times found myself very frustrated when taking the class that I wasn’t learning anything because I didn’t feel like I could take notes as the class didn’t run in a linear and predictable fashion as I was used to. One day it struck me that this class was run from an Indigenous perspective and after this I had to “unlearn” my way of knowing and think from the perspective of Indigenous knowledge which includes aural tradition and learning is often not linear.

1 Question I Have:

  1. How do I, as a white and middle class teacher, know what needs to be unlearned and relearned in my teaching practice? How will I know when my practices can expand to as many children as possible in my classroom?

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