ESCI 302: Final Project

To conclude ESCI 302, I have decided to create a video that reflects my experiences and understandings for this past semester. Please find attached at the bottom my video uploaded to YouTube. I would like to thank iMovie for making it look like Stephen Spielberg directed, filmed and edited my video (just kidding).

SCRIPT:

Before entering and learning about environmental education, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My understandings of what the Earth means to so many organisms was limited but now reflecting back on re-occurring themes that entered my mind every time I walked into class and looking back on my blog posts, I now know that it goes much deeper than my previous knowledge of the environment. Environmental education has now reshaped my mind and how I will view the environment going forward by helping me understand important themes of what the Earth offers us and spreading that knowledge on as a future educator.

Looking back on the themes in my blogs that were important to me, and what I think needs to be passed onto students as a future educator is the importance of the true meaning of wilderness. We as humans, view land that is not inhabited by humans as wilderness. Understanding that no matter where you go that is deemed as “empty” probably is home to many various forms of wild life that goes as unrecognized. Is there true wilderness? Probably not as we share the land with many living organisms. What true wilderness helps me reflect on is the colonization of European ancestors coming to North America onto First Nations territory and how it’s important to recognize early ancestors and who’s land we are really on.

Looking at this so called “wilderness” and shared land  through our eyes as humans is a beautiful thing. There are many aspects of this Earth to appreciate as it provides us with so many opportunities. In order to keep this Earth beautiful, we need to reflect on our acts of reciprocity. We get so caught up In taking what the earth offers that we don’t think of giving back. Looking at my blog posts I found that I honestly don’t give back to the Earth as much as I should but during the embodying eco-literacy project I found out that there are many ways I can give back in more ways than just recycling or picking up garbage while on a hike (as I explained in my first blog). As humans we need to be more ecoliterate, which is understanding what things make life on earth possible.

By understanding what makes life possible on Earth, we need to have everyone on board to disrupt climate change or else these natural systems on earth that make life possible won’t be existing in the future. Doing little things that make you feel better like recycling, isn’t going to fix the problem, it goes much deeper than that. We need to have an environment first mentality, and figure out ways to disrupt climate change and pollution like ways such as carpooling or reusable water bottles for example. There needs to be a major movement in what we do with this planet.

Moving forward, reflecting on my blog posts, learning in class and what I thought beforehand,  I now realize that I have become a more eco-literate person and have realized that environmental education is an important subject area to incorporate in school systems. It is an integral part of the future.

To end this video off, I have saved a few of my favourite quotes from this semester. These quotes have challenged my learning all semester and will continue to challenge my thinking as a future educator. The first quote I would like share comes from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. Kimmerer states in one of her chapters we read “the world is a gift”. It’s a very simple quote, but when I unpack that quote, I think of gifts being a special gesture. When she states “the world is a gift”, we need to treat it special and to take care of it, but the way she sees it is we are doing the exact opposite.

The second quote that served a meaningful purpose to me came from David Orr’s article. The quote I liked was, “the plain fact is that the planet does not need ore successful people. But it desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, story tellers and lovers of every kind”. We need to start treating the Earth as our friend.

The last and my favourite quote was the one by Leonardo DiCaprio which really struck me at the start of the semester and I continue to think about it. It comes from his movie Before the Flood, which was a very interesting documentary that I encourage people to watch. The quote I want to leave you with is “you are the last, best hope of Earth, we ask you to protect, or we and all living things we cherish are history.” There needs to be a change in the ways humans think of the Earth before it’s too late. We need to have everyone on board in order to be successful.

Works Cited:

Kimmerer, R. W. (2013) Braiding Sweetgrass. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed                              Editions.

Fisher, S., & DiCaprio, L. (2016). Before the Flood. [Documentary] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj8kRKpOheI

Orr, D. W. (2004) Earth in Mind. Washington, DC. First Island Press. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8VQFXPP3QToTERuYWRMa2ExRzg/view

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ECS 210: Final Post-Curriculum Process

Another semester has come and gone which means that this will be my final post for ECS 210! There were a lot of experiences, knowledges, and realizations gained from this class that will be useful to me as a future educator.

Attached to this post, you will find the link to my final presentation PowerPoint with an audio for each slide. (Click the speaker logo on each slide to hear my thoughts!) I hope you enjoy!

AAECS210 FINAL PROJECT

Creative Journal #5 ESCI

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Reflecting on what my own homemade ceremonies are for my last journal entry, I have decided to talk about my family religion and how it relates to the ceremonies that we do. On an honest note, my family doesn’t have any traditional ceremonies that offer anything that directly relates to Earth, but let me tell you, my mom loves taking family pictures outside for many holidays to remember ceremonies or celebrations. We do love being outside when it’s possible for our ceremonies if the weather cooperates. We like to do lots of family skating in the winter when it’s cold and celebrate birthdays outside when its warm.  We are a pretty traditional Catholic family. Our ceremonies are basic catholic traditions such as celebrating Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and others. When we go to church, a tradition is always going for Sunday brunch after and hanging out taking time to relax.

When looking at the quote “Ceremonies large and small have the power to focus attention to a way of living awake in the world”, for some reason,  it really made me realize that ceremonies are a good way to connect with the people you know regardless of the circumstance. Everyone has busy lives and I think, especially when my whole family gets together, it is a lot of catching up with each other and talking. Ceremonies “awake the world” by uplifting connections between people. In my families case, in regards to being catholic, our Easter, Christmas and thanksgiving celebrations are a happy and good time. I think that the good intentions that my family ceremonies have really wake the people in my family by getting away from the reality of our everyday lives.

Regardless of what religion or anything you celebrate or believe I think it’s important to realize that there are many beliefs in the world and everyone has their own opinions. With that being said it’s important keep that in mind and respect everyone’s beliefs. When we were at the Residential School First Nation Burial ground, it really made me think about what my family traditions and ceremonies were in collation to what First Nations people believed or other people in the class and it was interesting to see that there are lots of variety in beliefs. It was great to see the variety of similarities and differences.

Creative Journal #4 ESCI

For creative journal number four, I have decided to share a couple pictures from my childhood. In the first one (it’s kind of blurry), is me and one of my friends playing outside on hill by my house made of snow. We would spend hours sledding down it and playing on it. Even though this hill was just across the street, my friend and I were the first ones on it. We waited eagerly to get on the hill as we watched it being made from my house across the street. Since we were the first ones on it, we felt as if it was okay to call it ours because no one was using it, disregarding anyone else who lived around the hill.

Now looking back on it and what we have learned about colonization, I think this is a good way to connect my past experiences to what we have been learning. Obviously as a kid your more likely to be less understanding of situations, but as my friend and I went and claimed that hill as “ours” we weren’t thinking about the property it was actually on or if anyone owned it. This is an example of colonization since we thought no one was using it, or going to use it, it was ours to have now. We automatically took ownership. With learning about colonization in class and reflecting back on my past experiences as a kid, I now know for the future to be more cautious to what I call “mine”. In my situation, even though the hill was there, it was still someone else’s land it was on which doesn’t give me the right to claim it mine. Just because you think something isn’t being used, or your unaware of something being used I think its important to do research before you claim something as yours, because there is a chance you could be disrupting a home, piece of land or someones way of living for your own use.

Lenses

Reading Response – Week #10

  1. I think that school has shaped my view on the world by making me realize that everyone is different and we have to respect everyones differences. No one is the same, and we have to understand that in order to make sense of why some things happen in the world we need to realize we all have opinions which are different. A bias I that I would bring to the classroom is most people learn the same way I do, so I should teach the way I’d want to learn. Understanding that everyone is different will help me realize that I need to have multiple strategies when I teach. You could work against this bias by getting to know students and understand the learning culture in the classroom and we all learn differently in regards to speed of learning, and how students respond to how a teacher speaks etc…

 

  1. Single stories that were presented in my schooling was probably to do with religion as I went through a Catholic education system when I was growing up. In terms of religion, we were taught way more about the Catholic system than any other religion and the Catholic religion was never compared to other religions when I was in school. Learning this in school has definitely shaped the way how I see other religions. In the end the only truth that matters is what you think is right.

Mathematics

Week #9 – Reading Response

Looking back to learning about mathematics, I can’t remember too much about whether it was being oppressive or discriminating where I have gone too school. I noticed in the textbooks that we got for math was always including other cultures, whether it was for solving problems in a question by incorporating different cultural values or even little notes along the side of the page that contained facts about different cultures. I also noticed that when they showed pictures of people in the textbook there were always different races of people and showed diversity. I have never been a great math student and something I found discriminating was the stereotype of men being always good at math and that was kind of something I grew up around. I also thought it was interesting how we talked about in class that there are hardly any Indigenous math teachers and now thinking about, I haven’t had any Indigenous math teachers and often I see men math teachers more often than women. I can remember I have only had 1 math teacher who was a woman which was in high school when I was growing up.

3 ways I noticed that the Inuit ways of teaching mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas was how instead of just learning modern ways of measuring with a ruler they also use past ways of knowing how to measure things by using parts of the body like the finger and foot. Another way of challenging Eurocentric Ideas was their way of counting. They learn how to count in Inuit 1stbefore they reach grade three then they start learning numbers in French and English. The last one that goes against Eurocentric ideas is that the Inuit use a base-20 numeral system. All these are very interesting ways of teaching mathematics in the Inuit culture.

Citizenship

Week #8 – Reading Response

What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling? What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus? Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship.

When looking back on examples of citizenship growing up in school there were lots that stood out. Growing up in a Catholic school system, I think that the two biggest things I was taught about citizenship in elementary school was the “golden rule” and doing the right thing even when no one is watching. An example of doing the right thing when no one is watching is seeing a piece of garbage on the ground and picking it up and throwing it away. When I reached high school I think the biggest things that my school taught me was leadership skills and community involvement. For our community involvement we did things such as Works of Mercy (helping out at less fortunate schools around Regina) street sweeps, cleaning up garbage around town, being involved with the church (alter server etc.).

 

The focus of the Catholic school system I went to was to create personally responsible citizens. I just think that they wanted lots of community involvement and giving back to the community and to be selfless. The levels of involvement in the community progressed as I got older. You start to take on more responsibilities and are expected to do more.

What this approach to the curriculum made possible in regards to citizenship was how it developed students to be active in the community and by doing good deeds to help society. Yes, we were taught good ways to help people who are in need in our community but we never really understood why we were doing it. For example, my high school ran a program called “Works of Mercy” that everyone had to do. We would basically go into inner city schools and less fortunate schools to help out with reading, students homework and all sorts of other various tasks. What we didn’t understand was why certain groups in society are the way they are like underprivileged students (social classes).

Creative Journal #3 ESCI

For my creative journal entry #3, I have made a display of one of my childhood memories of camping in one of my best friends backyard at the lake which is located in Katepwa. For some reason, when someone asks me what I think of what the Canadian ideal wilderness is as a common sense, this exact picture gets painted in my head which is a couple tents set up near the beach (lake front property) with a camp fire going. Not only do you spend all morning and afternoon in the lake, playing in the sand, and hunting for snails, clams, and various other lake wildlife, but you get the true wilderness experience by sleeping outside also. When you are camping, you become one with nature because everything you do relates to the wilderness and outdoors.

At this age, when I was backyard camping with my friend, I obviously wasn’t aware of the history the land had to offer. I was aware of the Indigenous population that lived there but had no clue to why it was like that. Katepwa lands in Treaty 4 territory and before European settlers arrived, it appeared that the Assiniboine and Cree were most dominant in the area of what they now call Katepwa. Now knowing a lot of the history that has gone on in Treaty 4 territory I now know that it is important to acknowledge the history that has risen from the grounds that I now call home. We have to be mindful of who’s land we are really on, and continue peace in the sharing of the land.

When reading through Newbery’s Canoe Pedagogy I thought that the quote that stood out to me most was, “Their lives are not often idealized although they are often glorified; statistics of miles travelled, hours paddled, calories eaten, pounds carried, bugs endured, and lives lost create a sense of awe for these working-class young men.” When I saw this quote it made me come to realization of: Was I really experiencing wilderness  when I was out camping compared to the types of battles that our early ancestors had to go through? True wilderness back then was seen as resourceful, but also a threat of deterioration and death more so than now days because of education and how society is structured. So was I really in the wilderness when I was camping compared to what people back then were exposed to? I can most definitely say no. In modern society wilderness is almost seen as recreation more so than survival. We learn different types of things when we are out in the wilderness compared to what they were learning about. What our concept of wilderness now is no where near of what the concept of wilderness meant back then.

Something I found interesting that disrupted Canada’s wilderness from Kimmerer’s Sitting In A Circle was how the wilderness in this story referred to living off the land and using what nature offered to provide humans with basic necessities whereas modern camping we are well prepared with food and water and other basic needs like when I was camping with my friend. By the students using what nature offers it gave the students a true understanding of how significant it and how powerful nature is. Overall  people might think they understand what wilderness is, but I think that you won’t get that true wilderness experience unless you ditch societal norms.

 

Treaty Education

Week #7 –Reading Response

After reading the email mike received, it made me think back to times where I was in elementary school or high school and what I was taught about Treaty Education. Growing up in a small town, I went to schools that had very little Indigenous people and now thinking about it I was taught almost nothing too little about Treaty Education. Honestly it is sad, and I know going to a Catholic school may have a big part in why I didn’t learn as much as I should but still treaty Education is a huge part of Canadian identity and what we have built our foundations off of for being Canadian.

The purpose of teaching Treaty Education where there is few to no Indigenous people is because that is our Canadian identity and how our identity is shaped. It doesn’t matter if you live in an Indigenous community or not, Indigenous people deserve respect and not be forgotten especially in Saskatchewan. We need to preserve the Indigenous knowledge or else it will die and Treaty Education is one of the biggest parts of our Canadian history. How do we let one of the biggest parts of Canadian history be lost? Like I said, I have experienced it myself, I got hardly any Treaty Education background when I was in school and I feel like if we don’t correct this issue in our schools it will get worse. It’s not like my schools were negative towards Indigenous knowledges, but they definitely didn’t make an effort to go out of their way to implement Treaty Education in the curriculum. One of my goals as a future educator is to make sure my students know our history of Indigenous people so they grow with more knowledge than I did when I was going through school when I was younger. The purpose of teaching Treaty Education is to acknowledge our Indigenous people and to make sure that there is no loss of respect for not only Indigenous people but the Canadian identity itself.

My understanding of the term “We are all treaty people” is that treaties are a major part of Canadian history meaning that we are all in this together. By saying that, I think as Canadians it is important to understand our culture’s history and why things are the way that they are. If we don’t implement a solid foundation of Treaty Education in curriculums we lose a huge part of knowing about our Canadian identity and it is a huge loss of respect towards Indigenous cultures. We are Canadian, this is our history, we need to know it!

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