So far in my ECS 210 class, I have been realizing that the overall challenge of the class is to dig deeper into the Education system by searching for answers from past educational philosophers, past or current teachers’ experiences, and even the Saskatchewan curriculum itself. This class is not only a class that involves our own efforts to research what other philosophers and teachers have discovered or experienced in the classroom, but it also involves each and every ECS 210 student’s efforts in searching and discovering what they have learned and experienced in the classroom. This class requires us as ECS 210 students to dig deeper into the curriculum and to analyze it to see if there are any hidden messages in it, specific usage of language, and even different forms of oppression. As a future teacher, it is important to be able to have a keen eye on what the written curriculum is trying to tell you. Sometimes things come out of our teaching when we do not even mean them to. That is just how it is. That is called the hidden curriculum.
As I have been digging deeper into this class, keeping up with the readings, and listening to guest speakers, I have found that it has been challenging me to look at my past experiences and try to notice how the curriculum was being taught to me in my classroom. What I have noticed is that there was very little Treaty Education being taught in my classrooms or even in my school at that matter when I was back in my hometown. There were very few teachers that thought that it was important to teach Treaty Education because there were very few First Nation’s students in our classrooms. Looking back at this makes me upset because I could have had a better understanding of the First Nations people in my classes and would not have been so judgmental and even racist.
Now that I am learning about how to teach about the First Nations people, white people as settlers, and all people as Treaty people, I have noticed that a lot of my prejudice thoughts towards the First Nations people have been disappearing. These thoughts have been disappearing because I have a better understanding of what really happened with the residential schools and I also have a better understanding of how hard it would have been to have been treated so poorly by so many white people. I think that if I can find this First Nations history and newly understood knowledge to be interesting and beneficial to apply to my life, then almost all of the other students in my school in my hometown would have found this information to be helpful. The sad part about this is that there are still people who are unwilling to listen and learn about the First Nations’ history. They are still stuck in their ways and they still have the same prejudice thoughts and oppressive actions because they do not realize their privileges or do not have an understanding of what it would have been like to go through what the First Nations people went through.
I believe that as future educators, we need to be aware of what we teach and how we teach it, so that our students can abandon their old prejudice views towards race, gender, class, religion, etc. If teachers begin to teach the curriculum in a way that helps students to also dig deeper into their own lives and realize how their actions can affect someone else, then some forms of oppression will begin to diminish, especially the ones towards the First Nations peoples. Then our classrooms would be a more impactful place where oppression in all forms could be diminished.