Below I have attached my final representation video detailing my engaged citizenship pledge. Enjoy!
Below I have attached my final representation video detailing my engaged citizenship pledge. Enjoy!
Last week I had the opportunity to receive some feedback from two of my peers regarding my engaged citizenship pledge. I really appreciate this feedback because it not only gave me some kind compliments to keep me motivated towards my pledge, but it also gave me some constructive criticism of things I could do better. Below I will share some of this feedback with you, my response to it, and some possible ways I could use it to improve my pledge.
Upon beginning to read the feedback, I was happy to hear that both of my peers understood the focus of my engaged citizenship pledge. It reinforced that I had structured my pledge well, and that the writing I had done to express my pledge was clear. When I read the feedback on weather or not connections between my pledge and the curriculum were clear, I received two conflicting answers. One of my peers said connections between my pledge and the curriculum were clear, while the other said they had a hard time finding curricular connections. I was surprised by the latter, since I had included the exact outcomes my pledge related to in my first post. Taking this feedback into account, I am not sure how I could make connections between my pledge and the curriculum more clear. I was, however, happy to hear that my peers thought I had done a good job of giving examples of how I will become more environmentally friendly, as well as connecting my pledge to another class. Regarding pieces of my pledge that I could improve on, both of my peers mentioned that I could post more regularly. I would have to agree with this criticism as I have not posted frequently throughout the semester, although I am attempting to make more of an effort to do so. Other suggestions for improvement included connecting my pledge to treaty outcomes, and incorporating it into my future classroom. I will have to think some more on how to connect my pledge to the treaty outcomes, but I am thinking an improvement to be made could be oriented around my relationship with the land as a treaty person. As far as incorporating my pledge into my future classroom, I think I could do this by sharing the knowledge I have learned about being environmentally friendly with my students, as well as putting some of these practices into use within the classroom. I could also encourage students to integrate these environmentally friendly practices into their own lives.
Overall, this feedback as allowed me to further reflect on my engaged citizenship pledge, and motivated me to keep working at it throughout these last couple of busy weeks. I have also been more seriously considering working away at this pledge after this class is over. The journey of being an engaged citizen never stops, and I am going to use this pledge in an attempt to keep on that journey.
Well, the past couple of months have passed in a blur. Between classes, assignments, tests, and pre-internship, I can’t believe it’s already November! Although you have not heard from me since I initially announced my pledge, I haven’t forgotten about it. As you may recall, my initial pledge was to be more environmentally friendly, specifically concerning the amount of waste I produce, the amount of water I use, and the type of products I consume. Here is a bit of an update on each of those areas:
As far as reducing the amount of waste I produce, I think I’ve done an ok job. I’ve been recycling all of my drink cans, bottles, and cartons, as well as a ton of paper. Although I am pleased with this initial step in reducing my waste, I feel as though I can improve. I think there are a lot of materials in my home that I could be recycling but am not, simply because I don’t know they could be recycled. Researching additional materials I can recycle, as well as finding out specific materials the city’s recycling program accepts are my immediate goals in this area.
Reducing my water usage is one area within my pledge that I have struggled with for the past couple of months. There are parts of reducing my water usage that I do well, and other parts I don’t do so well. I only do laundry when I have a full load, which is easy for me because my laundry always seems to pile up quickly, so I have never-ending full loads of laundry to do. I also never run the dishwasher unless it is full, which again is easy to do because dishes too seem to pile up very quickly. I also don’t leave the tap on when I brush my teeth or wash my face. While I can be proud of myself for these small victories, I also recognize the areas I need to work on. Reducing my time in the shower and the amount of baths I take has been really hard for me. I am one of those people who is guilty for taking 20 minutes showers because I love the warm water, and because I like to problem solve or daydream when I am in the shower. I am also guilty for taking baths 3-4 times a week (even when I don’t need to) because I use it as a coping mechanism to help me relax and deal with stress. I realize these aren’t the most efficient uses of water, so I have brainstormed a couple strategies I can use to help me improve in these areas. Firstly, I can try the “army shower” to help me reduce water while showering. This involves turning the water on in the shower only when I need it (like to wash shampoo out of my hair), and turning it off when I don’t directly need it (like when I apply shampoo to my hair). Additionally, I can also find other ways (such as exercise) to help me relax and cope with stress without needing to take a bath.
As far as choosing products that are more environmentally friendly, I haven’t made a lot of progress. When I am at the store, I find it hard to take the time and look at all the products within the category of the one product I am buying, just to find one that is more environmentally friendly. I also feel like choosing more environmentally friendly products goes deeper than just reading the back of the label. It involves research, which can also be time-consuming. One step of progress I have made in this area is trying out a product line called Arbonne, which I hope to detail in a later post. I also hope to try choosing more organically grown foods, as they are not treated with pesticides that can be harmful to the environment.
Although I have made a little progress in each of the three areas of my overarching pledge, I still feel like I can do better. Balancing a busy lifestyle and trying to improve within the three sub-areas of my pledge has been challenging. That’s why I’m taking this opportunity to re-commit to my pledge and change how I’m going about it. Firstly, I think I will be more effective if I give myself just one area of my pledge to focus on each week, instead of trying to tackle all three areas at once. This doesn’t mean that I completely forget about the other two areas I am not focusing on, it means that I keep practicing what I already do well in the other two areas, while trying to make meaningful progress in my one area of focus for that week. I also think this pledge will become more meaningful for me if I commit to trying to post updates weekly, rather than only updating when I think I have time (the latter has not worked out so well for me in the past two months). I hope that putting these two new strategies into effect will help me to balance my busy lifestyle and grow as a more environmentally friendly person.
One of the pieces of homework I did this weekend was a life values inventory for my health class. Upon completing this inventory, I observed that the environment section was my lowest scoring category. While I know I’m not always the most environmentally friendly, I didn’t realize how little I valued protection and preservation of the environment. Because of this realization, I am pledging to be more environmentally friendly and consciensious. Reflecting on the habits within my own life, there are a few changes I can make support this pledge. Firstly, I can try to reduce my waste by recycling what I can. Recycling bottles and tins, paper and cardboard, and other miscellaneous items such as old electronics will make an impact on the amount of waste I produce. Next, I plan to reduce the amount of water I use. Taking shorter showers, cutting down on the amount of baths I take, and only running the washer or dishwasher when I have a full load will help me to reduce my water usage. Thirdly, I plan to try to consume products that are more environmentally friendly. This could take the form of organic foods that do not use harsh pesticides in the growing process, or personal products that do not contain chemicals that pollute or harm the environment. The benefit of using more environmentally friendly products is two-fold, as they are better for both the environment and myself. Although I know it will be difficult for me to change my habits in accordance with the pledge, I think I will find satisfaction in doing something small to benefit the environment.
Saskatchewan Curriculum Screenshot –> https://curriculum.gov.sk.ca/webapps/moe-curriculum-BBLEARN/index.jsp
“What is Curriculum?” Screenshot –> https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1VHeJv2EBhU4TKmU2Ilw1JNak1ehbxFs95mg_bE26N2U/edit#slide=id.g1bda1c4bfd_0_0
Factory Model of Education –> http://syedirfanhyder.blogspot.ca/2015/08/who-fails-when-student-fails.html
Against Common Sense –> https://www.amazon.com/Against-Common-Sense-Teaching-Learning/dp/1138788511
Venn diagram screenshot –> me
“Common sense is not so common” sign –> http://scottberkun.com/2012/why-common-sense-is-not-common-practice/
Claire Kreuger Twitter screenshot –> https://twitter.com/ClaireKreuger
Pedagogy word cloud –> http://www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/peresearch/rise-pedagogy-dr-paul-mcmillan/
Chimimanda Ngozie Ndichie –> https://www.pinterest.com/explore/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-ted/
“This is my story” puzzle –> http://realtymedia.in/MyStory
Iceberg with text –> http://www.salesforlife.com/blog/sales_2-0/why-social-selling-tips-are-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/ (picture), text (me)
Girl with labels and book –> https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/best-advice-stop-wearing-negative-labels-debbie-dickerson
Students –> https://www.infoplease.com/us/race-population
Teacher with heart –> http://www.aceshowbiz.com/still/00002835/valentine_s_day10.html
Question mark puzzle –> http://www.ministryinsights.com/puzzle-strengths-part-3-missing-puzzle-piece/
Curriculum process and praxis –> https://annwalkerwea.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/praxiscurric.jpg
Saskatchewan Curriculum with X –> https://curriculum.gov.sk.ca/webapps/moe-curriculum-BBLEARN/index.jsp , X (me)
Light bulb with drawing –> http://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/writing-pad
Curriculum word cloud –> http://ecs210.wikispaces.com
Curriculum web –> http://clipartix.com/spider-web-clipart-3-image-13282/
(picture), words (me)
Book with curriculum themes –> http://img07.deviantart.net/a329/i/2011/056/5/f/old_book_with_blank_pages_by_dougitdesign-d3adlud.jpg (picture), themes (me)
Raining brains –> http://www.designkit.org/methods/1
Book path –> http://bookriot.com/2013/10/14/reading-as-traveling/
Dear student teacher,
I am sad to hear of your experiences during your three-week block. Teaching FNMI content to students who reject it is a difficult task, and is made even more difficult without the support of your co-op or other teachers within the school. Understanding why your students and fellow colleagues reject this content can be an important step in helping you choose which strategies to implement in your mission to prove its value to them. One resource that may help you with your difficulties is Cynthia Chambers’ article, “We are all Treaty People” The Contemporary Countenance of Canadian Curriculum Studies. In the article, Cynthia states that “we show our children what to believe and how to believe when they are very young” (p.26). Your current students and associated faculty may not have been taught FNMI content from a young age, serving as one possible explanation as to why they reject it now. Another resource that may help you is Dwayne Donald’s video, On What Terms Can we Speak?. In the video, Dwayne explains that the disconnect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is a legacy of colonialism. Another local and powerful resource of knowledge, tools, and strategy is grade three teacher Claire Kreuger from Moose Jaw. In a lecture she gave to my ECS 210 class, she responded to this ignorance by stating that “we have trained our ears not to listen and our hearts not to care”.
Even though there may not be FNMI students present in your school, this does not mean that you should not teach FNMI content. As referenced from Claire Kreuger’s lecture, teaching this content can help to “break down barriers” and “get rid of racism”, two concepts that are obviously present within your school. Dwayne Donaldson also explains that we cannot renew the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people without teaching this content. We cannot move forward without looking back. In addition, it is important to remind your students and colleagues that “we are all treaty people” and that there are educational implications that come with that title. As treaty people, we all share in the treaties. Therefore, it is our responsibility to teach about the treaties and other FNMI content present in the curriculum in order to pass down this shared knowledge and responsibility to future generations, so that treaty promises may be fulfilled. Though persuading your students and colleagues to recognize the importance of FNMI content is a challenging task, I commend you for your efforts. You are working with purpose towards a worthy cause, and persistence is key. I hope the resources and advice I have provided you with are helpful to you in your mission.
Hello, my name is Tianna Macdonald and this is the story of my ESCI 302 learning journey.
Before I entered this class, I thought environmental science was a science-based course designed to promote awareness of and action towards environmental issues. What I didn’t know, was that this four-month course would change my perception of environmental science and impel me on an important learning journey.
The creative journals we completed this semester were a challenge for me, and were not a component of the course that I enjoyed. While I struggled to compose insightful pieces of text and the correlated visual representations, I am grateful for this struggle. Composing these journals challenged me to reflect on my own stories and knowledge regarding various philosophies within environmental education, and enabled me to grow in my thinking. Two journals in particular that aided in my philosophical discoveries regarding environmental education are journals one and five. Journal one uses experiences described in Robin Wall Kimerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass to link with my own experiences of connectedness with the environment, as well as explore the question Why environmental education? In this journal, I wrote “it is vital that we reflect on the significant impact we are having on our environment. This is also what I believe to be the purpose of environmental education. We must educate ourselves and others about our place in the environment, and how our actions affect it, so that we may create change in order to keep the environment healthy and sustainable for all life forms.” Reflecting on this first journal now, I realize the described feeling of connectedness to the environment can be tied back to Deep Ecology. In addition, I realize how my initial conceptions of the purpose of environmental education are situated in dominant narratives of the discipline. In journal five, I use the philosophy of feminist poststructuralism to discuss how dominant discourses reinforce or disrupt my identities as preservice teacher and environmental educator, as referenced from M.J. Barrett’s Making (Some) Sense of Feminist Poststructuralism in Environmental Education Research and Practice. In this journal, I wrote “While the dominant discourses associated with a select term might work for some, they do not work for all. It is this inconsistency that proves the value in taking a feminist poststructural approach to any term.” Here, I actively engage in philosophy to support my thinking, and it is clear I have moved beyond dominant discourses of environmental education.
The meta-reflection I wrote mid-semester has been a helpful halfway point for me in tracking my progress. In it, I acknowledged my neglect to include environmental education philosophies in my journals up to that point, as well as my repetitive ideas about human kind and the environment. Reflecting on my recent journals, my writing has changed. I now include philosophy in my writing (as discussed in my fifth creative journal), and my repetitive ideas concerning human kind and the environment have diminished. In the meta-reflection, I also discussed how I tell my own stories, but neglect to tell the stories of others. While I acknowledged others’ stories in my third creative journal, I continued to tell my own in journals proceeding that. Why do I have the tendency to focus on my own stories? This is something I can still work on throughout my learning journey.
The inquiry planning project we completed this semester was also a challenge for me, and was not one of my favourite assignments. Before this project, I only had the beginnings of knowledge as to what inquiry planning was. Through doing this project, I learned both the challenges and advantages of inquiry learning, which I believe further helped me along my learning journey. This project helped me to see myself as teacher as facilitator, not teacher as lecturer. In addition, I learned the philosophy of inquiry learning as interdisciplinary, as discussed in David Orr’s article The Problem of Disciplines and the Discipline of Problems. Though planning inquiry-based assignments can be challenging for teachers, the results of learning though experience and connecting those learnings to multiple disciplines is rewarding for both teachers and students. Through this project I learned that inquiry based learning is a great way to break the barriers of traditional learning.
The semester long embodying ecoliteracy project was my favourite assignment in this course, and provided me with knowledge and skills I will continue to use in my daily life. My group decided to collectively reduce our carbon footprint, with my individual goal being recycling. While working on this goal throughout the semester, I was able to see how my old actions reinscribed climate change through the production of carbon emissions, while my new actions were disrupting it. While reflecting on our project, my group realized the strong influence of Euro-Western culture and ways of life on our project. While we could not change this aspect, it taught us the philosophy of environmental education as a decolonizing encounter in relation to place, as discussed by Yi Chien Jade Ho in her article, Traveling with a World of Complexity: Critical Pedagogy of Place and My Decolonizing Encounters. Because of this project, I am more conscious as to how my actions affect climate change, and the impact of colonization in relation to the environment.
Throughout this four month long journey, I have come to learn the complexity of environmental education. I have learned, unlearned, and relearned many of the components present within this area of study. This course has disrupted my previous knowledge and challenged me to think in ways I had never considered before. While I have learned a great deal this semester, I feel as though my learning journey regarding environmental education is far from over. Moving forward, I patiently await the lessons I have yet to learn.
Hands with plants: http://ridasreflections.blogspot.ca/2013/07/saving-environment.html
Writing on page: http://www.praxisuwc.com
Branch coming out of book: http://recyclenation.com/2015/04/-challenges-and-importance-of-environmental-education
Tree reflection: https://montessorimessage.net/2016/10/27/reflection/
Writing on page 2: https://montessorimessage.net/2016/10/27/reflection/
Stories memories histories: http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2013/07/12/find-new-customers-by-telling-your-business-story/
Question mark: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/382806037049444134/
Teacher as facilitator: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/academics/departments/education
Sprout coming out of tree stump: http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/demystifying-yoga/breaking-barriers-of-rigidity/
Recycle logo and heart: http://www.newaste.org.au/recycle.html
Saskatchewan Science Centre: http://reginainpictures.blogspot.ca/2008/09/saskatchewan-science-center-is-one-of.html
*All other pictures displayed in the video but not listed here were taken by me.