Inquiry-Based Learning

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Inquiry-based learning is key I find when it comes to environmental education. Today our ESCI class had the honor of having Dean Elliot, Ministry of Education come to our class and talk about inquiry-based learning. He is an amazing speaker and helps you to understand what inquiry-based learning actually is. At the beginning of the class we wrote our background knowledge on the board as to what we think it is. Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what they want to learn or know. It is about triggering curiosity so they want to learn what is being taught and are excited to find out more. Dean had us go onto the curriculum and find an outcome and write a question that will get the students excited about the topic. In the class we were in groups and made up questions then asked the rest of the class what they thought about our questions and if they thought the kids would be engaged. The process of writing a question that may be engaging to children was harder than I thought it was going to be. However, it was nice to try it out in the class and was very fun. It may also be a good idea I learned that you have the students come up with their own questions that they want to answer and are excited to find that answer. As well when having you students do assignments or projects have them write a reflection as to what worked and what didn’t during their creative process. This way the students can reflect on HOW they learned it and not just WHAT they learned. By doing this they have the opportunity to reflect as to the process of what they did.

Challenges of Social Change

Three things I learned:

  1. I learned that I could talk all I want about what I think a classroom should be like or how the students should be taught. However, it’s different when you are trying to put it into practice and is harder than it may seem.
  2. I learned that it is critical to building relationships with the right people, the people you can trust, have faith with, as well as hope. Without having those type of people, one may stress and feel alone. As an emerging teacher, you will need to build relationships with people who will be there and help guide you through the process. The support and guidance will hopefully lighten a load of stress.
  3. Another thing I learned is that I may need to give up control and let the children explore. This will be hard for me because I am a person where I have to plan my day and if something changes or I don’t have enough time to do something I tend to stress. By letting go, it will teach my students to use inquiry-based learning and learn to be on their own. By being on their own, I mean learning to create discussions and such without much of my guidance.

Two connections:

  1. I connected with Gregory Michie’s approach on how a classroom should look or be like. I have always thought that classrooms spaces should be active and the students should be able to express themselves in creative ways. I also believe that students should be able to find connections between what they are taught in school and their lives outside of school. I think without connections to how the world works than the students tend to lose interest and think “why are we learning this if it’s not going to be used.” If we help them to understand better connections between the work and the world they may see why it’s essential.
  2. Interesting to realize how much students can learn from just reading the bulletin boards and posters put up around the classroom. Thinking back to when I was in high school and elementary I remember always reading what was on the walls. I loved the interesting facts posted or a visual representation of what we are learning in the class.

One question:

  1. If there is a conflict between my beliefs on my teaching philosophy and colleagues how do I go about this?

Professional Ethics

Three things I learned:

  1. I learned how fantastic teacher benefits could be! We as teachers are given so much for which I am grateful.
  2. I found it interesting to learn how the salary of a full-time teacher is determined. I had no idea that the salary is determined by classification and is dependent on how many years of school one is taking.
  3. I also found it interesting to find out about the STF website I really enjoy it. I love how you can see any question you have about teachers whether it be benefits, maternity leave, contracts, etc. and I love how willing they are to help when and if you contact them.

Two things I connected with:

  1. I found it interesting to know that the STF has an Employee Assistance Program. Some boards of education offer well-being and mental health supports, including confidential counseling services through an employee assistance plan, which may also extend to family members. I connect with this because I suffer from mental health problems and it would be nice to know I may have the support needed.
  2. When reading the Professional Code of Ethics, it reminded me so much of my elementary school teachers. Elementary was one of the best experiences in my life, and my teachers were the ones who made it so amazing. My teachers hit every point on the chart, and that is why I found it to be so amazing. I felt respected and felt like they were there to help me rather than teach me a lesson and move on. I felt connected to my teachers and felt like everyone was treated in a fair matter.

One question:

  1. If you are pregnant upon hiring would you still be eligible for maternity leave?

Camping And My Bond With Nature

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This is a picture of my son and my fiancé when we went camping over the summer. When camping with my family I feel a deep connection with nature. I want to be able to go out for walks with my family sit by the lake and listen to the birds sing or the water move. This was the first time I took my son out camping and wanted it to be amazing, though he probably will not remember the experience I want him to find a sense of connection with nature I believe you are never too young.

When in school whenever I went on camping trips I never felt relaxed and enjoyed nature. As a class, we would mostly play games, or constantly inside buildings and sitting as a class. Even though most of the trips were supposed to have the theme of connecting with nature I was unable to connect with it. I remember the one time I went camping with my class and we went to Round Lake. We were there to explore First Nations traditions and ceremonies. My class went when we were in grade five, it was the first time and only time as a class I felt a connection with nature. We sat around the campfire and sang songs, then during the day we would go out and look for different types of animals and identify them. We also learned the history of the land which Newberry talks about in our reading “create opportunities for students to learn from and about Aboriginal cultures while being mindful of idealizing and historicizing them”. I found the experience I had with my grade five class to be the first time I connected and learned about the history of the land I was staying on. As well there was a different perspective of the land and the history of it then what I am used to. I am used to hearing the western society versions and it was nice to hear another side.

What Embodiment Means to Me

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Personally to me embodiment means not just saying I’m going to do better for the environment but actually proving and showing through actions. When going to on a field trip to the wastewater treatment plant it really got my mind going. I realized how much work it is to keep the water clean and treated and its crazy that I am just learning about it this year! People do not realize how a simple thing like taking a shower or letting the water run while doing dishes can affect our environment. We also need to learn to appreciate the time and effort people put into when cleaning the water. Therefore, I decided to watch how much water I am using and not let my shower run for twenty minutes while I let it warm up. As well I am glad I decided to go with the plastic group in my class and watch our use of plastic water bottles and bags. Through this project I have realized how much plastic I use and the times I screw up and buy plastic I feel guilty about it. However, when I’m on the right track I feel amazing I feel like I am helping the environment even though I’m one person I’m still telling my friends and family about the project and my struggles. After the project is over I want to keep trying to eliminate plastic from my life and tell people about how much plastic affects the environment. Maybe I will end up having another group of people helping me eliminate plastic and those people may share with their friends and family. As well I have been noticing when I see garbage thrown on the ground at the University or anywhere I see for that matter I clean it up and toss it. I used to toss my garbage onto the ground and not care and think someone else will clean it up. I realized how horrible that is and how I am contributing to climate change and making the environment not as beautiful as it once was.

Do We Really Know How Our Water Is So Clean…

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For this blog post, I decided to write about my experience at the wastewater treatment plant in Regina. As a class, we went on a field trip to see where our clean water comes from and the process that comes with it. To be honest I had no clue idea what the process for our clean water involved and I didn’t really look into it or wanted to. I never thought about our water I just knew that it is clean. As well we do not really think about where our water is going after we use it. After we run our showers, clean our dishes we tend not to care where our water goes. We do not know how much water we use and waste as well as how much energy we use to make our water clean again. I feel we take our water for granted and being able to have the experience to see the process of the water bring cleaned was eye-opening.

After going to the water treatment plant I found out that the water needs to go through a lot filtration processes in order for it to be safe again. The wastewater treatment plant in Regina was recently upgraded to accommodate population growth as well as making keeping the water as clean as possible to ensure safety. ” Converted to a biological nutrient removal process, the new facility consists of primary clarification, bioreactors, secondary clarifiers, a fermenter, and an upgraded UV treatment process to treat its liquid stream while enhancing the solids stream treatment. The upgrades rectify current deficiencies by replacing/refurbishing infrastructure, some of which is now well beyond its normal service life. The upgraded plant will remove ammonia on a year-round basis and both nitrogen and phosphorus prior to discharging treated effluent to Wascana Creek.” (Stantec) This is one of the city’s largest and most complex capital projects to date. It’s pretty surprising to know how much our water needs to go through so its clean and safe again, as well as the energy used for it.

https://www.stantec.com/en/projects/canada-projects/r/regina-wastewater-treatment-plant-upgrade

 

As A Society We See Discrimination… What Do We Do About It?

Three things I learned
I found that in a study 42% of teachers said that a preschool black boy needed the most attention. I find this study result to be horrible but true; it shows how we are so biased in our minds we do not even realize it.
Another thing I found interesting was how there is such a thing as a prison pipeline when referring to schools. From going to schools to prison pipeline is another horrible concept. I never really thought about a school in this way, but once you dig deep into it and start to talk about it, you can see it. Racialized students, having police officers at the school, zero tolerance policies, and punishments that lead out of class time.
I also learned about the hidden curriculum which are the lessons unwritten lessons and values that are taught. Another concept I never really thought about but looking back you kind of can see where those unwritten and unintended lessons.

Two connections
It was interesting to find out all the facts in Stacey’s lecture what stood out to me in particular, was that young aboriginal men in Saskatchewan are more likely to go to prison rather than finishing High school. I found this interesting because I grew up in a town full of First Nations people and I went to school with a lot. Now thinking about it I realized that a lot of the First Nations people dropped out. As well I noticed that most teachers were harder on them. Maybe they dropped out because of the teachers being hard on them and perhaps felt judged all the time because of stereotypes. A lot of the students had biased opinions as well most of my class were white and group up in a city where racism was prevalent.
I also made a connection to the reproduction theory of how schools are portrayed to give students equal opportunities. However, when it comes to field trips and some students family can’t afford to send their child the child is being disadvantaged from a learning experience because of something out of their control.

One question
Reading all the results from studies in Stacey’s lecture we see all these issues, what are we doing to decrease the numbers in the results?