The FINAL reflection and blog post!
Here is mine, sorry for the pause I took when I was thinking of a few words to get my point across. I also mumbled on for over 6 minutes and did not even realize that I had that much to reflect on from this semester!
With that being said,
Thank you for the awesome semester! Enjoy your summer and I will see you all next year!
The FINAL reflection and blog post!
When I read Critical Pedagogy of Place and My Decolonizing Encounters by myself I found my mind wandering off. I wasn’t connecting to what was being talked about, and I was only picking out the words that I already knew.
On pg14 learning and unlearning was brought up. I connected this to many things. The blanket exercise- Many of us have learned about colonization before, about the first nations but we relearned the knowledge in the Blanket Exercise.
As people we are constantly learning. And I believe that is what makes us scared to let go of boundaries. We use boundaries to feel safe, to distinguish what we know and what we do not know. And this whole semester our way of thinking and learning has been disrupted. We know how to learn, and write papers, study, and reflect. But what we do not now know how to do is be still, be graded on the concept rather then the work. We do not know how to wrap our heads around thinking in different ways, or even teaching in a student based instruction concept.
This article to me helped me understand that we are always learning, and the only way to learn is to experience and experiment with different ways of teaching and learning.
After reading the Eco feminism reading I was able to put two things together. 1. I realized that we need to disrupt the boundaries that we are given. Even when we are told or as teachers are telling our students that they have “free choice” there is still always limits and boundaries that seem to cage us inside of a box of which we are defined. When we visited Morgan she explained that she takes her students to a near by park and gives them minimal instructions and lets them wander, explore, and do what they have to do to make connections to what they are learning. First thing that popped into my head is, YOU by YOURSELF are taking 24 students to a park and letting them go wild. Good for you- I will NOT be doing that myself. Then I thought of all the boundaries these students could have to make it easier on myself, and on them. and THEN it hit me. Of course, we are naturally trained to obey rules and wait for instructions. So, Morgan admitted that at first she had boundaries and instructions for all the activities her students were to preform and accomplish. Then she realized what her students were capable of. She started with an inquiry question and then let them explore. She let her students decide how they were going to comprehend the information given and what they were going to do with it. 2. The second thing I connected too after Audrey broke down the article for us- because let’s face it, we all were some what confused when reading it by ourselves, is the difference between language and discourse. Language being the literacy, the words we use, how we write, and how we read. and discourse being our lifestyles, bodies, and how we embody everything.
So my visual is words. a BUNCH of words that came to my head when i thought of identities that described me as a person and some of the boundaries I face in everyday life. Whether they are good boundaries, or frustrating ones.
When we did the Blanket Exercise that was the first time I have participated in that activity. It was a huge shock to me that half of the scripts being read I have not heard about before or have only learn brief details about. The blanket exercise told us the hardships First Nations were facing at this time, and discussed colonization as well. It was an eye opening experience as each part was told through a different perspective. In the Article Community Story Circles, I focused on the fact that story telling disrupts the traditional way of Instruction. Stories are a great way for children and even us as teachers to learn. I think it makes it easier to connect to what is happening, and dig for a deeper meaning. ESCI has taught us how to disrupt the traditional way of teaching and get ourselves and our students out of the classroom in order to grow and connect. The Blanket Exercise was a great opportunity to do so, and also a great tool to have under our belts going into the teaching field.
I personal place I can relate to on where learning through stories came into play, as well as a personal childhood place that I hold dear to my heart would be for sure my kitchen in my house. Everyday when I come home especially when I was younger and in high school. The kitchen was always a place where my whole family would gather to trade stories, or just converse about the week. Even for people outside of my immediate family my kitchen was always a gathering spot in my house. All my friends enjoyed sitting at our big Island talking.
When I think back on my childhood and even now the first place where I think of trading stories and valuable life lessons is in the comfort of my own home.
I enjoy using blogs as a way to express our feelings and our knowledge we gain in this course. It also is a great way to have the chance to share our own experiences we have had in our lives previous to this class. At first the instructions we were given that told us what we are suppose to blog about were very broad. I know personally that I had a hard time wrapping my head around this new way of not only learning but also the new way of how we were going to go about using the materials and information that we were retaining.
In my first blog of the semester I said, “My first thought about the environment is that it is everything outside. I fail to make the connection that the environment is practically everything in our day-to-day life.” Thinking back to what I only knew going into the first week of this class, I can honestly say that my mind was not yet open to the different ways of thinking and acknowledging the environment. The article I related the first blog post too was The Problem in Education. I really liked this article because in my philosophy that I have been working on expanding through my education degree already I speak highly of how we as teachers need to change our perspectives from just giving our students numbers, and we need to change up where they learn and how they learn.
When we did the braid assignment. I felt like the letter I was writing was not what the assignment was suppose to be about. I still was struggling with the fact that Audrey stated there there is no right or wrong way to write your letter or poem. I noticed that in both my braid and my first assignment I mentioned and spoke about the environment to me being related to mainly outdoor activities. Whether it was exploring out at my cabin up north or thanking my dad for all his Eco literate knowledge he has shared with me. I also benefited and took a new perspective on the environment after hearing other class mates love letters. Not one poem or letter that was read out loud sounded the same. This showed me that every single one of us has a different perspective on the environment.
In our second visual blog post you asked us to recognize the term Embodiment. I wrote, ” Embodying the environment means having a relationship with the environment. Humans who have embodied the environment have a sense of what is wrong with our environment as well as the beautiful things it has to offer.” I think once i wrapped my head around the word embodiment it helped me add connections between our outdoor visits and our stillness exercises we do in class. When i read over my first blog compared to even just my second I can see how much I have changed how I have been thinking. I also mentioned in my second blog that when we are surrounded by wilderness we are able to understand and connect more rather then just reading about it.
In my third blog post I realized that even though I grew up and went through school without having Outdoor Ed, or environmental science it is very important that as a teacher i include this into my everyday teaching. In Newberry’s article it states that ” different knowledge troubles the learner”, which in return will form an emotional response. This to me is the important part of placed based education. Taking your students out of the classroom and having them learn from actual life experiences about environmental education will deeper their understanding and responses.”
In conclusion I have found a common factor in all of my blog posts. It seems that I comtinue relating the importance of taking real life experiences into consideration when teaching. How to think outside of the box of what education is suppose to be, to think past the restrictions of marking each student, and what they know and do not know. I also learn that I do not anything about the treaty land that I live on. I am learning the past experiences of what has happened and how everything has came to be. I did not relate any blog posts to the First Nations experience on our land long ago due to ignorance. I need to educate myself better so that I am able to educate my students and give them the knowledge they need in order to embody the wilderness and land we live on today.
I have personally never experienced outdoor within my education growing up. I have been on nature walks with classes, and have explored the wilderness on my own. I have hiked up north around Waskesiu, I did a few hikes and nature walks while I was traveling through Australia. All my outdoor experiences have been different and have taught me different things. One thing I can say that they all have in common is that there were signs and have been touched or reformed by humans. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Having signs places helps as out on where to go, what to look for, and even historical facts. This just means it is hard to experience the pure bliss of the wilderness untouched.
In Newberry’s article it states that ” different knowledge troubles the learner”, which in return will form an emotional response. This to me is the important part of placed based education. Taking your students out of the classroom and having them learn from actual life experiences about environmental education will deeper their understanding and responses. “If the land, like the Canoe, is layered, my students and I seemed to be paddling through only the Manifest layer of it.” (Newberry, pg. 31). There is SO much to know and learn about the wilderness and about outdoor education and its impossible to know everything, but it is important that we do our best to education ourselves and our students.
My visual pictures are two pictures from my two favourite hikes and wilderness experiences. One from the top of Burleigh Hill, and the other from the Light house walk in Byron Bay Australia.
I drew the earth inside the rib cage. In my mind I thought about the connection between a physical human body and the wilderness/ nature. I thought about our most special organ and what we all have in common. We all have a heart that is protected by our rib cage. Without our hearts we would not survive. Kind of like the earth. We need to take what we know about our environment and protect it.
Embodiment is defined as “a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling.” Embodying the environment means having a relationship with the environment. Humans who have embodied the environment have a sense of what is wrong with our environment as well as the beautiful things it has to offer. Our nature walks and outdoor class times have helped me personally grow a deeper understanding of what embodiment with the environment means. We are learning about what this by engaging through outdoor activities. Which i believe is very important for us to remember when we are teaching. The article by Liz Newbery talks about learning through a canoe trip where there are questions and activities that engage the students in higher levels of thinking then normal. When we are surrounded by the wilderness itself it is more likely to be able to make connections, and grow appreciation towards what the wilderness has to offer.
This brought me back to the earth being protected by the rib cage that I drew. I believe that it is us that has to protect our wilderness- whatever wilderness is to you.
When I first read the instructions of this assignment I had NO idea what Eco literacy even meant. I was actually very frustrated with the fact that the way this post was suppose to be done was very broad.However, I wrote my “love” letter and was actually really nervous to have to read it to a group of classmates. I wasn’t sure if what I wrote was right, or if it even touched on Eco literacy at all. As soon as we got into our group and people began reading there LOVE letters or poems it was made clear to me that every single one of us had different perspectives on Eco literacy and what it means to us. Not one letter sounded the same or had the same structure. Everyone seemed to be respectably listening to the person who was talking. I think that is when my “whoa” moment hit me. This style of teaching was how my future students are going to learn. Broad instructions leaving room for creativity and having the freedom in creating something of there own and not being concerned what their mark will be after. It hit me that we are SO focused and trained to be tested on what we know rather then what we are learning and doing with the knowledge we are gaining. In David Orr’s article he said, “ Towards the natural world it too emphasizes theories, not values; abstraction rather than consciousness; neat answers instead of questions; and technical efficiency over conscious” ( pg 8). David Orr talked about how there is a problem in our education and how it is not education that will save us but a certain kind that will. And I strongly believe that this is what this class is getting across to us. To open our minds and learn that there is more than just a wrong and right way to do things and more than one perspective on everything.
So, as I said earlier- everyone’s letters and poems were written to different people and brought a whole new perspective on what Eco literacy means to them. We were able to address our pieces of writing to whoever we wanted.
When I was listening to Laquisha read her unreal poem written to the earth I learned that she told it from a perspective of herself and how she has harmed the earth in ways and has tried to help it as well. She spoke right from her heart and was able to give such a clear visual of where her head was at while writing, and the message she wanted to get across to us. Paige also gave us a great quote from her piece of writing. She said that ” It’s being aware of your environment and helping it as it helps you.” This was one of her ideas about thoughts about what Eco literacy is. I personally choose to write my letter to my Dad, who in my eyes is very Eco literate. Diana, wrote a poem with her insightful words directly to the planet we live on as well. “You are running out, takers have taken too much, the Giver has given up.” She titled this The givers vs. the takers. Us being the takers and the earth being the givers. After she read this, it made it clear how to me how much we do take away and not give back.
As I have stated. Each piece of writing brought different emotions and different meanings to what Eco literacy is. So I took these three perspectives and braided them into my own Eco literacy meaning. I opened up my state of mind and gained insightful statements from everyone.
Thank you for raising me in the forests up north. When I was younger I know I gave you and mom a hard time about taking us away from our friends and the city for our summer holidays. Now, I thank you. Your passion for fishing, mountain biking, and knowing every animal we come across- or so you think, are very inspiring. I remember when we would go on walks in the morning’s and you would somehow look at the sky and tell us when and if it was going to be hot, cloudy, or how the weather would be that day. We always thought you were crazy. It is now clear that you knew the environment. You grew up in the forests up north. You had the knowledge of the best paths to walk, the best lakes to fish, and where to find the bears if we were going on drives. The cabin and the lake up north have grown to be my favorite place to go. I enjoy sitting on the deck in the morning watching the sun rise, listening to the birds, and watching Zoe- our dog, chase the squirrels all around. All the knowledge you have gained about the outdoors and up north you have always said is from Grandpa Bob. By the sounds of it, he was a bird loving, fish catching, great guy. I wish I had had the chance to meet him. But as you said, He is always with us watching us as we grow. Especially up at the cabin.So thank you- for your knowledge, for the things you share and the things you continue to show me.
My first thought about the environment is that it is everything outside. I fail to make the connection that the environment is practically everything in our day-to-day life. Its our homes, our gyms, our shopping malls, our lakes, and of course our forests. As an outdoorsy person the environment takes a huge part in my life. I have always grown up at the lakes up north and in the winter have always taken part in winter sports like skiing in the mountains, snowmobiling, ice fishing, basically anything that got me and my family outside. I grew up with very little access to technology. We never had cell phones, ipads, or even computers for my siblings and I to waste our day on. YES- I did use the word waste.
Now, I am going to sound like a hypocrite because I am currently sitting on a laptop with my phone beside me and my Ipad is playing music. Technology is a HUGE part in our lives. But if there was a competition between technology and the environment. Technology would win. I find kids can operate a computer better then a bicycle. This causes a huge impact on teachers. We want to be able to incorporate technology into our lessons and everyday classrooms but also keep our students engaged and learning about the environment and how to help it. This is where ESCI comes in! I am very excited to learn how to keep environmental science in our classrooms and other subjects as well. I am entering this class with an open mind and ready to learn new things. As a new teacher, I want to be able to share my love for the environment to my students in a new and exciting way.
The article I related this blog to was The Problem of Education. At the end of the article it is stated that “ It is not education, but education of a certain kind, that will save us.” This is amazing! Its true! Perspectives are huge. I want to be able to expand my students perspectives and knowledge as well as my own.