Innovation in Teaching

Biases And Inclusion

This week we are heading into the module five of our PME 811 course. I continue to focus on my burning question of:

How do we keep our teaching innovative and creative? How do stay relevant and create programming that follows curriculum, teaches students the necessary skills and engages them with the material?

I know that I typically address my burning question with each of my blog posts, but this week I am taking a little detour that will eventually loop back to it.

Module four of our course was “Contemporary Issues in Innovation, Teaching, and Learning” where we were required to read two readings about indigenous studies and then had a bit more flexibility on topic when we were to read two readings on diversity and inclusion (see below for the readings I completed). While I try to remain neutral in all of our readings and then tie in personal experiences, I felt incredibly passionate about both of these topics (in their own ways) which might have affected the way I read the readings.

All of our responses were really interesting on the topics though, because we have all had such diverse experiences in all our personal and educational journeys. Whether it’s gender, aboriginal studies, culture, etc – the answers, thoughts, and insight were so incredible. I think the entire class brought something new to each of the topics. Which leads me back to my burning question…

While we are focusing on keeping our teaching innovative and creative, adhering to the guidelines of whatever curriculum we might have, how do we engage students of all backgrounds? How do we address cultural sensitivities?

Throughout University, I felt like the professors taught us the concepts. There was never a focus on culture or anything like that or at least I never felt that way. Even one of my classmates this week stated she works in a school with over 42 nationalities in her class. Therefore, she focuses on concepts, not content and allows the students the freedom to share their experiences from their diverse backgrounds.

I feel like Universities are feeling an ever-growing pressure of inclusion (or at least are focused on them) and I wonder sometimes if putting so much focus on the perception of inclusion or implementation of inclusion and diversity programs is actually taking away from the number one aspect of any institution – the education.

Of course, being of a privileged race, and being what some might call a “female with male traits,” I have never truly experienced any sort of discrimination. I would be interested to hear more from my classmates, colleagues, and readers that have in order to guide me in becoming the best educator I could possibly be. I just want everyone to enjoy their educational experience, feel welcomed and be able to be whoever they are or want to be in my future classroom.

Coalition for the Advancement of Aboriginal Studies. (2002). Learning about walking in beauty: Placing Aboriginal perspectives in Canadian classrooms. Retrieved from http://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/component/flexicontent/334-crrf-research-reports/23526-learning-about-walking-in-beauty-placing-aboriginal-perspectives-in-canadian-classrooms?view=item&Itemid=23526

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Resources for Teacher Education Instructors & Teacher Candidates. Deepening Knowledge: Resources For and About Indigenous Education. Retrieved from: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/deepeningknowledge/Teacher_Educators/index.html

Kurucay, M. M., & Inan, F. F. (2017). Examining the effects of learner-learner interactions on satisfaction and learning in an online undergraduate course. Computers & Education115, 20-37. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2017.06.010

Martin, J. R. (1991). The contradiction and the challenge of the educated woman. Women’s Studies Quarterly [Special Issue on Women, Girls, and the Culture of Education], 19(1/2), 6–27.

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