Images of Teacher Education

As I read chapter 1 (Kumashiro), I looked back my experiences in UofR.

I think our program pushes us to become researcher in first two years. Unpacking and un-learning all of our commonsense and learned images of teacher, students, and schools and I feel the strong movement of educating us for equity and diversity of all cultural background in the modern classroom. Yet I don’t see that happening in lecture hall of ECS210 at all. Our classroom does not reflect the classrooms of Regina schools I have visited, even in rural area Fort Qu’Appelle. How many of visible minority there is in our classroom? How many immigrants? All of the push to equity and anti-oppressive teaching, yet, you must be accustomed to Euro-centered Canadian schooling to understand what we discuss. In addition, (little bit into Ch.2) some passionate lectors who speaks on ‘White Privileged’ often re-oppressing the others in a ways that affirming their minority state and not providing with ways to change from our (minority’s) point. As well, they oppress some majority students by putting pressures to change and blames. I know this is the time for us to think critically and un-learn our conceptualized ideal image of teachers and students, and I am really enjoying this.

I am always conflicted inside my head lately and that is a wonderful thing for me to practice.
The other day, one of my student asked me ‘why’ he needs to do a handwriting print. (I teach Japanese at heritage language school)
I automatically said, ‘because this is school.’ The boy did work on his print, but I know that he did not enjoy it, nor learned those words.
But I led it happen. Shame on me.
I must re-think what are reasons of coming this heritage language school, for students and parents.

I may never thought that way (↑) to re-think my own action if I was not in this education program.

Other two images; learned practitioner and professional, has not yet to come out in my experiences. We have had a few field experiences, but we were able to discover and learn on our own instead of being told what to do or how-to. Perhaps it is different for secondary education students, but elementary program does not offer any practical teaching technique or methods. We are here to find our own ways to become individual teachers, not like packaged with a label or bland of UofR. And I am truly grateful to be a part of program.


7 thoughts on “Images of Teacher Education”

  1. I like the way you outlined the ECS 210 Lecture in your post. I have wondered about and tried to put myself in the shoes of someone who is not native to Canada and our “ways”. It would be interesting I think, to learn this content from the other side of the spectrum where the teachings are different than those I grew up with. I myself, understand much of what is discussed in the lectures but I do so knowing that there are others in the room who may not understand at all.

    Appreciate the post

  2. I like your interpretation of teachers-to-be as researchers. But I do disagree with you on one point. If I understand you correctly, you say at the beginning of your post that the diversity that we are striving towards is not reflected in our ECS 210 lecture hall. Although I do think that we don’t have a huge representation of people of different ethnicities, I think that diversity is growing in our lecture halls and in the education program as a whole. Years ago, this same program would have been completely “white-washed” (filled with only people of European descent). Now, we see people who were traditionally excluded from education coming into the program. New teaching programs geared toward traditionally marginalized people are also popping up (such as SUNTEP and EAL programs, for example). That’s not to say that this system is perfect (it’s not, and more change is needed), but change is happening and I like to think that diversity and challenging our commonsense have come a long way in education and are continuing to advance.

    1. I appreciate your comment on the diversity in our classroom. I am aware of the other programs you have mentioned. Perhaps I am wanting to see the diverse students in our lecture as well, like in any other elective classes I have taken.

  3. I like your perspective in this post, it really made me think. I just wanted to add my insights… We are learning about ‘teachers as a representing force’, yet like you mentioned, the majority of our education program consists of dominant ‘white privileged’ society, pre-service teachers. I believe that in learning to teach in an anti-oppressive environment or toward social justice, we must realize it takes time. We are being pointed in the right direction, even though we may not be able to visibly see immediate changes, they are there beneath the surface, and eventually will be visible. The actions and intentions are there, which is a start. Maybe we do not have a strong diverse group of teachers, but looking back in the history of education we have made progress. There are more diverse faces, even in regards to gender. With this in mind, I think a big challenge we will face as young educators entering the field is adapting to the provisions already set in place and the transitions toward social justice. What we are learning will not necessarily be shown in some schools or classrooms because we must realize there is a difference between ‘theory and practice’ or ‘ideals and reality’. I hope my thoughts help to clarify or give some peace of mind. Teaching is a struggle because there is no specific ‘right way’ to teach and we each slowly discover our own ways of teaching along our journey.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I do agree with you that we need to acknowledge the progress and stay at it.
      Perhaps, education has been always in progress and transition continuously.

  4. I really appreciate this whole conversation around diversity in the program. Upon reflection, I think my first reflex was to defend the diversity of our education program. I do agree that our ECS lecture hall may not be adequately representative. That said, I still think that we are striving toward change and, as mentioned by jesselynn, change is slow-going. We do have to appreciate how far we have come as a program, but we do also have to acknowledge that change is still needed and will always be needed because education is never static.

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