Thursday, April 7, 2011

ECMP 355 Final Project

Marie's Curriculum Guide

This is a wikispace I created and integrated the teachings I received from ECMP 355 (how to use wikispaces, using technology - YouTube, inserting pictures), Aesthetics 201 (making use of the process of art rather than worrying about the product, the therapy methods of dance, how to create a curriculum), and Kinesiology and Health Studies 232 (the BASTE method, integrating dance into education). I wanted to make a final project that summed up everything I learned this year in Arts Education. I didn't want to make a video, so I decided to create a curriculum that could be used in a school-setting, with videos and pictures to enhance the material. I referenced the books and websites I used to help me build this wikispace; however, a lot of it comes from my background knowledge of being in dance.

ECMP 355 Reflection Project

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Canada's Failure of Nation-Building

Today's blog post will be about the article the Globe and Mail did on the Nunavut crisis. Crime is at its peak in the Northern territory, with the homicide rate being ten times the national average, and would be considered high in Mexico. The rate of violent assault is four times that of South Africa's. Inuit males aged 15 to 24 have a suicide rate 40 times that of their peers in the rest of Canada, and children are abused at a rate 10 times the national average.

Being so far north, Nunavut is struggling on all levels just to meet the basic needs. 7 in 10 preschoolers grow up in houses without adequate food.

Nunavut is currently celebrating its 12th year anniversary of becaming an official territory in Canada. Since then, troubles have been arising for the government has chosen to neglect its traditional values of its people, the Inuit. The lack of teaching, and teaching in general (unemployment isn't rare- many educated people move south and no one wants to live so far north), has led to various problems. It is common for students to not reach high school- level education. Why? It all goes back to residential schools. Had people not been scarred from the brutality exhibited in residential schools, more First Nations people would be open to education presented to them by non-First Nations people. As told by the Globe and Mail, a man by the name of Leo Nangmalik had attended residential school and was sexually assaulted upon his first day. When he went home and tried to tell his parents of his unfortunate abuse, they beat him and told him not to spread lies. The anger grew inside of him and he became a convict. He would go on to spend years in prison. He has held a rifle to his head. “I could never pull the trigger,” he said, adding that he didn't want his 13 kids growing up without a father, even though he hasn't been much of a father.

After he had told the Globe and Mail his story, he took his life.

I believe these people are in desperate need of funding and more education. If the government made the effort to build Nunavut's towns and villages into more contemporary accommodations, more people would be attracted to the territory. Currently, many families must fit into one household, which would not pass the living standards of other Canadian households. The roofs leak, the floors sag, and mold grows. Schools are inadequate, as well. Many teachers don't want to make the effort to live in such poor conditions, let alone teach in them. The children need education and hope in order to keep away from criminal acts later on in life. They need trust.

This article tells the story of the Inuit people in Nunavut and I find it to be an interesting read, especially since it is happening in Canada. Not in some far off place. The statistics show that troubles here are just as bad as anywhere else. What does this say about our failure as one of the world's most wealthy countries?

The Trials of Nunavut

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tech Task #10: 21st Century Teaching

Today, in the 21st Century, teachers have a lot more resources - like Google for example, than they did fifty years ago. How easy it is to interact with students through technology and how quickly it is to receive a response. Rather than sending home letters, teachers can now e-mail families or post updates in their blog that parents and students can have access to. Open to students and teachers alike is the internet: the world's fastest way of receiving information. Teachers can use the internet to learn more about their choice of topic, how to introduce the subject, creative ways of exploring it, and interact with other teachers across the world. They can create online tutorials for their students to use and post links to various websites that contain relevant information that cannot be discussed in class due to time restraints, or they may post links to sites that were discussed in class and are needed for future reference. Here are the thoughts about one educator who shares my viewpoints on internet use in schools: Michael Lipinski - The Use of Internet in Schools. Blogging is a tool more and more teachers are using, along with Wikispaces. Here, teachers can post their curriculum, classroom updates, school-wide information, homework assignments, subject information, and learning tools. It is a great and simple way to make learning accessible, since most students today have computers and internet access via cellphones, smartphones, laptops, iPods, iPads, etc. They can also access other teachers' blogs and comment on posts they find interesting or relevant to what they are teaching. Teachers are also taking advantage of social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to interact with colleagues, friends, students, parents, and people with similar interests who can give valuable information. This list contains a number of sites that teachers may find useful to connect with others:

Youtube is also becoming a widely used education tool, since educators can record themselves or something they find useful and post it on the web for all to see for free in a matter of minutes. Many educators post educational vlogs (which are basically videos of themselves talking about a topic of interest) that teachers can refer to and show to their class. Everything posted on Youtube is up for grabs, basically. One of the largest, most widely used sources of information is Wikipedia, which some teachers frown upon because it can be updated and changed by anyone in the world. However, Wikipedia holds information about... just about everything imaginable in our world. People collaborate ideas and opinions into an article that is usually truthful and insightful. Nothing on the internet is 100% fact, though, just as how anything someone tells you in person isn't 100% fact, but simply their own opinion and viewpoint.

Suddenly, teachers have all of this information available to them which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because it makes their job a lot easier since students can have access to information from people all over the world rather than relying just on your knowledge. Bad, because it also makes your job harder by having to filter out the good, useful information and the information that can ruin a child's view on something. Teacher's "digital footprints" must be monitored, meaning that anything they do on the internet can potentially be seen by their students and fellow workers that could ruin their career. However, if teachers are cautious about what they say and do inside and outside of the classroom, the internet can be a valuable source of educational information and communication.

As students, the internet is open to us to learn more. Sites such as the Khan Academy lets students learn online about various subjects like Calculus, Astronomy, and Biology with simple tutorial videos without the expensive costs of paying for a class. There is so much out there that is available nowadays that there really is no excuse to not being able to learn, find information, and gain knowledge. If the internet were available to the entire world, to every single person, don't you think the world would be brought a little closer together and we'd all be less ignorant to different viewpoints?

New Six-Word Stories

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tech Task #9: Six Word Stories

These images tell a story about the current disaster happening in Japan. The first image, Peace, represents the serenity Japan once had. The second image, Destroyed, shows the destruction caused by the earthquake. Lost, the third image, depicts the country in ruin and lost as to what to do with the nuclear meltdown. Lost also goes hand-in-hand with Innocence, the fourth image, which shows a child being scanned for radiation. The innocence of these children have been lost in the disaster. The last image, Hold Strong, shows the Red Cross helping and trying to rebuild the ruined country.

The second six-word-story involves a child who can't learn through sitting and reading. He needs creativity to shine and reach his full potential.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Year as an Arts Ed Student

Today's blog post will discuss my thoughts on the Arts Education program here at the University of Regina.

I am no longer an Arts Ed student, but I would like to say that the past year has shown me so much about creativity and myself. Last semester, I took Theatre 100, Music 100, Art 100, English 100 and ECS 100. I got a taste of what it was like to be a teacher in the classroom through my ECS field work. It was an amazing experience to work with children all throughout elementary, from pre-K to grade 8. It made me realize that no matter what I did, I still wanted to work with children.

The arts-related classes I took showed me who I was as an artist and where I fit in the arts world. As much as I love the arts, I also realized it wasn't for me. I learned a lot, especially in Music 100, Art 100, and Aesthetics 201. It was an experience I don't regret one bit, but rather thank for pointing me in another direction and giving me insight on what it is like to be an arts teacher. It opened my eyes to the amount of creativity and spontaneity required. Being a dancer, and a perfectionist, I found this difficult to achieve at times but it changed my view on the end product and the process. I now respect the process more and take my time on art projects rather than expect a perfect end product.

I have taught dance before to children between the ages of 3-14, but as I learned and discovered more about myself, teaching requires so much more than just showing steps and keeping the children entertained. Although I am very passionate about dance and teaching, I found I just didn't fit in with the Arts Ed curriculum.

However, despite my switch, I definately respect what the University of Regina has to offer for art teachers. This is a one-of-a-kind program meant to educate future educators of every art discipline and become effective advocates of the arts. I recommend it to any artist. It really is a brilliant program and you have the opportunity to earn two degrees- a Bachelor of Education degree AND a Bachelor of Arts degree.

This past year has been, simply put, amazing. I don't regret having my first year done through Arts Education. It definately showed me things I'll take with me into the future, even if I am not going to become a dance teacher.