Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Interview with Charlie Clark

At the end of the day we got a few minutes with Saskatoon's Mayor, Charlie Clark! He gave a wonderful speech that included an inspiring story about Saskatoon neighborhoods coming together.

Thanks so much Mr. Mayor!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Observations of Afternoon Roundtables (Yekta and Lorena)

  • Unless tied to a specific curriculum, it doesn't get done
  • "Is it a done deal."
  • Cross-curricular connections 
  • Families need help bc worried about young people - crisis end
  • Code of ethics as social workers
  • Standards of care
  • How does healing come into play - ex. aftermath of student suicide
  • Go straight to addiction - stops learning
  • With education less crisis prevalent because they Have the tools to manage
  • Focused on disruption not impact
  • Teachers willing but don't have the means to help. Teachers worried about offending somebody 
  • Reduce stigma so more people feel comfortable to talk open mindedly 
  • Unclear logistics (how , time, where does it start)
  • Isolation - > sometimes isolated group doesn't reach out because they feel like there is no one to trust

Observations of Afternoon Roundtables (Aashana and Rekha)

At our table there was trouble trying to figure out the role that this book has in correlation with the curriculum. They came to a mutual understanding that the book is valuable but it what ways it could be used/roles. Eventually they thought it would be used to enhance the curriculum so that it is stays relevant. 

A few challenges that were mentioned were that this book were:
  • It challenges authority 
  • Taking into consideration cultural differences, when integrating this into curriculums. 
  • The separation between religion and customs

Observations of Afternoon Roundtables (Joe and Andrew)

What are questions, likes, dislikes, observations, what they might do.

The ideas put forward for educators is awesome, but troubled by the older generation. How can we have curriculum in the work place?
  • Post-secondary education
  • Lots of work head of it
  • They like it, seeing student’s engagement, responsibilities are key.
  • Have conversations with my kids every day, being open, welcoming people to ask me questions.
  • To be accessible to people approach you. Polite Canadian within us.
  • Having resources available.
  • Personalizing the curriculum.
  • Depends on the group as well, how can we advance the conversation, how can me not make people with other views threatened.
  • Make sure we don’t pull people to far out of their comfort zones.

  • Gives teachers big questions. For example they could have a math or science backround and not know how to implement.
  • Treaty education benefits this learning, it makes it easier to teach.

  • This will take along time to implement

  • How do you find balance from reasorces
  • How do you get people comfortable with it

  • Need opportunity to implement
  • Takes time to implement

Observations of Afternoon Roundtables (Frank and Aleena)

Helps to talk about citizenship
Time limitation
Wonderful thing => placed in a language of a dominant culture => see concepts in Indigenous language  (Patranomen - live life ina good way/Cree)
WHat other ways can we honor the languages from this land? More powerful if we saw indigenous languages represented in the document
Support to classroom
Require teachers to swift their thinking => inquiry => swift in teaching => to be effective, change mindset
Consist of amazing ideas
Words are hard to understand, not  accessible
Good start
Swift away from citizenship education
Wasn’t until provincial gov. Turned treaties into curriculum => set of concepts will only be accepted once it reaches the curriculum
Letting kids ask questions
Education priorities set => conservative effort to achieve specific goals => reading levels, math levels, graduation rates => advanced in strategic way => this document must become a part of curriculum


At the end of the panel, there was an open Q&A. Here's what we recorded:

Q. In this room we are like minded… how do u think we should engage with people who think we should not have conversations like today’s?

  • Engagement is exactly what it takes to change the conversation
  • People will say something that makes us think outside of our comfort zone; every conversation is an opportunity for change.

Q. As a current student, our education system is focused on empowering diversity. Yet, at the meantime I have also faced racism from teachers. It is contradictory that diversity is taught by teachers but not performed by teachers. How to we ensure teachers don't lose their quality in maintaining equity when ensuring diversity?

  • We have to speak objectively and openly 
  • We have to have a focus on inclusiveness
  • We need to challenge one another 
  • We have to learn from the past
  • We need to model in front of students

Q. How do we deal with the backlash when minorities stand up for their issues?

  • Be louder, push harder
  • By not responding, deoxygenate those negative ideas
  • Kill them with Kindness

Q. How has your early life affected your contributions to society now? Do you recall when you first became committed to challenging racism and other forms of oppression? What was the catalyst for you?

I saw my people drunk, and I was ashamed to be first nation. The point I saw it (First Nations exposing negative images within the society), I decided I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t know if I didn’t want to be First Nation or just that guy (the First Nation who got drunk) down the road. I think that really shaped me. When i became a teacher and educator I want positive change for the children (not just First Nations children but all with different ethnic groups) in that room. I believe that children can be anything they want to be. I didn’t know what that First Nation/ drunk guy meant at that time (that’s why I was ashamed of my identity). (After all the year) I learnt to be proud of who I am, and I hope the the children can be the bigger impact in the society. (paraphrased)

Q. Roles of the students in the current education system. (A question asked of us, the E-Journalism Students)

  • Won't be as effective if the culture in school isn't recepted as much
  • We actually are receptive
  • We validate what we learn
  • Subjects we implement in our education system, have to address inequality
  • We should create a culture within our schools that is inclusive
  • Addresses inequality that students take seriously
  • Taking the future into our own hands without a supervision 
  • Having discussions even adults aren't around
  • Fostering ideas on our own accord, responsibility on our own
  • Not falling silent 
  • We want to participate in this world.
  • School is about gaining citizenship at a young age.

Charting the Successes of Canada's School System

As per Dr. Joel Westheimer's talk:

Expectations Met
Hasn’t Met
not taught about just one vision of truth
attention to local people and context
Most citizens are being educated in demorcy country
schooling as more than job training
In our schools were taught about where we live a democracy but also informed of other types of power. We have more than one perspective being presented

being taught how to be a critical thinker (somewhat met?)

The “normal” education system that students faced( lack of creativity)
Still mostly a vision that is eurocentric
We accept people’s differing perspectives and opinions
accurate standardization (very narrow curriculum)

our curriculum includes more than strictly math & literacy
He talked about the one perspective, but we are assessed by one method and one perspective in school.
Professional citizen education( respect to others, review what you had learned,etc)
Deprofessionalization => standardize for basic skills

Standardized the curriculum
teaching us to engage as a citizenship at a participatory & personal responsibility level
teachers not being respected professionally; too much demand on testing
arm chair activists
Obsession with measurements => but Grade ‘inflation’ in some schools => how do we know these tests are accurate

start to only care about skills we can measure

Be creative and obsessed into the critical thinking

Involve more focus on arts

Provide food for students/gum chewing

teaching us to be social justice oriented citizens

Few programs that address social justice issues => root causes of problems => only study movements

A study of a link between a nation’s economy and how students do well

connect what you learn in school to the outside world