A Look at My Own Primary Education

  1. How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?
  2. Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

As a child and student, I rarely experienced encounters with anyone who did not look like me, sound like me, or group up in the same type of environment as me. I went to an elementary school that, at least to the eye, was made up of mostly white students. From Kindergarten to Grade Eight, I always had the same kids in my class as I went to a fairly small school in Regina. Therefore, we all got to know each other fairly well. For the most part, we all came from middle to upper-middle-class, two-parent homes. Since almost all of my classmates and I fit this mould, so did our education. At least from my memory, all I was taught in my elementary schooling focussed on a white, middle-class, Eurocentric viewpoint as not only all of my classmates and I embodied this way of knowing, but all of my teachers had as well. It was only once I reached high school that some truly Indigenous content, beyond the fur trade which I learned about almost every year in elementary school, was integrated into my learning. Even thinking about these experiences with Indigenous content and all that I have learned about Treaty Education so far, including the Treaty Education outcomes, these experiences with Indigenous content in high school do not, to my memory, include any of the Treaty Education outcomes. Therefore, my experiences in my adolescence only worked to reaffirm my own worldview and I cannot say that my experiences at home were much different as the adults in my families all have opinionated views on anyone who does not fit this same mould as ourselves.

Thus as an educator, there are moments in which those biases and my worldview lense are central to my thinking but these are moments that I am working towards questioning. Why would I say/think that? Where did that thought come from? What knowledge do I have now that counteract these views, instead of reinforcing them? 

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