For this case study reflection I will discuss the major ideas of my group, along with my personal thoughts and any other comments I have. I am still intrigued by the complexity of this case study and by imaging being teachers at this school we are able to be engaged while discussing this case study. Our group spent the majority of the time discussing how we would deal with the racism in the school along with how we would differentiate instruction for our students.
We focused on racism because we felt it would the root of many of the problems that may arise during this merger. We felt it was most important to build relationships with these students and allow them to build relationships with each other before beginning our “teaching”. The interesting part about “learning” is that by learning about each other they are actually learning a lot, even though it may not be curriculum guideline. Through learning about themselves and each other they are able to deconstruct any biases they have towards each other. We wanted learning about racism to be relevant and meaningful to them. An activity we thought that would be interesting would be visiting a reserve, through that experience the students who were not familiar about reserve life would have a better understanding of what they get “for free”. It would change their opinions very fast I would assume. We would need to make sure that all students were comfortable with allowing others to visit their community. In one of our other classes, we played a game with throwing balls together in a circle, you would receive the ball from the same person every time and throw it to the same person. The twist in this activity is that two new people come into the group. One needed to get involved in the game and the other needed to make the group stop and change directions. This is a metaphor for the learning community, that everyone is interconnected and involved with one another’s learning. We want our school to be a safe place for all students and we feel that getting to know you activities would allow for that feeling of comfort with one another. They would be able to see their similarities along with their differences and what makes them unique as a person.
We also focused on discussing differentiated instruction. We felt it would be beneficial to allow choice in assignments to cater to all students needs, for example auditory, visual or kinaesthetic. We would ensure that assessment was also differentiated, depending on the big ideas and main concept of the assignments. We would like to focus on feedback as feedback would be advantageous to all students. It would be important to speak with students if they had any concerns. Another idea that we felt would be beneficial to the class would be using Project Based Learning, we would be able to incorporate racism, privilege, prejudice and biases in this assignment. This would show the students a special side that each person has. We believe including technology in our new classroom would be beneficial to all students and it would allow for an online learning community to begin. While grouping the students, we would group them in different ways, deciding which groups work best for which students and why. This would also allow the students to get to know one another and leave their own learning bubble.
One question I didn’t ask my group but I reflected on later was if we were being biased. We believed the “white” students would be racist towards us but we hadn’t often thought about how the Aboriginal students would respond. Would they respond in a positive or a negative way? I believe the Aboriginal students would also have prejudices against their fellow “white” students. It would be important for both groups of students to understand each other and break down the barriers of receiving a successful education together.
Another important factor of this scenario would be attitudes of the teachers. It would be crucial that the teachers collaborated and had good relationships with one another. I would be very interested to see if any of these mergers have occurred recently and what the results have been. I would be also interested in seeing what they did as a whole and what facilitated change in the school.
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Q Additional information regarding project based learning.
Please see Project Based Learning blog entry. Search option is seen to the right of the homepage.