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The Rookie Teacher


Archive for the ‘News’


A listening exercise to change the world 3

Posted on November 29, 2012 by Sarah

Okay, maybe the title is a bit ambitious haha. But I would very much appreciate you taking the time to listen to a radio program I made in my Popular Culture, Media & Education course this term at OISE.

The course examined what messages are embedded in our media that maintain power structures and marginalize the voices of many. Our assignment was to create a 10 minute radio segment voicing a story that isn’t covered in mainstream media. We must ensure that definitions of cultures are being defined by themselves and not a dominant narrative, often times the privileged white male.

This is a great exercise to bring into the classroom. Let your students tell their stories and create alternative media, whether a magazine, a video, a website, music or radio. Radio has an interesting way of telling stories allowing many people to hear it at the same time and teaming up with a community radio station is a great learning experience for students. Help them examine the messages that are being sent, why they are being sent in that way and empower them through highlighting choice. We are active recipients of media and if we don’t voice our opinions the capitalist-agenda will continue to manipulate and distort our reality.

Audacity is a great free program available for download that you can use but I made this program with Garage Band.

Please don’t hestiate to ask questions if you have any!

 

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Summer Learning Loss 0

Posted on July 25, 2012 by Lauren

A Canadian study has revealed that summer learning loss is not an equal opportunity issue. According to the research, kids from high income families experience increased reading levels while kids from low income families experience decreased reading levels over the summer months.

I strongly encourage you to check out the entire article: Summer Widens Rich/Poor Learning Gap

photo credit: besteducationapossible.blogspot.com

These results may seem obvious at first, but the research is valuable because it raises the questions WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT? and WHAT CAN WE DO DIFFERENTLY IN SEPTEMBER TO EVEN OUT THE PLAYING FIELD?

Considerations: summer program availability/ cost, support for parents, school/school board/community/private initiatives, neighbourhood demographics.

The Toronto Star article cites summer literacy camps as an effective way to reduce the summer loss of children from low income families. Unfortunately it seems as though access to these programs is limited and inequitable. For example, in the Halton region I have not heard of any free/low cost summer literacy programs for students; even after a bit of digging I came up with nothing. It is very possible that such programs do exist, but if they are not widely known or easy to find then I would suggest that they are ineffective. Other regions have excellent programs. The Brantford Public Library has been running a 100% free math and literacy program for over 20 years. The library hires university students to provide 1:1 summer tutoring. Each region has it’s own programs; what is available for students in your area?

The Rookie Teacher would love to hear from you. Please join the discussion by adding your comment. Let us know – What will you be doing in the 2012/2013 school year to overcome summer learning loss? How can teachers support low income families to increase literacy skills in our students? What programs are available in your school/school board/community?

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Pink Shirt Day: Anti-Bullying Awareness Campaign 0

Posted on February 29, 2012 by Natasha

PINK SHIRT DAY ORIGIN

In Nova Scotia students banned together to stop bullying.  It all began when a grade 9 boy was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.  Bullies used homophobic slurs to taunt this boy, for wearing pink.  David Shepherd and Travis Price, two grade 12 students, were sure to stand up and speak out against the bullies.

Article from the CBC.

TODAY

In Victoria, BC, Canada over 600 students and teachers from Reynolds Secondary School, Arbutus Middle School and Cedar Hill Middle School staged an anti-bullying flash mob on the grounds of the BC Legislature. The students danced to “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga.

For more information, news, and resources visit PinkShirtDay.ca.

A great PDF about The Bully, The Bullied, & The Bystander.

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Online learning, Epistemology and Unemployment 0

Posted on February 03, 2012 by Sarah

Just wanted to share (again) a couple of education related articles in the news recently in case you missed them!

Reading (318/365)

Reading by Jack Amick, flickrcc.net

The Globe and Mail released “Canadian schools falling behind in online learning, report says” discussing Canada’s lack of embracement of online education technology… but is that a positive or a negative? Many of the comments are particularly interesting. Is Internet-based learning where we should be focusing our attention and resources? Perhaps schools should instead try to maintain and grow the relationships and interconnectedness the school can bring to students, teachers, parents and the community. How you respond to this discussion may depend on your epistemology, or theory of knowledge. Is knowledge something concrete that exists independently of our minds? Or is knowledge a social construction that changes throughout time?

 

Rows Upon Rows

Rows Upon Rows by N.Dunn

The second article may be the reality many of us Rookie Teacher’s are experiencing hi-lighting that 24 percent of new teacher graduates remain unemployed. “Teacher’s college applications plummet” through Maclean’s discusses the unprecedented capping on the number of first-year education students at 9,058. Another initiative I’ve heard being mentioned around OISE is the possibility of making teacher’s college a 2 year program. Yet the more disturbing part in the article for me was the picture chosen to display the education topic: rows of desks. Will we ever internalize the school as being something co-operative, interactive and personal?

On a different note, classes have resumed at OISE for my M.Ed. This semester I’m taking Pedagogy of Food, Co-operative Learning, and Post-structuralism and Education. I like to tweet about insights as I have them and am always looking for feedback and discussion so don’t be shy! @sarlowes

 

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