Troubling Knowledge at the U of R

In Chapter 1 of Against Common Sense, Kumashiro describes three popular images of “good teachers” that inform the ways teacher programs are preparing teachers.  He then critiques each image, attempting to illuminate the hidden ways these images can hinder efforts to challenge oppression.

Although I can see the influences of all three images in the University of Regina’s teacher education program, I think the Teacher as Learned Practitioner best describes my experience of learning to be a teacher the three main things Kumashiro describes for this category: learning about young students (how they develop and how they learn), learning about what I will teach, and learning about how to teach have all been emphasized.

I believe the U of R’s teacher educators are doing what Kumashiro describes as “working to steer the movement of making teachers learned practitioners in anti-oppressive directions” (p. 8).  ECS 110 first introduced us to the practice of “troubling knowledge” through critiquing some of our favourite TV shows and movies.  We looked at what oversimplified representations (normalized lies) left out, which created gaps and partiality, and challenged ourselves to see what we did not desire to know – that some of our favourite shows might, in some ways, be oppressive.

Currently, in ECS 210, we have been talking about the different kinds of curriculum, including not only the formal curriculum but also the curriculum as hidden, null, place, and learned/lived experiences.  By looking at the curriculum in all these ways we are examining what “content” is deemed valuable by what it includes and excludes as well as thinking about the partial nature of the standards.

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