Week 10 – March 21

Week 10 – March 21
Lecture: Curriculum as literacy (Katia)

Please read Chapter 7 (Examples from English Literature) from Kumashiro’s Against Common Sense. You can access the book at this link (You’ll need to sign in with your uregina username and password) and then read pages 61-68. As you read, pay attention to what Kumashiro says about the way our lenses shape the way we read the world, and consider what lenses you might have.

Reading response (due before seminar):

You may begin your blog prompt before lecture, but you’ll need to answer part B after lecture.

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

In the Middle of Things (words to my story)


I know that it is possible to lose weight. You need to eat healthy, drink fluids and exercise. Even though I have the knowledge and I can share it with others, I am not embodying the knowledge into my daily life. This class has taught me the importance of embodiment with not only the environment, but in my daily life. It is important to display knowledge and your inner ideologies throughout your life not just verbally, but instead physically. Actions speak louder than words and by either eating healthy to lose weight or using a recyclable cup to keep that one cup out of our landfills, we can embody the knowledge we learnt. In my past assignments I had realized that the Environment is something we have been taking advantage of. In a sense  our world is dying from the way we have been treating it and there is a great need for change; however, excuses and the idea of one person changing the world is stopping us from embodying the knowledge of climate change. These excuses have been based around cost, living arrangements and time and instead of looking for a solution to work with these problems we hold onto these excuses letting them influence the way we impact the earth. These excuses are also the reasons to why we are not spending time with the environment being in a city or behind our technologies have made our society forget about the gift of the outside world. Being away from nature in a manmade environment has made us lose our respect for the outside world. With this loss of respect we no longer want to spend time with it making it easy to stop caring for it and push it away. It has also been believed that we are taking steps back in the past by living a more natural way of life. People who choose this natural lifestyle are limited in our world today because they cannot live this lifestyle in a way they see convenient so they give up on the idea.

Being aware is a topic that has been frequently mentioned and because of this class I am more aware on my environmental footprint. So far my footprint has not been very great, I have started being aware of my actions which is a good first step when trying to embody Eco literacy. I have also been sharing my knowledge about the vermi-composters and facts on climate change at home with friends and family. Yesterday I had seen garbage on campus and I thought to myself how those little things can really pile up but instead of picking it up I left it. It was great on how I was now made aware of that problem but I still lacked on embodying the knowledge since I did not go pick it up. I feel that now I am aware I need to take that next step and instead of thinking about how it’s wrong I should instead think about it and go pick it up. Sometimes it is hard to embody something you are not passionate about, however, everyone should be passionate and caring of the land in which we grow on. Even if it’s just one person picking up one piece of garbage it might trickle into a domino effect. When I worked at Tim Horton’s sometimes we would have people buy a coffee for the person behind them in drive thru, this would start a domino effect and in a long line some people would continue to keep the train going and paid for the order behind them and repeat. It is possible that maybe if someone saw me doing the action of picking up that wrapper on the ground they would of thought “wow, I should do that” and maybe they would next time. Seeing someone do something do something good might remind them next time they want to throw something on the ground they will take it to the garbage? Even though it is a small action it could have a train of bigger actions come from it. Like the hummingbird carries water to the burning forest I will try to be the hummingbird now that I am aware of the excuses I have been using, that have been stopping me from creating a better ecological footprint.

Our society is praising excuses, incorporating whiteness, and not using the knowledge they acquired to help take back our negative actions towards the world. In a quote that I wrote in my 2nd blog I mentioned an idea of how people should look at the earth as a family member. “Speak to the Earth like a sister and say thank you for how the earth always cares for you” This is an Important idea to keep in mind and I used it previously in my 1st blog post “The earth gives these warnings and information like a mom, but instead of trying to understand it, we push it away and ignore the impact it is causing” instead this time the family member I related the earth to was a mom. Being passionate and finding greatness in the world yourself is another important idea I have kept in mind through this journey. The idea was first brought up in my 1st blog In Braiding Sweet grass Kimmerer writes about her epiphany in which you have to see nature and the environment and enjoy the experience in order to understand it.   ” and was later embellished when I related it back to me as a teacher in my 3rd blog post  “It is important to disrupt these uniformed ways of understanding and give the students a chance to come up with their own ideologies.


Wall Kimmerer, Robin. (2013). The Sound of Silverbells, in Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge & the Teachings of Plants, pp. 216-222. Minnesota, MN: Milkweed Editions. (Handout & GC)




Every family has different traditions that they participate in, whether it be making a certain meal on a holiday, going to a festival every year or passing a family heirloom down. My family’s tradition is to plant evergreen trees each time a new member joins the family. As we grow so does the trees. We care for them and they surround our townhouse in Cudworth Saskatchewan.
A tree is a symbol of life that my family has tried to incorporate into our lives. My tree once a seedling is now as big as the house while my mom’s towers higher than it. We take pictures in front of the trees seeing the changes of not only us and how we grown but also the chage in eaxh of our trees.
This year my grandpa was challenged with lasopharnyx cancer. I was trying to think of a tattoo that could represent my grandpa’s turbulence with this horrible time. A tree came to mind. My grandpa never did plant himself his own tree in the ground however the tree itself is a symbol I relate back to him. The tree breaths in c02 and releases oxygen (taking away the bad and leaving the good) simular to this idea is cancer treatments taking away bad cancer cells and leaving the good ones to help him survive. The trees were also planted by him he wanted to have a symbol that represented our family placing trees around him all being a symbol of one of us which he can still nurture and watch grow even when we are not around.
A tree is something beautiful and something important in my life not only because it reminds me of my family but it contributes to my life. Trees are part of the enviroment that can be taken away just like my grandpa but if we fight hard for the trees to stay maybe they will better our world in their own original way, just like my gramps!

Outside Change

1488824006633333329519Wilderness can have many different definitions. I feel I am in the wild when there is no sign of human disturbance. I was fortunate enough to go to a school where we were taught heavily on the first nation’s history. Some schools did not get the opportunity to learn this history and still my class took it for granted. The students in the class sometimes deemed it as a “sob story” (which it is definitely not) and followed more closely with the Settlers point of view. History can have more than one point of view, just like the word Wilderness has many different definitions. I would say even though I was fortunate to hear both sides of the story our class definitely experienced the outside world with a uniformed white lens.

We got to attend plenty of fieldtrips camping, going to waneskewin, and outdoor Phys ed. We also did a voyager activity when learning French. I remember learning and praising the Voyageurs during this outdoor sled run. This goes back to what is mentioned in Canoe Pedagogy:”Voyageurs (French, Métis, Scottish, and Aboriginal) worked many long and difficult hours in a day and tended to live few years. Their lives are not often idealized although they are often glorified;” We would leave usually with some kind of worksheet with questions to answer or would do planned workshops and activities throughout the day. When being outside we were deprived of freedom, by still following uniformed instructions and told how to think about the topic. It was almost as if we brought our desks outside and could not move or think freely without instructions.

I now understand why it is so hard to teach in a non-uniformed way, this is because students expect this style of learning. Students are dependent on the teacher to how they should understand and knowing one answer. When being in an outside environment it is important for the student to explore and understand in their own ways. Being a dependent on answers and structure limits the student to being creative and makes them lose touch on individuality. Like this class if we were given less opportunity to be free in how we understand the course, the teacher would not get such a variety of honest opinions and we would not be given the chance to think for ourselves.

The weather is a good example on how the world disrupts its way of being. It will be sunny and all of a sudden it will snow. It is important to disrupt these uniformed ways of understanding and give the students a chance to come up with their own ideologies. Nobody gets recognized for a quote somebody else said, it is better to come up with your own understanding.

Who Holds Who Up

1488148473470112212846.jpgHave you ever believed, that you are bigger than the earth? Have you felt like the Earth should  be grateful for everything you do too help it? Have you ever wanted change because the earth is just to inconvenient in the way it has been set up? If you have answered no to the above questions, than my point is already valid and we are not seeing our societies actions.

When being targeted you may begin to feel guilty and see yourself in a light you never wanted to be shined in.  You said no to the above even though its very human to have the belief that the world needs us.  Is it true that you have never been selfish towards the earth and taken more of something then needed. It is easy too look past being selfish in our society because we are looking through an economy lens. This Economy lens is what tells us how much we can buy depending on the money in out wallet. The earth is supplying our life and while we are taking away from the earth we are never giving back. So while we supply our lives to live we are ending the Earths life.

Speak to the Earth like a sister and say thank you for how the earth always cares for you. People tend to forget that the Earth holds us up and instead think that we hold the Earth. You have never bought into new technologies or live on manmade landscapes. You always look and see but you always leave and never take away.

We are all human! We forget sometimes that we do not hold up the earth the Earth chooses to hold us up. Carson believed that people would protect only what they loved, so she worked to establish a “sense of wonder” about nature. In our hearts we have the ability to nurture our environment, learn about it, and live with it. Our bodies are embodied by the Earth lets try to keep it that way so the earth doesn’t become embodied by us.

Eco-literacy Braid

Each one of us will interpret and embody Eco-literacy differently. My poem had an emotional approach. This emotional approach shows hidden concepts around understanding and embodying Eco literacy. For example: how far you have come realizing faults, accepting the need for change, trying to do better. My poem clearly shows that I understand what I can do and stop doing to better my ecological footprint. With realizing my faults I also accepted that I was the one who needed to change. I represented this need for change in the poem by at first lashing out and then coming to an understanding that I was in the wrong and asking for forgiveness. Understanding the world in a harmonious way can be difficult when you have been taking advantage of it for the last 20 years. When you begin to understand Eco-literacy you might feel feelings of guilt realizing that you were once someone that was ignorant to the world around you. From the reading leap manifesto the author writes ”It has given us a rare moment to look at what we have become – and decide to change”. this quote relates to my poem because I am asking for forgiveness because I realized what my actions have turned myself into.

When reading the poetry of others I felt as if I had a glimpse into the writers mind and could feel how they felt. From what I found it was mostly feelings of guilt and passion to become a better person. Most people wrote their poems similar to mine by expressing their emotions. The emotions usually came to a conclusion with an apology or finished with a desire to change. Brianna was an exception to this. Her poem was more of an understanding of the world around her without mentions of feeling guilty or remorseful of her previous actions. Brianna’s poem represented Eco-literacy differently but that did not make it wrong. Eco literacy and embodiment is something that needs to be worked on. Brianna notices her mom in her surroundings, she is noticing how she interprets her mom as Eco literate. Her poem is very positive where I found others not to be including my own. I wondered how and why some people took this assignment in such a negative lens and I realize that we have always been taught that we are only doing wrong to the environment and we need to help. We think that going to extreme hippie is our only chance to save the world and I assume many of us went to schools where we only learnt about how we have been impacting the Environment. We never went to school learning about how to build our relationship with the environment. I am glad Brianna showed me this different way at looking at embodying Eco literacy because it is a positive way to build on relationships with the environment. That is a huge step into becoming Eco literate. I think this is important to mention because we are all on our journey to embodying Eco literacy differently. I might be a few steps behind her and on completely different path but we are still walking to the same destination.

Brody’s poem was more like mine, he was apologizing and had a realization on how he could be better to the world. “Forgive my IGNORANCE and please ACCEPT my apology” is how Brody expressed his understanding of the knowledge he learned and showed his feeling of guilt with a simple apology similar to mine.   Brody’s poem was a different style of poetry using words that co-existed with his definition of Eco literacy. He has realized his faults and is now ready to move on and better his footprints. I think many people felt guilty when writing about Eco literacy, because, the environment is something we have lost respect for and have forgotten how much it does for us but we do remember how little we give back.

I chose to write my poem to someone that was not a person or human like figure. The reason I chose not to do that was because I had a hard time thinking of someone who is fully Eco-literate in the society we live in today. Instead I wrote to a figurative person or the earth or god because I believe they have a better understanding of the importance of the earth. Humans like a simplistic world, which makes it hard to be fully eco-literate.  It is difficult to be fully Eco-literate because it is hard to understand how we can live in a society without misusing it.  Eco-literacy is when a person understands how to live with the world instead of just using it. I felt that a lot of the people who did this assignment just thought being Eco-literate was just to recycle and help every once in a while to get a feeling of satisfaction. When you are eco-literate you understand the reason you are feeling a sense of satisfaction and when you aren’t you are just looking for it. Throughout Claire’s poem she had the same idea and themes of cherishing the earth and living with it in a harmonious balance. While many of poems represented the guilt others represented the passion they felt towards experiencing nature. We all will carry this knowledge of Eco-literacy and continue to go in a better path living harmoniously with nature.



Eco literacy Love Poem

I feel like I have been constantly, pushing you away

I see you around me, at nighttime and day

I try to remember, the feeling of play

With the crunch of the leaves, on the pavement so grey.

I do not remember, the picking of berries

Or building our houses, to take down and carry

The world being fresh outside, so forgiving and airy

The world seems so dark now, just ashy, just scary

Society has influenced me, to stop going near you

I sit on my phone, and TV as I grew

I had learnt about you, and how to love you

But all of knowledge, it just left me, it flew

You are constantly stalking, and surrounding me

I ignore you but you get mad, and you just don’t leave

You might think it is funny, but you will just see

I could do worse than, just let you be.

I continued to ignore, the changes of climate

I lifted a cigarette, from the back of my pocket

I smoked it and breathed it out, just like a rocket

I littered I killed bugs, I just couldn’t stop it

I forgot that you were, a great friend of mine

Someone who is good for me, like the sunshine

You are my keeper my safety, my vine

That IL continue to grow with strongly in line

I hope you will accept my long apology

And continue to guide and always remind me

That the world should be cherished

… and just to left be.



Knowledge Acquired = Knowledge Ignored


Teaching knowledge that one acquired so naturally can be difficult. Learning something from someone that knows it too well can be more of a challenge, but the most difficult challenge of all is to teach someone something they constantly ignore in their everyday life. Environment is a topic you continue to learn about through your whole life but even with the facts the students are not comprehending it in a way they should be. Their is an unwillingness to go further with their knowledge they acquired about the environment. Teaching Environmental Education is very challenging especially in a world where the writers of the curriculum cannot understand how to teach it right themselves?

In today’s world students may be getting a lot of information, and prepared more than ever before with knowledge, however, the knowledge is not being displayed in a way of being wise. I see the Earth as a mom to a teenager. When we were in our teens are moms would warn us of the dangers of how doing certain activities could impact our lives. The earth gives these warnings and information like a mom, but instead of trying to understand it, we push it away and ignore the impact it is causing. When we ignore the warning we get in trouble and just like our moms the Earth will punish us, but the damage will be more significant.
We can see the earth and we have the knowledge of the signs of changing. The earth is sad and our environment is being impacted. Directly and it is 1st degree.
Experience is how we learn and even though we hold the information we lack the procession of it. In today’s world we process the information faster and continue to regulate the knowledge in which we acquired. In Braiding Sweet grass Kimmerer writes about her epiphany in which you have to see nature and the environment and enjoy the experience in order to understand it. Something students are not doing as much as anymore because their faces are only glancing at the world and only looking at the screens of technology. If we experienced the environment more maybe there would be more care for it because we would understand the loss it would be if it was not there.