Education, Curiosity, and Happiness
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Education, Curiosity, and Happiness
What roles can curiosity and happiness play in learning?
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The Abuses of History

The Abuses of History | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Historians, like journalists, are in the business of manipulating facts. Some use facts to tell truths, however unpleasant. But many more omit, highlight and at times distort them in ways that sustain national myths and buttress dominant narratives. The failure by most of the United States’ popular historians and the press to tell stories of oppression and the struggles against it, especially by women, people of color, the working class and the poor, has contributed to the sickening triumphalism and chauvinism that are poisoning our society. The historian James W. Loewen, in his book “Lies Across America: What Our Historic Markers and Monuments Get Wrong,” calls the monuments that celebrate our highly selective and distorted history a “landscape of denial.”

The historian Carl Becker wrote, “History is what the present chooses to remember about the past.” And as a nation founded on the pillars of genocide, slavery, patriarchy, violent repression of popular movements, savage war crimes committed to expand the empire, and capitalist exploitation, we choose to remember very little. This historical amnesia, as James Baldwin never tired of pointing out, is very dangerous. It feeds self-delusion. It severs us from recognition of our propensity for violence. It sees us project on others—almost always the vulnerable—the unacknowledged evil that lies in our past and our hearts. It shuts down the voices of the oppressed, those who can tell us who we are and enable us through self-reflection and self-criticism to become a better people. “History does not merely refer to the past … history is literally present in all we do,” Baldwin wrote.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Teaching is about conversations that are complicated by what we privilege and do not privilege in our society. William Pinar, in What is Curriculum Theory? (2nd Edition), provides currere is a way to have those conversations, cautioning teachers that currere is not a technique.
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With elders dying off, some Indigenous languages on brink of disappearing

With elders dying off, some Indigenous languages on brink of disappearing | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it

"It's been more than seven months since Justin Trudeau pledged to develop an Indigenous Languages Act, and a Sudbury professor is hoping that the government eventually develops a preservation plan with “teeth.”"


Summary from Academica Group - Friday 28 July 2017


"Canada must create Indigenous language preservation plan “with teeth”: USudbury professor 


Canada’s Indigenous languages are in danger of dying out if the federal government does not develop an effective preservation plan, according to University of Sudbury Professor Mary Anne Corbiere. 


“If they are not preserved, they will die when the last speaker dies,” Corbiere told CBC's Morning North. Corbiere has reportedly been running her own for-credit courses at USudbury to help students learn to speak Indigenous languages. 


Corbiere also says that she welcomes any non-Indigenous learners who would like to learn the languages. “I welcome anybody who wants to learn our languages,” she says. 



“My view is that when someone makes a sincere effort to communicate on their terms, their language, that's the greatest sign of respect you can give anyone.”"


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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
This is sad. Language is essential to retaining culture and tradition.
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Teen mom who beat the odds helps Indigenous girls graduate

Teen mom who beat the odds helps Indigenous girls graduate | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it

"A Métis woman who graduated high school despite having three babies as a teenager has now returned to the teen parent support centre as a teacher to help other teen moms graduate high school.

Summary from Academica Group - Wednesday 14 June, 2017:


Regina teacher who beat the odds helps other teen moms graduate 


Regina Shirley Schneider Support Centre teacher and coordinator Nicole Morrow helps Indigenous teen moms graduate through a unique program, reports CBC. 


Morrow earned her high school diploma over seven years while giving birth to three children, and then went on to earn her teaching certificate from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) at the University of Regina. 


Now, Morrow coordinates a daycare that currently houses 36 infants and 12 toddlers while the children's’ mothers attend Balfour Collegiate. 


Various resources are made available to both the mothers and babies through the support centre that Morrow coordinates, including food, bus passes, and clothing; two full-time support workers; a nurse practitioner and health workers; an addictions counsellor; and an Elder. 


“I'm always happy to come to school. [...] They're very understanding because they know we have children," commented Taye Starr Bellegarde of the Star Blanket Cree Nation, who moved to Regina to enroll in the program. “I'm getting good grades and I'm able to just walk down the hall to daycare to see her.”



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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I would argue this teacher was called to teach. Here is where a basic income might help people find ways to "beat the odds" and be role models for others.
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James Baldwin’s Lesson for Teachers in a Time of Turmoil

James Baldwin’s Lesson for Teachers in a Time of Turmoil | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Clint Smith on James Baldwin’s “A Talk to Teachers” and the relevant lessons it offers teachers in our current political climate.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I had not read this essay. When I saw the post, I downloaded it. James Baldwin offers us a window into what it means to not be privileged in a mythical narrative that suggests everyone is.
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Rebuilding Indigenous communities through traditional knowledge

Rebuilding Indigenous communities through traditional knowledge | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
How architecture can reinforce Indigenous culture and give communities a greater sense of ownership.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Indigenous learning and teaching are quite compatible with teaching and learning in schools. Taking students on the land brings what they are learning in classrooms to life. Education is not relegated to school. That is school. Education is a much broader set of experiences. As John Dewey said: "education is not preparation for life. It is life."
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