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My Virtual Schoolbag
Transcript of My Virtual Schoolbag
Chelsea Smith - 25244442
A look at my Family...
Discourse and Value Systems...
Before Primary school, I had a number of skills already developed from a young age. I was a happy, somewhat outgoing child, who was generally quiet and a thinker. I did not mind playing on my own and enjoyed reading books. My whole family valued education, and with that I already knew many things:
* how to write my name
* recite the alphabet
* write and count numbers to 10
* knew my home address and phone number
Aspects that could have Influenced my Schooling...
Discourses of Deficit, Disadvantage and Difference...
This school again assisted me in developing further as it coincided with my personal beliefs and made me feel apart of a school community.
Pre- Secondary College...
Bairnsdale Secondary College...
Journey to now...
My thoughts on inclusive education...
Implications as a pre-service teacher trying to be inclusive..
How have my discourses influenced my thoughts on an inclusive educator?
Why I think it is important to be self-reflexive...
Where to from here...?
Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences...
My name is Chelsea Smith and I am 21 years old. I was born on the 4th of September 1992 and have spent majority of my life in the Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale areas.
Throughout my life, there have been few of family members in particular who have had great influence and impact on who I am today...
Father - Paul Smith
Probably the most influential man in my life has been, and still is my Father. When he was young, he experienced parent separation which then saw him grow up in Sale with his Grandparents and younger sister. This impacted Dad as he learned the morals, beliefs and traits of those from a different generation.
Bricklayer by trade and from the young age of 20, my Father then managed to raise my younger sister and myself, even after my parents separated when I was at the age of 7. He instilled the values of family, honesty and trust and beliefs such as 'two wrongs do not make a right' and 'money does not buy happiness' into my siblings and I from a young age. Schooling was important to him, as Dad believed and continues to that education can empower students and will enable us to have better more fulfilling lives
Dad's household was fairly relaxed and regular trips to the beach was a necessity. My Father also introduced me to my love of sports, surfing, skating and the serenity of the ocean, waves and beach in general.
Grandparents - Julie & Barry Smith
My Nan and Pa have been major influences in my life also. From an early age I still recollect visiting them in their house in Lake Tyers Beach. As my fathers parents, they held the values mentioned previously that my Father has.
Schooling was important for my Grandparents, as they recognised the benefits in their own lives. Plumber by trade, Pa taught me about the importance to concentrate in school and to do the best to my ability. Nan has a job at a local community health centre and made me feel important in out family.
Both Grandparents are fairly young, but made me feel safe and secure even when going through tough times. They also, alongside other family members, allowed me to appreciate the importance of having a stable job when older.
Aunts & Uncles - Jodie, Hayley, Emma, Thomas
Aunts - All of who are listed have been significant throughout my life as they were the 'best-friend' type role-models whom I could confide in and trusted. They similarly were quite young, some still in school, therefore allowing me to recognise the value of education - I could see them learning, and desperately wanted that pre-primary school.
Uncle - I only have one uncle on my Father's side of the family. Thomas, being only 2 years older than myself, made an impact on my life by being my 'best-friend', more like a brother relative. Thomas introduced me to my love of sport, as we would constantly play a variety of sport based activities.
What is Discourse?
* Respect (one another/elders)
* Importance of Family
How these Influenced who I am Today...
The values that have been embedded into me from that young age have made me into the honest, driven and confident young adult that I am today. I believe that family/friends influences have great impact on who you are and what you feel you can achieve.
My family is very important to me as it is my core group of people whom I love, respect, trust and cherish. These people are those who have assisted in shaping who I am and have supported me in the pursuit of achieving all of my goals.
I have generally resided in smaller, rural communities with often less than 10000 occupants. Lakes Tyers Beach, in particular, is where I have spent the most time. In this small attachment of Lakes Entrance, this community was close and quite a safe area to grow up in. With knowledge of most, if not all of the families in Lake Tyers Beach, as kids we were all fairly free to walk to the beach, hang out in the trees and general store without worry. This trusting area allowed us kids to build confidence, friendships and independence skills that might not have had the chance in other communities.
Hobbies & Interests (now and then):
* Beach - The beach has been a major interest of mine since I was very young. I would often sit and watch the waves roll over and have always been quite curious and intrigued as to the vastness of the ocean.
* Reading and Writing - Again, since I was a young child, both reading and writing were not only an interest, but a talent. My interest in different literature has always varied and have often been happy to sit by myself and read or write a story.
* Surfing/Swimming - Alongside the love of the beach, the love of surfing and swimming developed. The adrenaline rush from riding a wave is an amazing experience.
Lucknow Primary School implements the YouCanDoIt (YCDI) mindset in order to achieve positive outcomes.
The YCDI Program has assisted students with better grades, higher positivity and overall better well being.
THE YOU.CAN.DO.IT (YCDI) PROGRAM
The YCDI Program attempts to imbed these 5 attributes into students:
By this time, my Virtual Schoolbag had developed with not just academic skills, but my social and emotional growth had extended. At the beginning of High School, in my virtual schoolbag there were similar values and a more stable home life. I had moved around schools and was often the 'new kid' so that made it difficult to maintain friendships. I was well adjusted and had been taught to have a bit of self-confidence and even though I was so nervous, I was excited for the new world I was about to enter. I was generally good at most subjects with my strong point being Physical Education, Visual Art and Mathematics. I had great verbal skills and was able to hold an educated conversation, but often kept to myself as I was still somewhat shy and not willing to reveal myself.
* Enthusiastic * Friendly
* Positive * Strong Willed
* Fun * Intrapersonal
Up to present day, I have now been involved with and participated in a wide range of experiences.
Employment: My first job was at the age of 15 and due to different circumstances have sought new job opportunities where possible. I have worked in hospitality, Life-guarding, and until recently, as an integration aid. These very different fields of work have developed my skills of:
* Time management and,
* Team Work
Being employed at a local Primary School has influenced my decision to become a Teacher greatly, as I was able to experience the many occurrences within a school community.
Schooling: My schooling had great influence on my developing beliefs and discourses as it has allowed me to understand a number of different cultures, values and diversity that I had never been aware of. Still to this day, I have the core values that my family had instilled in me from a young age, but now connected with other discourses, there seems to be more emphasis on acceptance of difference and change n my Virtual Schoolbag. From the mere age of 9 I always knew I wished to become a teacher, and the influence of school confirmed that.
Thomson (2002) describes the connection between a students pre-existing knowledge, values and beliefs as a 'Virtual Schoolbag'. This concept allows us to begin to understand the link between students knowledge and their experiences. In his article, Thomson (2002) describes two very different children, and describes their Virtual Schoolbag that they take to school. Luckily for me, I was fortunate enough to be similar to the experiences described for Vicki, as I had a supportive network and was encouraged to achieve at school (Thomson, 2002).
People tend to have varying discourses to which they belong in throughout their lives. Holowchak describes this idea as the many 'hats' that are worn in life (2009). These 'hats' can represent a number of groups and organisations that individuals fit in with.
The 'hats' I wear/discourse I belong to:
* Daughter * Cousin
* Friend * Sister
* Leader * Student
* Volunteer * Girlfriend
* Employee * Granddaughter
Children begin their learning journey from the moment they are born, it is not merely what is taught at school that is learned (Ayers, 2001).
Fuller and Hood express the importance of incorporating the home knowledge of students in order for them to participate more (2005).
Nagel recognises the Social Theory of Learning which suggests that individuals learn through observation of others (2013). For example, I have learned about what is acceptable behaviour through witnessing my uncle getting into trouble for something that is not.
The funds of knowledge from households carry significant and valuable teaching resources (Fuller & Hood, 2005).
Discourse is a term used to describe different groups in society that we live. Shirato and Yell describe our various discourses by explaining that there are ways of speaking and acting, rules and certain beliefs that make up the groups we have (2000). Family and education are to examples of two separate discourse, and the way we speak within them is a way of recognising which they are (Shirato & Yell, 2000).
To me, inclusive education is an important issue that needs to be addressed. Moss describes inclusion as the "child's right to participate and the school's duty to accept that child" (2013). I believe that every child, regardless of gender, skill level or family background has the right to feel welcomed and valued. Maslow's hierarchy of needs explains that each level is as important as the next, as if one is not fulfilled the student may not be able to function (Nagel, 2013).
I hope to be an inclusive educator as I believe it is important to recognise student's differences and acknowledge where they have come from. It has been said that skills that are outside the classrooms are more engaging and student's are more inclined to partake in activities when it has relevance and more personal significance to them (Fuller & Hood, 2005).
My own discourses have taught me about the importance of feeling safe an accepting people for who they are and value where they have come from, instead of ridiculing them for their differences.
Clayton North Primary was my first school and its values and goals were to respect and encourage students, to equip students with means of being able to face the future, understanding of cultural differences and to live a healthy lifestyle. This was similar to my family values so I generally felt that I fitted in there.
I was fortunate enough to do the further 6 years of schooling in one place. This high school has values and beliefs that connect with mine of the trusting and valued relationships between students and staff. They catered for diversity and had an extensive curriculum. I kept quiet most of my high schooling and with few teachers assistance I managed to achieve the best of my ability.
Discourse of Deficit: More learning difficulty based, not necessarily external factors.
Discourse of Disadvantage: Environmental factors such as status, race and upbringing that could affect learning.
Discourse of Difference: Factors including gender, age and social group who affect identity
So it could be said that during my schooling none of these except perhaps the discourse of difference, due to my gender, could have affected me.
(Gale & Densmore, 2002)
In relation to every individual having their own talents, Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence plays part. Gardner's theory expresses the idea that every person has a favoured unique style of learning (Nagel, 2013; Godhino, 2013). Furthermore, the theory states that although few are more favoured than others, all types of intelligences are apparent (Nagel, 2013; Godhino, 2013). I believe that this is relevant in relation to inclusive teaching as educators need to not simply focus on what the students excel at, but provide a wide range of activities to strengthen in.
Letts describes being reflexive as being self-aware and being able to recognise any bias and stereotypes that shapes how people think (2013).
Being self-reflexive is a fundamental skill in becoming a teacher. In order to ultimately become inclusive educators, teachers need to have the ability to analyse and diminish any prejudices that may result in students being excluded. As a self-reflexive pre-service teacher I wish to acknowledge each student's virtual schoolbag in order to incorporate their funds of knowledge into the classroom.
References are on separate Word Document
With my families influence, I listened attentively and never spoke when it was not my turn. I was well-mannered and always keen for active sports and being outside. I was able to swim and had some surf awareness. My somewhat relaxed and supportive environment encouraged me to strive for the best that I could achieve.