Childhood, is it really a thing, how do we know?

One of the more interesting things of this topic is Valerie Walkerdine pointing out that childhood was never seen as separate from adulthood until compulsory schooling.  While I have heard that idea throughout history classes, I never gave it much thought and certainly not in terms of the implications of child development.  The study of child development is one of those things, that you know had to have a start some where, but I ,at least, have never given any deeper thought to the implications of it on children or what the understanding of how children did things was before the inception of Developmental Psychology.

Another aha moment was the mention by Marie Battiste, of a class that is offered at the University of Saskatchewan, similar to our ECS 110 Self and other class.  This stood out to me for two reasons.  One is that I have this idea in my head that because classes aren’t universally transferable between universities, the values of what is important to learn were also very different.  That made me happy to see that at least one other education program thinks that learning about our feelings towards others shapes our interactions.  Secondly, I was recently reminded of how much my thinking and attitudes had changed through my journey in ECS 110.  I remember thinking at the end of the semester, how that class should be mandatory in at least high school and that it should also be mandatory in every faculty at university.  After the issues that reminded me of my learning in ECS 110, I feel even more strongly this information should be mandatory.

The biggest revelation to me in this reading was in putting it all together.  Embracing different ways of knowing is ideal and something we most definitely should strive for.  However, I think that in order for this to be effective, we need a complete over haul of our education system.  Our current way of doing things especially assessment is not conducive to other ways of knowing.

As I read through Walkerdine’s article, and she said that development psychology is a “story”.  I immediately connected with what we are learning in ESCI 302.  We are learning that stories are a different way of knowing.  Now with this new lens or way of knowing, I am beginning to see that knowing about developmental theory is not something as I teacher, I should use a rule above all else, but as a tool to guide me.

After viewing the video of Sâkêj Henderson, I found very interesting that in his language there was no word for purpose.  I started thinking about it and the purpose of schooling and curriculum.  As part of our journey to being a teacher we are required in ECS 210 to examine the curriculum.  One of the things we talk about is the purpose of the curriculum.  Our curriculum is very product or end result oriented.  How do you show you did this rather than embracing the more abstract learning of how did this make you think and feel.  We can’t get away from the most basic purpose and that is we need to be literate in words, numbers and technology but why do a set out purpose for learning everything else.

My question is: How do we move away from one way of knowing and fully embrace different ways of knowing?

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