Curriculum of place is a term that I have a hard time getting my head around. To me those terms don’t just compute, I always have the instant image of curriculum as books, structure, constricting and very formal learning. Place in terms of curriculum is where the curriculum is used and imparted it is a school building. So how can it can be “of place”
The article we read however makes sense of the term of “curriculum of place”. After reading the article curriculum of place is more than something that is imparted somewhere. Place, is somewhere that evokes emotion, that provides identity, it is remembering. Place is an important part of who we are. How often do you identify yourself by where you are from, and when you remember “your” it evokes all kinds emotions and learning?
The reinhabitation that is talked about in the article, is about sharing those emotions, and recreating that identity that has been lost. The authors are trying to accomplish this by connecting youth with the elders. The elders, share their connection and identity to the place through stories as they travel down the river. This gives the youth an idea of why this place is so important and helps them create an identity that includes the memories, traditions and place. How do we bring that into our classrooms since resources don’t allow us to take these types of trips and not one place, gives identity or evokes emotion in all?
I think the biggest thing we can do is to make time, in our busy days to listen to the stories the children want to tell us. Those stories give our students their identity and help them connect their “places”. We can also try to bring the place into our classrooms by creating an anti-bias place. We can use different languages in addition to English to label things, we can play a wide variety of music from the cultures represented in our class, we provide books and materials that support the importance of “place”. We can change our teaching to support the different cultural ways of learning, becoming more inquiry or project based. We can bring in the Elders (from any culture) to share their stories, and traditions. We can create of a classroom of appreciation for all places and ways of learning.