September 13

Urban Education

I’ll admit, my schooling experience was far from “urban”. I grew up in a relatively privileged city and was not exposed to many cultures that were different from my own. With that being said, I have always been someone who is fascinated by people and their story (can you tell I’m a Psychology major?). Albeit a little apprehensive about being the in Urban Education cohort at first, the readings from Daniel and Chambers changed my mindset.

Daniel’s approach to the topic of “urban” is one that provoked a lot of thought. One of the strongest themes that I took away from her article, “Reimagining the Urban: A Canadian Perspective”, is that for us to fully grasp the concept of urban, “its relationship with the suburban needs to be conceptualized, explored, and analyzed as another mutually constituted relationship” (p. 823). By establishing a strong distinction between the urban and the suburban, we are further increasing the divide between the two, thus refusing to create a feeling of unity and inclusion among all areas. As Daniels states, we must change our perception of urban to “move beyond the notions of geography, space, and social class exclusivity” (p. 828). We are all citizens of the same city, province, or country, and despite whether we live in an area that is deemed to be urban or suburban, we should all be entitled to the same quality of education.

Chambers took more of a personal approach to the topic of urban in her article “’Where Do I Belong?’ Canadian Curriculum as Passport Home”. My favourite quote from Chamber’s article follows:

“… home is that place where the past is continually present, both complicating this moment right now, and giving us and them, children and students, the courage and the confidence to face the future.”

This is such a strong reminder that our home, Canada, is what we make it to be. If we continue to neglect certain areas or display prejudice against certain cultures, then we are weaving hatred into the fabric of our nation. How do we as teachers help to rectify this problem? I am a strong believer that leading by example is one of the most invaluable teaching tools. In addition to adopting a positive curriculum, we as teachers can help by displaying acceptance and promoting inclusion and diversity in our classrooms.

Needless to say, after reading these two articles, my preconceived notions about what urban education was have changed. Here’s to two years of learning more about urban education!

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Posted September 13, 2015 by Spencer in category "B. Ed.", "Teaching

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