How Supertramp and Pink Floyd led to MAELM: EDLM 525 Forum Post

Reflecting

As a teenager, I totally related to both Roger Hodgson and Roger Waters in their reflections of boarding school experiences.  When Hodgson (1979) wrote, “But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible/Logical, oh responsible, practical
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable/Oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical” , I sang along deliriously relating to the sad state of the education system.  When Waters (1979) wrote “we don’t need no education/we don’t need no thought control/No dark sarcasm in the classroom/Teachers leave them kids alone”, I felt like someone finally understood my own experience with the education system.  I started to reflect on what a teacher should  be  like.  Of course, where do you go to find the answer to such a question…to university.  

While working on our e-portfolio’s, I reflected quite a bit about how I ended up taking the Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management program.  It all started with Supertramp and Pink Floyd! Supertramp’s 1979 The Logical Song and Pink Floyd’s 1979 song, Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2, were the guiding factors that led me through High School, to a Bachelor of Education Degree and eventually to the MAELM program.  

I ended up getting a Bachelor of Arts Degree and moving on to a Bachelor of Education Degree.  Through Native Studies, I discovered Brendtro, Brokenleg & Van Bockern’s, (1990, 2019) Reclaiming Youth at Risk (now in revised edition formats).  The idea of utilizing Indigenous ways of knowing to ensure that Indigenous students didn’t “fall through the cracks’ was a unique idea for me.  During this time, Marie Battiste’s name was being floated around as someone with something to say.

While attending University, we would have motivational speakers, like Marie Battiste, encouraging us, as Indigenous educators, to be the ‘first’ in our families to get an education, to be the first counsellor, to be the first lawyer, to be the first doctor, nurse, etc.  It was an evocative time. So I became a teacher: determined to recreate the classroom to a more humanizing factor in the educational system for our Indigenous youth.  I tried.  I really tried.  When students attempted suicide, I didn’t have enough education to deal with this.  I was told there were no other resources.  When a grade 10 student couldn’t read, I was told there weren’t enough resources to get him/her on track.  When students came to me telling me that they had been raped and I reported it, I was told there weren’t enough resources.  I was told to quit reporting these things as the system couldn’t handle it.  I was called out because I was trying to integrate our Cultural teachings into our lessons.  I was told that I was inviting the devil in!.

I gave up.  I quit teaching. I went into middle management at our local college and I forgot my passion to change the system, but it was there…trying to get out.  I tried to instill pride in my classrooms. I tried to tell students that I wanted them to get the education they needed in order to put me out of a job one day, i.e. take over my job so that I could retire. It just wasn’t enough.  Every once in awhile, I would hear those old songs and sing at the top of my lungs, because something was missing.

When an incident changed my life and forced me to leave my job, I was at a crossroads.  I decided to listed to that voice that was telling me that there was “more” out there.  I registered for the Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management program (MAELM).  I started reading again.  I read  Fullan’s work. I read Carver’s work.  I learned about “Leading Learning” and “transformative” training to support teachers and how leaders can can be an “agent of change” for teachers who can be an agent of change for students (Fullan 2014, Carver, 2016).  I read Katz and Lamoureaux work on Ensouling our schools (2018) and the passion came back!

Once again, I am inspired to be a better teacher, leading learner and leader.  This time, I have a way of becoming the “agent of change”, not just a goal.  For the first time in my life I am looking forward to the journey of becoming so that I may have a better chance of assisting my students and staff…. and it all started with Supertramp and Pink Floyd.

Resources:

Battiste, M. (2013).  Decolonizing education: Nourishing the learning spirit.  Vancouver, B.C. Purich Publishing, an Imprint of UBC press.

Brendtro, L.K., Brokenleg, M., & Van Bockern, S. (2019). Reclaiming youth at risk: Futures of Promise. Bloomington, IN.  Solution Tree Press.

Carver, C. (2016). Transforming identities: The transition from teacher to leader during teacher leader preparation.  Journal of Research on Leadership Education. Vol. 11, issue 2, July 21. 2016.

Fullan, M. (2014).  The Principal: Three keys to maximizing impact.  San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass

Hodgson, R. (1979). The logical song. retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logical_Song

Katz, J. & lamoureux, K.  Ensouling our schools: A universally designed framework for mental health, well-being, and reconciliation.  Winnipeg, MB> Portage and Main Press.

Waters, R. (1979).  Another brick in the wall: Part 2. retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/Another_Brick_In_The_Wall.

Photovoice???

Dorm room at Royal Roads University: late nights, early mornings, writing papers and learning technology

I had never heard of Photovoice or voice-over Powerpoint Presentations before Residency. In hindsight, I had seen PowerPoint Presentations with audio, but did not know what they were called or how to create one. When I read Budig et al. (2018), regarding the purpose of Photovoice, I loved the idea. It fit right in line with my Critical Theoretical notions. The idea of creating a visual product in order create change was exciting and daunting. My first attempt utilized a “voice” that I was not comfortable with. Utilizing my newly developing “reflective practitioner” skills, I realized that my “voice” has been stifled for a long time and that it was time to start “finding my voice”. I started practicing this, shortly thereafter.

Budig, K., Diez, J., Paloma, C., Sastre, M., Hernan, M. & Franco, M. (2018). Photovoice and empowerment:Evaluating the transformative potential of a participatory action research project. BMC Public Health. 4/2/2018, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p. 1-9.

Dig Deep: Following the Process of Change

EDLM 525: Developing Leadership Capacity through Reflective Practice

Royal Roads University

August 17, 2019

Frederic Fovet

From Classroom Notes to Practice

During Residency when we were discussing our papers and research, I heard Frederic say “Dig Deep”, in regards to research papers.  He also mentioned that when you find a secondary source, look to find the original source.  I have been attempting to do this and found this practice particularly handy when tackling EDLM 510’s final paper. I also made some other curious discoveries. For our paper in Brian’s class, I chose to collect data on Graduation Rates at our local Metis school.  Rossignol High School is unique in that, there is only one High School in the school division and only two schools in the whole division.  (ICSD#112).  As there are only 380 students, I thought that I had better research neighboring divisions as well.

The Initial Research

I chose to look at Northern Lights School Division #113 (NLSD#113, n.d.) for local comparison and the Calgary Board of Education (CBE, n.d.) for inter-provincial comparison, mainly because we had looked at it briefly in class discussions. Since I do not have access to firsthand data, such as attendance records, surveys, etc. as a soon to be employed instructor, I had to research for information online.

Searching the Ile A La Crosse School Division’s Annual Report, Grade 12 Handbook (n.d.), and the Northern Lights School Division’s Annual Plan, referred to alignment with the Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Education, Education Sector Strategic Plan (n.d.).  This was the beginning of the searching for primary sources and the digging deeper part. It was like uncovering a mystery.  Where are the school boards getting their goals from?  All these reports referred to increasing the graduation rates of First Nation/Metis/Inuit students over a set number of years.  They had goals for attendance, as well as literacy and math rates.  There was vague mention of Student First’s Following Their Voices as the “go to” program to implement the recommended changes. This reference meant researching for Following Their Voices program. 

In searching for Following Their Voices and reviewing their website, I found that The Joint Task Force, Final report (2013)  was one of the inspirations behind the initiative.  So, remembering Frederick’s words, I dug deeper.  I researched The Joint Task Force, read the report and had an “Ah -Ha” moment.

The Primary Source

The Joint Task Force published their report in 2013.  They based their work on three “foundational understandings”.  They pertain to: “dignified mutual relationships, poverty reduction and the prevalence of racism; and Recognizing First Nations and Metis cultures and languages”.  From these understandings, there were twenty-five recommendations pertaining to education, including literacy, credit attainment, building relationships, student engagement, etc.  

These recommendations appeared to be adopted by Saskatchewan Ministry of Education as part of the ESSP.  The local School Boards then aligned their annual plans with the provincial plans (ICSD #112) (NLSD #113).  

Clarifying My Assumptions

I had to make sure that The Joint Task Force’s document was one of the original sources, so again, following Frederic’s advice, to contact authors,  I contacted one of the contributors of document and asked if I was correct in my thinking that some of the recommendations from the final report were used in the ESSP. Again, thinking of Frederic’s advice that claims, need to be backed up with evidence, I needed to be sure that my claim was true.  Her response was that yes, “some were implemented immediately” others would become “embedded in policy” (R. Bouvier, personal communication, August 15, 2019).  

Discovering the Process

I was excited by my research.  I found the local document that listed a secondary source, which led me to another secondary source, which led me to the primary document!.  I also discovered how active research can lead to valid recommendations that lead to important changes within the educational system! This was the most exciting part for me.  The research that we are doing may one day be of use to someone else and have direct influence in creating positive change in the classrooms.

The Importance of my Discovery

This realization on the importance of research and digging deeper, to discovering policy change in action, was my “aha” moment. This moment showed me the value of research.  It showed me how the work that we do as researchers can make a difference and directly impact the educational system.  I am looking forward to reading my cohort’s future works!

References

Bouvier, R. (2019, 08 15). [Facebook Messenger Letter to N. Lavoie]. Copy in possession of Nicole Lavoie

Final Report of the Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Metis Peoples. (2013). Voice, vision and leadership: A place for all.

Ile A La Crosse School Division #112 (n.d.). Annual report 2017-18. 

Ile A La Crosse School Division #112 (n.d.). Education sector strategic plan:2014-2020.

Northern Lights School Division #113 (n.d.). Annual Report 2017-18. 

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. (2018).  Plan for 2018-19).

Student First. (n.d.). Following Their Voices

The Journey Begins

August 6th, 2019 Today, I am embarking on the journey of setting up my own web page. This will be a document of my journey through the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management Program through Royal Roads University. I haven’t the foggiest of ideas of what I am doing! I saw a post that stated that “I told the kids that I am older than Google!” OMG! I AM older than Google, and Facebook and laptops…

As a Neophyte Reflective Beginner

As a the MAELM Residency began and we continued to create presentations and write our assignments, I realized how we were continually learning on a multitude of levels through self-reflection (Heyler, 2015). It wasn’t until I looked back at all that we had accomplished and realized that the EDLM 525 course was designed as Helyer suggested; that is through purposeful self-reflection in short assignments that are being transformed to this document, we developed skills as beginner “reflective practioners”. This is a skill that I would like to pass on to my future students, to be able to reflect on material presented and connect it to real world applications.

Heyler, R. (2015). Learning through reflection: The critical role of reflections in work-based learning (WBL). Journal of Work-Applied Management.