It is week 6 already.
That is 1 and a half months down… 42 days….. time is going so fast!
I had not realised the variety and enormity of content that had been covered so far in ESH151 until I sat down to reflect on my notebook. That is the beauty of reflection; it is not until I do it that I realise where I have been, what I have learned, and can then consider where I am able to now go. Engaging in this process has enlightened me to what I need to stop doing, enabled me to set a goal for what I will start doing, and allowed me to view my current habits positively to consider what I will keep doing, for now and for the future.
Being a fourth year student in my last semester I had considered that the majority of content within this unit would be concepts and ideas that I have already been exposed to. I have, therefore, found it difficult to keep an open mind and fresh eyes when engaging with the unit material. I am finding that when I consider the content I am considering it in relation to that which I already know. There is danger in doing this as there is the risk that I will miss out on learning something new, or taking on a new perspective. This has really made me question how I look at learning in general. At the end of this year when I finish my degree it will not be the end of my learning journey. Learning is for life and I believe a part of the beauty of the education industry is that it is constantly evolving and requires constant reflection and renewal of practice. I therefore make a promise to myself that for the remainder of this unit, and into the future, that I will look on all learning with fresh eyes and an open mind.
One consideration which has been ignited by this unit is how I can use critical literacy beyond teaching it. I will start using critical literacy to consider the texts that I expose students to and what messages they portray about the nature of the world. Reading Rowan’s description of transformative analysis has highlighted the power that texts hold in being able to present the norms of society, to stereotype or portray different groups of people in a particular light; to gradually develop a warped view of reality (Rowan, 2001). I will start considering how I can expose my students to a range of viewpoints about the world through texts so they may develop a broader and more diverse, and therefore more accurate, perception of reality.
This semester has been really quite stressful and I have found it a struggle to get through the work I am required to each week, however, this unit has provided me with a bit of light in my week that has kept me engaged with my studies in general. It is the first unit I engage with every week and I always look forward to it. I will try to keep the same level of engagement and enthusiasm with this unit that I have now, and bring that same passion for children’s literature into my future classroom.
Rowan, L. (2001). Write me in: Inclusive texts in the primary classroom. Newtown, NSW: PETA.