I feel that in the Faculty of Education at University of Regina, the main approach used to teach pre-service teachers is “Teacher as a Researcher,” though I see connections to the other methods as well (“Teacher as a Learned Practitioner” and “Teacher as a Professional”). The researcher role uses continual self reflection as a means for learning, which I have already experienced in the program. It is strange to think that we have so much internal knowledge when we have been brought up in school systems that inherently tell us that textbooks have the answers. This approach also centres on problems and questions that teachers face in real-life situations, which are on almost all pre-service teachers’ minds, I think. Rather than drilling the ‘how’ of teaching into our heads, we focus on the “why.”
Speaking of the “why,”, alternative schools often ask how different methods and school environments may benefit certain students more than an average public school would. I chose to look a little deeper into the Prairie Sky School (in Regina) and this is the page of jot notes that I came up with:
In this day and age of materialism and consumerism, I find it refreshing to have schools that promote harmony with the great outdoors and Mother Nature. I can see many links between Indigenous ways of knowing and Prairie Sky School’s approach to education. Children have many opportunities for artistic expression and physical activity, which are often the neglected areas in schools today.
Do alternative schools really promote “better” students, though? What is our definition of a “good student?” Why is it this way?