Jul 4, 2010

Inquiring into myself as a curriculum maker of community

"Persistent questioning and healthy inquisitiveness are the first requisite of learning of any kind" (Ghandi).

I have begun my final master's course this evening. It is a pretty intriguing course titled, "Building Peaceful Communities." Throughout this course, we are inquiring into how we are curriculum makers of community.

For our first meeting, we were asked to bring an artifact that represents who we are. I chose a few special artifacts that I think represents me and is reflective of where I am from and where I am going.

First, is my mini sculpture of Rodin's, "The Thinker," who is meditating. I love this sculpture. It reminds me that when learning anything, we need to be reflective. Through deep reflection comes growth. In front of "The Thinker," I placed an open hand.

I found the hand a few months ago and when I first saw it, I instantly thought of community and being part of a community. To me, the open hand is symbolic of opportunity, peace, openness and connectedness. Both sculptures, "The Thinker" and the open hand, did not seem enough to tell my story. So I added a couple more artifacts to share who I am.

Resting in the palm of the hand are five rocks which represent my past and present. I collected these rocks when I lived up North in an isolated community and went to town about once a month. I looked forward to buying a special rock each time I went. When looking closely, the rocks each contain a word: peace, hope, joy, faith and belief. Rocks seemed very fitting to me because in my teaching journey, I have now returned back home to the town of Rocky. I would like to find a rock with the word "blessed" on it.

As I looked at my rocks in the hand, it still did not seem complete to me. Something that I carry with me is a little heart that was given to me many years ago, which to me, symbolizes my love for teaching and the heart of the child.

Since this is my final course, I needed one more artifact representing my journey through my masters program. My focus for my masters has been on 21st Century literacies and I have been working to understand the digital world, since our student are growing up in a digital landscape. So, for my final artifact, I chose my iphone because it is symbolic of my portable connection to my global community. I am able to connect in an instant to the 3G anytime, anywhere.

As I consider the gems that I hold in my hand when I go out into the world each day, I wonder how these beliefs shape community?

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