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Learning Portfolio

Discussion posted by myself:

I choose to include my introduction as I feel this is the most valuable posting for any
course. The introductions are the foundation of a course and is the first step to students
building their online learning community. The expectations for the introductions also
provide students with a sense of who the instructors are. I enjoyed being requested to
share my cultural and sub-cultural groups as it felt like who I was, was being celebrated
and honoured. As well, I enjoyed being about to share a story to highlight culture
differences. The introductions also able me identify with students whom I have
commonalities with as well as learn about others whom I may not. One of my favourite
aspects of the MET course is the ability to be collaborate with educators from around
the world and learn about their cultures.

Hello, my name is Chelcy Ross. I define culture as an adapting force within my life
which enables for growth and development of myself. Meaning, as I experience and
learn more about other cultures my definition of culture expands and adapts. It
embodies many facets, such as school, community, and country as well as home and
self. Many of my cultural values are the foundation learned through my ancestry as I am
a proud band member of Saik'uz First Nation. When I became a wife then a mother to
two beautiful children I found my cultural values and goals adapted to meet the needs of
my new environment.

I began my teaching path by completing a Bachelor of Science then a Bachelor of

Education. After graduating from UBC, I taught at Saik'uz Elementary, an independent
school on my reservation for two years. Teaching on my reserve was challenging but
rewarding. After that, my husband and I decided to move back to his hometown of
Kamloops, BC and I have worked for the Kamloops/Thompson School District #73 for
eleven years. I teach a grade 4/5 class at Dallas Elementary but I am on medical leave
due to health conditions. I am currently enrolled in my 5th and 6th courses of the MET
program. I look forward to working with everyone in this course.

A memorable intercultural encounter in my personal life was when I first introduced my

husband to my grandmother. My grandmother is a traditional First Nations woman who
enjoys game meat and she ensures she uses all parts of an animal for one thing or
another. When I took my husband to meet her she had on her kitchen table a moose
nose. My husband was flabbergasted and could not stop staring at it. I was more
accustomed to seeing things like this and it did not faze me but he kept saying over and
over, “There’s a moose nose on the table.” My grandmother still chuckles when she tells
that story.

Logbook Reflection:
The logbook reflection I choose was a post from earlier on in the course as this learning
lesson stuck with me throughout the course and impacted my life.
I just finished watching the video on DMIS and realized quickly that I wrote about a minimization view of
ethnocentric culture in my last post and my first intinct was to erase it to ensure that I did not appear to be
ethnocentric. I always thought of myself as being more cultural relativism but maybe I do hold some
ethnocentric views. I choose not to because this course is about self discovery and having this log book
allows me to be very candid especially to myself. I am very fortunate to be born in Canada, a land of
diversity plus I have travelled to other countries. As well, I have lived in small towns on a farm and was
able to rodeo. On top of that I have lived in a large city and I have worked in small band run schools as
well as schools in a good district. What I am getting at is I have been priviledged to be emmersed in
various cultures. This diverse upbringing I believe has enabled me to more accepting and adapting of
culture differences. Examples of ethnocentric attitudes in my surroundings; my online colleagues have
access to fast and reliable internet therefore it can be challenging when trying to video conference
pretaining to course material. My parents can sometimes express ignorant views pretaining to Indo-
Canadians which can be embarassing. One of the things plaguing me is when we discuss "well planned
exposure to culture". As a teacher I see many activities, well intentioned but frivolous, when a culture is
examined ie Chinese New Year. I guess how does one introduce students to a culture without glorify it
but rather presenting it as is? I mean sometimes we glorify and make it seem surreal such as the Middle
Ages when in fact there was some very disturbing things occurring. I appreciated the fact the video said
we do not have to accept every aspect of a culture as that is unrealistic but rather acknowledge it. How
do we ensure what we teach our children is this messge? I am now thinking of my own children. I have a
guest speaker who comes into my class and I like how she informs the students you cannot judge history
but rather hear and try to see if from anothers perspective and learn from it. I feel naive and uneducated
right now. I want to be more culturally aware by reading and learning about one another country each
year. This will be a long process but ultimately educational. As I was reading about FGM I was horrified. I
connected with a novel I read about the Rwanda genocide but I also thought about cirumcisizing in boys.
My brain is rattling now.

I believe this entry is true reflection of who I am. I am able to admit my shortcomings
while still working on them. As I mentioned this realization impacted me significantly and
because of it I am trying to ensure any future cultural lessons I do are not frivolous but
more impactful and meaningful to my students. On a side note; it’s interesting to view
how many spelling mistakes my entry contained.

Feedback Comment:
Charisse I enjoyed reading your thorough and well written literature review Foundations
of cultural design in e-learning.From reading your review I agree with you that the
paper's ideology aligns with the ideologies gained throughout our journey in this course. I
too think it is important to design a course which does not only encompass a Western
perspective but other cultural perspectives, too. As educators it is our responsibility to
ensure we are meeting the needs of all our students. Throughout this course I found it
interesting when we realize how much of a role our own biases are dictating the direction
of our teaching. I found enlightening to be able to take a step back to ensure I was
minimizing my biases and how it affected my teaching style. Being from a First Nations
perspective it was interesting to learn of others who are concerned with the colonization of
our internet. I liked how you mentioned an Eastern perspective with more oral traditions
rather than text based. It would be more interesting to learn if more online seminars will
be added to the course as I found those very beneficial to my learning. Once again thank
you for your literature review.

I feel this is valuable for all educators to determine what biases they consciously and
unconsciously bring into the classroom. I enjoyed reading this as it aligned with the course
objectives and I was able to make connections to my culture and teaching practices.

Contribution, comment or response from a classmate:

Hi Chelcy,

What a tremendous effort to collect all of this data. It is interesting to look at data as it often challenges or
confirms our beliefs. The evidence you collected also supports the notion that every school is quite different,
and that our perspectives often shape our expectations of the broader district or provincial information. From
the news, I gather that the education system in British Columbia has suffered from some neglect, and teachers
were frequently at odds with the provincial government. I am curious as to whether you think the disparity in
funding has any political motivations? More specifically, is the funding disparity favouring areas 'friendly' to the
former Liberal government? I think this would be interesting to investigate. Personally, I find the politicization of
school funding in Alberta disturbing. Fortunately, the current provincial government in Alberta seems to value
education and put more resources into supporting this area than the previous government.

Neil’s comment into our hands-on assignments, which at first I didn't even know was
possible at first, is interesting as he made me think about the political motivations
behind funding and analyze our school system as a whole. Through day to day teaching
I get invested only in my classroom and school rather than being considerate of the
enormity of our provincial school system. It is beneficial to view things at a macro level.

B2. Final reflections on your learning throughout the course

All the forms of communication within the course have their own advantages and
disadvantages. The discussion forums allow for asynchronous communication which is
expected within an online learning environment. The discussion forums enable a
student to read and contemplate prior to responding. Unfortunately, I sometimes
contemplate too long and miss the opportunity to be an active participant within the
discussion. Personally, I enjoyed the online seminars as it was an opportunity to interact
and discuss ideas in a face-to-face environment. I liked being able to engage with
colleagues especially since I was confined to my house with no human interaction
except for the seminars. I realize disadvantages are organizing them as students are in
different areas around the world and internet connectivity is a must. During one of my
seminars I had to reboot my computer. I really enjoyed the logbook as I felt I could be
candid and depict my true self. For me this course was about self discovering and I felt
like I was on a vision quest. I have gained invaluable insight to the various
communication modes and expectations to diverse learners by realizing how my own
Western biases impact my teaching style. I feel I participated to the best of my ability at
this time. I always read the required materials and completed the assignments although
I did prefer to post entries in the logbook rather than on the discussion forums. I was
always prepared and actively participated in the discussions for the online seminars.