My educational portfolio

by finley.n on May 14, 2013 - 6:31pm

This semester, my news summaries began with a great concentration on issues of crime and law. It was an interesting and intriguing topic, especially due to the immense attention the United States was receiving in the media about deadly shootings in their country. The first article summarized talked about how the strong United States was losing its’ power due to the unregulated gun control. It focused on a shooting that happened just after the Sandy hook shooting at a college in Texas, where access to a gun is easy. Another summary dealt with criminal activity; it summed a news story of an ex-cop on the loose trying to kill fellow officers for firing him. The other half of the semester, my focus went into educational issues. The first two articles I summarized both reflected on the Finnish educational system. The two authors gave an overview of a program Finland uses and distinct aspects that set them apart from the world. All other following summaries from this point on dealt with education. There was a summary about the education summit in Quebec, where Anglophones were neglected in the educational sermons because of the Marois government ideologies. Another summary talked about an educational daycare that experienced horrifying day, when a gun man entered their facility and started to shoot at certain individuals. The last summary talked about an excellent online educational program that anyone in the world could access for free.
In this semester, I also go to research on NGO’s that promoted education, I found a lot of information about organizations that help create efficient educational settings for students abroad, as well as, other organizations that promote educational advancements in Canada. With these volunteer opportunities in mind, I went aside and chose to volunteer at a primary school in my region, this was an opportunity for me to put the information I learned from my news summaries into practice.
Since most of the attention this semester leaned towards education, I decided that my volunteer project should relate somewhat to education. Therefore, I went to primary school and in my time there I discussed with students aspects of the Finnish educational system, also I incorporated interesting new ways of learning for the kids that Finnish kids use. At the school, I also reflected upon the articles that dealt with law and crime, to my observation, I noticed that some details presented in the articles about the shooting were very relevant. For example, one article says nowadays people can easily enter into schools. When I considered this remark, I soon realized that in fact I did easily walk into the school. On top of that, the receptionist did not question me or give me any visitor’s card to distinguish me from the regular crowd of the school. I realized that the problems that occurred in the United States were subject to all of us here in Canada. Nevertheless, I managed to make a incremental difference in my time there allowing the children to be like the Finnish. Additionally, the time spent there also allowed me to reflect on the issue of security and protection that the articles of crime and law depicted.
At the school, for one afternoon, I assisted a teacher’s grade 5 and 6 class. The children were asked to remove their shoes, like Finnish kids do, thus they were told to go about as if a normal day – to pretend that they were at school in Finland. In this time, the children were allowed to go to the washroom as they would have with shoes. They were also permitted to go to the water fountain, and to the back room (their lockers) as they would a normal day. The kids were ecstatic and starting asking each other why children in Finland do not wear shoes, was it because they do not have shoes? One boy took advantage of not wearing shoes, he constantly shredded multiple sheets, getting up to go throw them in the garbage bin and twinkled his toes. Others were also intrigued; so they asked to leave the classroom to go to the washroom and left for lengthy periods. They had an activity to complete that afternoon and at the end of the day the following question were asked, to understand how the children felt doing school work and being at school with no shoes.
1. How many of you enjoyed the afternoon at school with no shoes
The whole class responded in saying they enjoyed a afternoon with no shoes.
2. How many would like to go without shoes the
a) A whole week – most of the children preferred this
b) A whole month - some wanted
c) A whole year- no body responded to this
3. How did you feel doing school work with no shoes?
If feel funny and very new most responded, some said that they would have been able to work better in class with shoes as oppose to without.
Also, other questions relating to the Finnish education system were asked to see how they feel about certain aspects of the program.

4. How would you feel going through primary school with only one teacher and the same classmates?
The majority of the class exclaimed and said that it would be a nice family if all were allowed to have the same classmates, however one girl pointed out that it is necessary to have different teachers. For some instructors grade harder and some just need to change students now and then.

5. How would like it if your classroom looked like your living room at home, do think you would learn better?

Many did don like the concept of having a warm fuzzy environment that similar to a living like the Finnish would do. They say that the mindset would be deteriorated thinking that they at home and not at school, thus constructively functioning at school

This experience with the kids also allowed me to see that news concern all of us and can be applied in very interesting ways.
For a recap of this blog click here: