Reflection on my Journey through EDFD459

I have been asked to write a reflective post which puts forward my new understandings and perceptions of learning spaces, here we go…

Twelve weeks is drawing to a close, and what a busy twelve weeks it has been. EDFD459 has brought to my attention six learning spaces, some of which I was aware of, like the classroom and others which I was not such as the liminal space. While we read many readings and engaged online with our e-Cop, I have come to understand the importance of incorporating a variety of learning spaces in the classroom. I know that my future learning space in the classroom is going to consist of many of these spaces, I believe it is so important to change it up in the classroom.I know, being a hands on learner myself, sitting in rows does not engage me, I thrive of having the opportunity to collaborate with my peers and learn from each others mistakes, therefore this will be a space I will include in my future classroom.

I have also come to see the importance of learning online, we have all the knowledge in the world right at our fingertips, however it must be used appropriately and for the right reasons, the teacher must be equipped in using technology within the classroom context otherwise it could become more of a time waster then a valuable resource.

The liminal space, initially was quite confusing to understand,  but now i’m so glad that I can put a name to that space of uncertainty, I have felt many times before. It is fundamental in a child’s development that they understand that it is okay to be in a space of uncertainty and worry and that with time and reflection we do get through it. If children do not know how to overcome spaces as such, this could be a risk factor for anxiety.

Ultimately I believe that every human being is different and has a vast range of abilities and needs, as teachers we need to create an environment that is encouraging and welcoming of everyone. There needs to be times when students are independently learning however this is a time for collaboration and group work, in the end it all comes down to supporting the child’s learning and development.

EDFD459 has also brought to my attention the emergency situation that the Syria is facing, I was astounded by the facts and statistics. It really gave me an insight into what life is like for them and how as a teacher we must be aware of these situations, because when students from foreign places come to us, we must be supportive and understanding to then create an environment that is safe and inclusive for them.

The assignments for EDFD459 have been great, I have never used programs such as iauthor and WordPress. It really allows for your imagination and creatively to show, something I am not used to when normally having to write an essay.They are definitely tools I will take with me into the classroom.

Overall it has been an enjoyable semester and I have loved my first online subject, I constantly felt supported by my peers and the flexibility was wonderful.

 

-Andrea

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Ah-ha moments along the way

My biggest Ah-ha moment in the last few weeks has to be learning how to use WordPress, there has been so many times where I just wanted to give up because I could not work out how to get it the way I wanted however I am happy to say, I worked it out!

It has taken quite sometime to become familiar with how WordPress works, however I could not have done it without the help and support of  our edfd459 eCop, everyone is so willing to help which is so comforting to know when feeling worried or stressed.

I am so excited about how my PLN is looking and the content that I am able to produce on it, I hope to continue on with this PLN as a professional resource after assessment task 3 is submitted.

I was skeptical about how something like this could be a valuable learning tool, but I have come to realise that it not only a great way to get down your thoughts and ideas out, but it is also quite addictive. I am also enjoying reading and following my peers from EDFD459, it is inspiring to see all the ideas that people have and how one assignment can allow for such creatively among us.

Looking forward to the end product.

Life in Za’atari

Before I start developing a future learning space for girls in Zaarati, I think it is important to gain an insight into the living conditions and issues that these girls are faced with everyday.

Za’atari refugee camp is now home to around 80,000 Syrians, who all fled due their homes due to the war, more than half of the occupants are children. The huge influx of refugees has now resulted in Za’atari being Jordan’s fourth biggest city. This has resulted in the camp facing vast challenges such as a lack of infrastructure and resources (Oxfam, 2016).

Families fled Syria in the hope that living in this camp would be temporary, however many have now faced the possibility that this will be their permanent home and are persevering to find work and create a future for themselves in the camp.

One devastating reality is that due to the lack of money and resources, families are resorting to selling their teenage daughters so there is one less person in their family they are response for.

Here are some images to help you get a sense of what it is like to live in Za’arati .

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Oxfam and UNICEF are just two of the NGO’s that are working towards implementing an entire clean water system thats runs throughout the entire camp, this will assist with hygiene and cleanliness ultimately reducing the risk of disease.

It is important to remember that these people led normal lives, they lived in regular house and had regular jobs. If it was not for the war these families would still be at home, there children would be in school.

Abu Amar has written an article how about how his life has changed, Click here to here his story.

Girls living in Za’atari have documented life in the camp through photographs. Click here to see her photos.

 

 

Oxfam International (2016) Life in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan’s fourth biggest city. Retrieved from https://www.oxfam.org/en/crisis-syria/life-zaatari-refugee-camp-jordans-fourth-biggest-city

FUNDAMENTALS IN EDUCATION

The Fundamentals we need in education is an environment that offers equality for all, safety and a place where every child feels welcomed and valued.

  • We need teachers that have knowledge and resources that engages students and helps them reach their full potential.
  • We need teachers that cater for all students and their abilities.
  • We need technology that connects students to the world around them.

 

We can go without the teacher directed learning where students all sit in rows. Students need the opportunity to practice hands on learning, collaborate with their peers and become active members of their classroom.

We can also go without discrimination and tests that don’t acknowledge the individual child and all their abilities.

Inspiration

Working through module three, I found myself immersed in the content, three hours went by so quickly as I just could not stop researching. I honestly could not believe what I was reading, how in this day and age are people forced to live in such turmoil and horror?

I strongly recommend watching Clouds Over Sidra, It gives a 360 degree guide through Sidra new home in Zaatari Refugee Camp. Sidra is just one of the 130,000 Syrians who were forced to flee their home due to the war. Sidra takes you on a tour through the camp, what she eats, where she sleeps, learns and plays. Click here 

Further through the module I started reading about girls education one of the TWB initiatives and I was alarmed by the statistics. It is just outrageous that an 11 year old girl can be sold to a 55 year old man in the name of marriage (One Girl, 2016) and then go on to have children while they are still a child themselves!

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 9.53.16 pm.png(One Girl, 2016)

I could not imagine the pain and suffering that these girls are going through and how they are just disregarded due to their gender. For this reason I found my inspiration for assignment 3. I am going to create a future learning space around the importance of girls education and how by them staying in school it has the potential to save a generation.

Meet other refugees like Fatima who also imagine their dream jobs. Click here

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-9-57-55-pm(McCarthy, 2016)

Meet other refugees like Fatima who also imagine their dream jobs. Click here

 

 

I had this very dream, and today I am living out my dream, it is only fair that Fatima has the same opportunity.

Teachers are the pulse, the acupuncture points, 

…and the glue that holds communities together (TWB, 2016)

 

 

 

McCarthy, J. (2016 Feburary 24) This is what happens when refugee girls imagine their dream jobs. Retrieved from https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/these-refugee-girls-dress-up-for-dream-job-hope-fo/

One Girl (2016) When a Girl is Educated Everything Changes. Retrieved from http://www.onegirl.org.au/why-girls

What would you pack?

Family holidays for me always consisted of going camping, however the worst thing was packing. How do you know what to pack? What if it is hot through the day but really cold at night? I will need both summer and winter clothes? Then what will I do during the day? What books or magazines should I pack? My thoughts would go on forever.

Hwever after reading What’s in My Bag? What refugees bring when they run for their lives it dawned on me that these families had to pack for a lifetime, not just a weekend away camping and their bags were 3 times smaller than mine.

Have a look at what their bags consisted of….

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What do you notice about what is in their bag?

I notice that majority of what is in the bag consists of medications and first aid, it really makes you think about what it must have been like for them knowing they may never return home.

To see the article in full click here. 

 

WHAT’S IN MY BAG? – Uprooted. (2016). Medium. Retrieved 14 October 2016, from https://medium.com/uprooted/what-s-in-my-bag-758d435f6e62#.f5l0kxk2a

The World of Blogs

If you scroll down to the bottom of my PLN you will notice that there are a number of blogs that I follow. These blogs are ones my fellow EDFD459 peers have created. It is just amazing how one assignment can be taken so differently and creatively. They all demonstrate how much work is put into creating a PLN and I highly recommend checking them out.

 

 

Teachers without borders

My final assignment for EDFD459 is to design a learning space for the future that addresses the needs of young learners in a refugee camp. I must use the Teacher Beyond Borders initiatives and incorporate at least two learning spaces.

These are the 9 key initiatives

  1. Girls’ Education
  2. Peace Education
  3. Quake Science and Safety
  4. Education in Emergencies
  5. ICT in Education
  6. Bridges to Understanding
  7. Bullying
  8. Child-Friendly Spaces
  9. Legacy Projects

Teachers Without Borders. (2016).

I am looking forward to researching and gaining a deeper understanding into the world around me, naturally I feel like I have lived a very sheltered life here in the country, however I believe it is so important, especially going into a teaching career that I am aware of the situations around the world.

 

Please follow Teachers Without Borders Twitter and keep up to date with their tweets: https://twitter.com/teachersnetwork 

 

 

Watch this space

-Andrea

 

 

Teachers Without Borders. (2016). Girl’s Education Initative. (Teachers Without Borders) Retrieved October 17, 2016, from Teachers Without Borders: http://teacherswithoutborders.org/girls-education/

My Top 5 apps and / or websites that let you curate information from the internet.

  1. Pinterest- One of my favourite apps, if I ever need inspiration I go straight to Pinterest!
  2. Twitter- I am new to twitter but i’m loving it! What a great professional resource.
  3. Trap.it- “trap” content into folders and go back into it to refer to and gain inspiration.
  4. Feedly- Curate blog information for future reference.
  5. Slideshare- Learn from others, share your own knowledge, gain information and curate the content.