These past months in Social Studies I have been learning about the creation of Canada as a country. The class looked at events occurring from 1815 up to the confederation in 1867, and explored them in depth by taking on the roles of different people during that time period. We expressed these roles through different mediums such as blogging, twitter interactions, and in-class debates and discussions, and met many of the prescribed learning outcomes in the process. Personally, I feel that I was able to meet several of the prescribed learning outcomes for Socials Ten, specifically A1, A3, B1, and B2, but would benefit from working on a few some more, such as B3, B4, and C1.
Since the beginning of the Confederation unit, I believe that I have met the learning outcomes A1, A3, B1, and B2. The first learning outcome, A1, covered the application of critical thinking skills, such as questioning, comparing, summarizing, drawing conclusions, and defending a position. I was able to meet this learning outcome through activities such as the confederation debate and the position paper, which allowed me to assess and defend the aboriginal position, as well as compare a range of points of view. Within the Aboriginal/Metis peoples group I was also able to collaboratively plan, implement, and assess strategies to address issues and situations through the writing of the position paper.
The second learning outcome, A3, required the ability to demonstrate effective written, oral, and graphic communication skills, both individually and collaboratively. I met this outcome by writing blog posts, interacting with my peers over twitter, participating in the confederation debates, and writing/presenting my final address. In my blog posts and over twitter I was able to effectively communicate ideas and opinions in a written form, while during the confederation debates I was able to communicate ideas, opinions, and arguments in oral form and collaboratively. Writing and presenting my final address also allowed me to plan, revise, and deliver a formal presentation individually.
The third learning outcome, B1, required one to be able to analyze Canadian society from 1815 to 1914 in terms of gender roles, ethnicity, daily life, and the arts. While some parts of this learning outcome where not fully explored (specifically the arts) I still believe I was able to meet this outcome in terms of the other sections by the role I took on during the confederation role play. Stepping into the shoes of a Metis woman and interacting with my peers roles (through blog posts, twitter, in class) allowed me to compare the roles and daily activities of men and women in pioneer life, as well as relate the status of ethnic minorities to the societal attitudes of the time.
The fourth learning outcome, B2, called for the ability to evaluate the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815 to 1914. As with learning outcome B1, I was able to meet this outcome by taking on the role of a Metis woman and interacting with my peers roles (through blog posts, twitter, in class) during the confederation role play. Doing so allowed me to describe contributions made by Aboriginal/Metis peoples to the development of Canada, evaluate the interactions between various Aboriginal/Metis peoples and stakeholders in the fur trade, and assess the role of Aboriginal/Metis women in the fur trade.
Although I believe I covered many of the learning outcomes, there are some I could cover more in-depth, specifically learning outcomes B3, B4, and C1. The first one, B3, required the ability to evaluate the influence of immigration on Canadian Society from 1815 to 1914. We explored this topic by reading out peers blog posts and by reading the ‘Toward Confederation” package, and also by creating a chart of ethnic Majorities and Minorities depending on geographical location. While I was creating the chart I realized I was unable to describe many of the minorities, specifically the immigrants in the Maritimes, without constantly referring to the package, showing that I did not retain information from reading the package. I was also unable to describe significant events and trends that caused this immigration to Canada or the changes to Canada’s immigration policies, something I could have been able to describe if I had read the blog posts of my peers, specifically the ones whose characters were affected by these events and changes.
The second learning outcome, B4, covered the ability to describe the factors that contributed to a changing national identity from 1815 to 1914. While some covered this outcome through blog posts and twitter interactions, I did not, as my character was not as directly involved in the events included in this learning outcome as others characters. As a result, I do not have an adequate amount of knowledge on events such as the Boer War, the Naval Act, or the Alaskan Dispute, or how they connected to Canada’s national identity separate from Britain and the US. In the future I would benefit from reading my peers research on the aforementioned topics in the form of their blog posts, or by doing research of my own.
The third learning outcome, C1, focuses on the ability to describe the evolution of responsible government in Canada in terms of government structure and key contributing events. We examined this topic through class discussions, as well as during the reading of the “Toward Confederation” package. It was during the discussion especially that I realized I had not fully retained the information I had read in the package, leading to a lack of knowledge on the causes of the 1837-1838 rebellions, as well as the consequences of the rebellions, specifically the act of union. I also did not take the time to read my peers blog posts or do research of my own, both of which I would have gained a better understanding of this learning outcome from, as my character did not have many connections to this learning outcome.
Although I have managed to cover many of the different prescribed learning outcomes over this half of the semester, there are still a few that could have been improved on, specifically those that were not directly associated with the role I took on during the confederation role play. To solve this problem in future role plays, I can either find ways to relate the learning outcomes to my character, or simply do a bit of research or reading on the topic.