So far, this new Socials curriculum has been pretty interesting to explore. Compared to the old PLO booklet, I find that this one is categorized and organized nicely so that it is easy to follow. While looking at the Core competency booklet, I tried finding things that I would like to improve based off of what goals I wanted to work on last year. One of my goal was to contribute more to class discussions, which fits into the Social Responsibility Competency and the Communication Competency. Another one of my goals was to take more notes and research more about topics that interest me, which fits into the Personal Awareness and Responsibility Competency. I feel that over the past few classes, I have started improving my work habits since I have been taking notes during the discussions, and even guided one of the class discussions on the Columbus booklet. I would like to continue working on these goals since I feel like I could do better than I did last year.

In terms of the Curricular Competencies, I believe I have explored several of the bullet points mentioned on the page, both personally and as a class. For instance, I “[made] reasoned ethical judgments about controversial actions in the past and present, and whether we have a responsibility to respond” when we discussed the booklet about Columbus and the ‘Indians’. We talked about how society has evolved to understand that what Columbus did to the Arawaks was terrible, and it is not accepted nowadays. Though Columbus day exists, there is controversy to whether or not the day should be celebrated as a holiday. However, it is important that the world does not forget about this event of the past and bury it away in shame, since we must learn from our mistakes in order to build a brighter future. In my Socials Final,  I chose the word ‘progression’ to describe the big idea of Socials 10. Just as we have been discussing this year, no matter how terrible oppression is, it has helped progress the development of society and technology (for instance the iPhone and pyramid  examples).

One of the Curricular Competencies is to “Assess how prevailing conditions and the actions of individuals or groups affect events, decisions, and developments. While learning about Columbus, I began to have questions about how his actions had affected the development of the Americas. I wondered, if the Arawak people had never been so welcoming to the sailors, would the world be different? The Indians outnumbered the Spaniards, so if they had been more aggressive, they may have frightened the Europeans and lessened their chance of taking advantage of them. If the Indians were less “naïve and so free with their possessions” (Pg.3) perhaps Columbus would not find out about the fact that they did not have weapons or iron. This question led me to wonder, what would the Americas look like today if Columbus had never touched the area? Just as we had discussed in class, oppression leads to progression, so what would be different in the world we live in today?

I decided to study the big idea “Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.” Last year, we discussed how John A.MacDonald used his position of power in order to create Residential Schools and assimilate the Aboriginal culture. This is similar to the way Columbus took advantage of the Arawak natives. My group and I came up with several quotes from the story that showed evidence of this big idea.  I have kept the notes as a hard copy to look back to for future reference.

During the journal write in class, I wrote down a few things I am interested in learning about before the end of my last TALONS Socials class. Firstly, I would like to learn more about politics since it is not one of my strong areas, despite learning a lot about it last year. I would also like to learn about geography since I have struggled with it since Elementary school. Reading about Columbus has also interested me in learning more about oppression and places that have been affected by a difference in levels of power. Overall, I am excited to learn more this year in Socials 9.