Welcome to My Blog

My name is Shua Raza.

I have obtained my Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership program from Sheridan College. I also have a part time job as an early childhood educator. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. In my leisure time I like to take photographs, paint, and hand clay sculpt.

This is my first blog so enjoy what I post.

Work experience : Program Director as a Registered Early Childhood Educator at PLASP Child Care Centre.

Published Link of Research Studies Project With Sheridan College

Research in Early Childhood Education : Storytelling Approach for Language skills Development

images: clip art


Early Childhood Educators Using the Storytelling Approach with Children for Language Skills Development

The tool of storytelling is the oldest form of education offering narrative presentation contributing to language development in speech, written composition, reading, and listening (Wang & Zhang, 2010). According to Herman (2007) Vygotsky’s theory relating to cognitivist and linguistic development states that children’s interaction within the storytelling experience is a resourceful strategy for language development. The nature of this research is of qualitative (grounded theory) deductive method design. The instruments used were video recorded observations (5-10 min) and follow-up semi-structured interviews (20-30 min) which was used to collect data of 6 ECE’s using strategies during the implementation of storytelling. The purpose of this research is to articulate “How do ECE’s use storytelling as one of their approaches to developing young children’s language skills?” The concerns discussed in the literature address the issue that ECE’s do not feel comfortable using storytelling as a strategy for children’s language development (Taylor, 2013). Moreover, these issues relate to ECEs replacing oral storytelling with technology by the use of digital literacy. The findings of this research addresses to the strategies used by educators, knowledge and skills that ECE’s possess while using storytelling and the role of storytelling to the development of language skills in young children.

Hacking Creativity: Simple Steps to Become More Creative

The Daily Post

One of my most vivid memories from high school involves a pottery class I took during my senior year. While I was sitting there mashing clay around the table trying my best to sculpt something that resembled a bowl, some of my classmates were practically recreating Michelangelo’s “David.”

There seemed to be a chasm in the quality of art being created. Some projects would be showcased proudly on a shelf at home while others would be hidden behind picture frames and encyclopedia volumes. I was in the latter group. Whatever gene was responsible for creativity, I didn’t have it.

Fast forward several years, I decided to give blogging a try. To my amazement, I was decent at stringing words together. After many early mornings of practice, I was even able to sell a few pieces of writing. Despite my lack of ingenuity in art class, I was able to grow some semblance of a creative muscle.

While we…

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Gift Guide for Kids

4 Mothers

OK, the kids are all quite good at making their own lists, but just in case, here are some ideas for kids, big and small.

From Nathalie

A friend recently shared her family’s gift-giving tradition with me.  Each child gets an ornament to add to the tree every year, Santa leaves one unwrapped gift for each under the tree, and each of the kids gets four gifts from Mum and Dad: “One to read, one to wear, one to play with and one to share.”  It’s a delightful formula that I will borrow for here.

One to read

Check our lists of favourite reads for the year if you are looking for book ideas.

If you are editing your book shelves in anticipation of adding more, please consider giving your gently used books to The Children’s Book Bank.  Every child who visits the Book Bank goes home with a free book. …

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Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1997)

As a child in elementary school I recall my teachers encouraging me to learn new knowledge each day. Educational institutions in my life have always been where the educator learned knowledge from other educators, delivered the knowledge to the students and thus the student is then filled with that same knowledge which they can deliver to the children in their classrooms (Freire, 1997). This cycle of passing on knowledge is best described by the banking knowledge concept. The analogy used for banking knowledge identifies students as containers that the educators can “fill”. According to Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1997) the more the educator fills the receptacles completely, identifies the level of quality for the educator. This concept is similar to an investment made by the educators where they deposit time and effort into the life of a child in order to increase children’s value in higher development. This also relates to the concept of higher education resulting in an increase in your value as a professional (Freire, 1997).

Higher education is the result of investing in yourself as you would do at a bank with money. The deposit is your time and effort during the process of receiving higher education (Freire, 1997). The withdrawal of the investment is when the knowledge and skills provides you with a job you are qualified for and you are eventually paid for the work that you complete (Freire, 1997). This banking theory procedure is the cycle which is how the educational system has been supporting the workforce industry.

The characteristics of banking educational knowledge can fulfill the practice of freedom through the dialogue of student-teacher and teacher-student rather than having the contradiction of teacher-of-the-student (Freire, 1997). Based on Freire’s Pedagogy of the oppressed (1997) the teacher is no longer the only one who teaches, but who is taught through the dialogue with the students. Through the process of dialogue with students, the teacher is learning while also teaching the students. This process becomes a growing joint partnership between student-teacher where there is no longer any arguments on the authoritarian methods of teaching style (Freire, 1997).  The dialogue process eliminates the authority, thus no one is teaching another and there is no side of the partnership which is in need of freedom. Here both student-teachers teach each other and both sides are “free” to teach each other the knowledge they contain. The practice of freedom I believe is the essence of dialogue in educational practices.

For instance, as an educator I provide content of knowledge in a narrative method, the students according to the banking concept will not be called upon to know, but to memorize the contents narrated by the teacher (Freire, 1997).  The students during this time do not upon their cognitive abilities and are limited to accepting the knowledge as a property of the teacher, rather limiting the critical reflection of both teacher and student (Freire, 1997). This relates to the concept of preservation of culture and knowledge where the system we have neither has true knowledge or true culture (Freire, 1997).

This applies to what I do as an educator in my professional practice as a practitioner working with young children each day. My reflective practice requires me to understand and acknowledge my belief and values regarding the concepts of banking knowledge. The strategy of using dialogue with children in professional practice of education may provide children the opportunity to be partners rather than being students accepting knowledge as a bank account. The dialogue with educator-child will allow the freedom to learn new concepts and provide space for personal cognitive learning for both educator and child as a team. As an educational leader with young children my belief on the development of young children also supports the concepts of dialogue with children. Theoretical perspective of listening to young children identifies the active process of receiving (hearing and observing), interpreting and responding to communication (Road, 2004). This theory supports the concept of using dialogue for the partnership with teacher-student when working with young children in educational institutions. Overall, as an early childhood practitioner I have reflected on the knowledge and understanding of this reading and have interpreted the information with regards to the concept of banking knowledge and using dialogue with children as a strategy towards building relationships for new learning.

Storytelling, Slowed Down: On Writing Vertically

The Daily Post

In a recent piece at The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone writes about the gestation of ideas and vertical writing, or the process of slowing down and digging deeper when writing a story. He describes the process of Andre Dubus, who writes an idea in a notebook, then leaves it alone for as long as it needs to ripen. Dubus doesn’t think about a story — “I will kill the story by controlling it,” he says.

But Dubus’ process wasn’t always this way: before, he planned his plots, forced his characters to do things, wrote a lot of words, and went through too many drafts. This is horizontal writing: a focus on the daily sessions, the revisions, and the amassment of pages and words. Ripatrazone talks about the difference between horizontal and vertical writing:

Vertical writing, in contrast, values depth over breadth. Stories are written when they are ready to…

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Window Open to Apply to be 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator



Reposted from PBS Learning Media:

The 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program is a yearlong, free professional development program designed to foster and grow a community of highly engaged, tech-savvy K-12 educators who are effectively using digital media and technology in classrooms to further student engagement and achievement. Applications accepted December 3, 2014 trough February 11, 2015.

PBS will select 100 applicants for the program: 70 Local PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators and 30 Lead PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators. Each group has its own set of benefits and responsibilities.  All 100 Local and Lead 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive one year of free professional development and benefits including virtual trainings, access to premium and exclusive resources, a free PBS TeacherLine course, invitations to special events, membership into a robust professional learning community, and networking and engagement opportunities with peers and thought leaders.

The 30 Lead PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will also receive…

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Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving Break

One of Thirty Voices

Teaching children is an extremely challenging occupation. It is also very engaging work. Some days are better than others. This week, during Thanksgiving break, I have had a chance to reflect on the first semester, to think about each of my children, their learning styles, what they’ve learned (and not learned!). I’ve been able to look more clearly at how my teaching has been delivered and been received. I have two weeks (not counting finals week) to impact learning and grades. How I choose to do this may well determine the pass/fail outcomes for some of my students.

This week, however, I have the uninterrupted days to examine just which standards each child appears to have become more familiar with, and which is still foreign. I can see who truly is ready to finish this semester and move on to the next. How well they learned is, in part, how…

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