Monday, April 27, 2009

Talking 10(better late than never)

Privilege, Power, and Difference
What Can We Do?
By: Allan G Johnson
Johnson argues that topics such as racism, sexism, and other topics of that nature should not be to the side and not taken care of but brought up and recognized as a problem that needs to be fixed. And the only way to fix these issues is dealing with them personally. Where does making a difference start? With you, the only way to change something is to start to make a difference.

1."The challenge we face is to change patterns of exclusion, rejection, privilege, harassment, discrimination, and violence that are everywhere in this society and have existed for hundreds (or, in the case of gender, thousands) of years. We have to begin by thinking about the trouble and the challenge in new and more productive ways as outlined in the preceding chapters."
This is something that is faced all over the world, and has been around for, like Johnson, says hundreds and thousands of years. It is not just specified to a certain group, or section of the world but is everywhere, and something needs to be done about it. Johnson gives us, later in the book, tools that he believes will help solve the issues at hand.

2."Difference takes many forms, but the most important are those characteristics that are difficult Or impossible to change and that other people think they can identity just by looking
at someone."
This quote really stuck with me while reading the article, not really sure exactly why. People think that by looking at someone you can tell everything about them, but in reality, when people are judge by just looking at them, that person doing the judging is completely wrong. I have herd someone say, more than once, O when I first saw you i thought you were______ but now that i know you, man was I wrong. That is just one example that is easy to change, don't judge people before you know them!

3""If you don't make a point of studying history, it's easy to slide into the belief that things have always been the way we've known them to be. But if you look back a bit further, you find racial oppression has been a feature of human life for only a matter of centuries, and there is abundant evidence that male dominance has been around for only seven thousand years or so..."
He makes a great point with this quote, many people say that o no it has always been like this, when in fact it hasn't ALWAYS, just as long as they have been alive. If it has not always been a certain way, than it gives hope that one day it can go back to when it was not that way. It shows that racial oppression has not been along quite as long as gender in equality, yet today gender inequality seems to be lessening quicker than racial oppression.

Reading Johnson, it kind of motivates you to want to make a change, although deep down you know that it can not be down quickly. It gives a little hope that the little thing individuals do, can one day spur out and encourages others for the change through generations and generations. I think this was a good article to end with, and I enjoyed reading it, despite the length :).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Watch this video...I have never heard of this until today, and as I watched video after video on this...I just did not know what to say. This kind of goes along with what we were talking about in class, just because he has a learning disability, he is judge, in this case by the teacher as well. Then kicked out of the 'normal' classroom, because of his disability. I do not even know what to say about this...let me know what you think.


noobishdumbberry (1 week ago) Show Hide
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ur a dumbass. the kids a dumbass. thats why hes out of his class. if he wont let other kids learn he doesnt belong there"


JG02730 (1 month ago) Show Hide
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I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT!!! i cannot even look at the rest of the comments.. this is just wrong...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Talking Point 9

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
By: Christopher Kliewer

Kliewer deals with some issues that schools face with children that have disabilities like down syndrome. He speaks about how schools stick to their teaching styles despite the fact that it can hinder and does not benefit students with cognitive learning disabilities.

1. "Community built on the recognition of individual value occurred through a curriculum developed by Shayne in dialogue with her students. For instance, her student Isaac was born into a family that loved books. On a visit to his home, his mother told me, "Isaac's surrounded by reading. From Marx to the Bible, it's everywhere he turns!"
This statement makes a lot of sense, if a child is surrounded by something( ie books) they are going to grow knowing and loving books, most of the time. If you take anything and surrond a child with it his or her's life that is what they are going to know, usually they will love it because that is what they know but other times they can get sick of it because they are always around it. I use to love to read when I was a kid, although I was not surronded by many books, and soon I lost interest in leisurley reading. Maybe because I was not always surronded by books, I soon lost interest.

2. "In an extensive study of the acceptance and respect accorded severely disabled and nondisabled people, Bogdan and Taylor (1989) noted that these relationships include: (1) the attribution of thinking to one another;(2) the ability to see one another's individuality; (3) the ability to view the relationship as reciprocally valuable; and (4) the attribution of a valued social place for one another. Though Bogdan and Taylor focused on relationships outside of school, these dimensions appear to be critical to establishing a recognition of citizenship for students with Down syndrome in schools, as described below."
I think number two is very important, if a person is blind to one's individuality, than there is no way to accecpt them, I think that goes for nondsiabiled children as well. But the points that they came up with are interesting and are interesitng to read considered I grew up with a disabled sister, and now a cousin with down syndrome, whom I absolutley love. Baiscally to accept anybody, according to these points, you need to look far beyond their beatuy, and disabilities, it goes deeper. And I agree with the points that they came up with.

3. "Assessments of how well a student conforms to expectations (measurements through which students come to be defined either as smart. or as lacking intellect) tend to focus teacher attention on the child's adeptness at responding to classroom-based math and language tasks. These evaluative instruments supposedly measure either a student's understanding of a transmitted knowledge base (hence, a preexisting one) related to math and language, or the student's ability to discover the knowledge base through carefully contrived activities."
I wish there were other ways to assest children other than test, I think they need to combine it with how well they can listen and respond in a classroom. Because I am a horrible test taker, and my grades were often effected because of it. But in class I was the only one that knew the answers and helped everyone else with the problems or whatever, but when it came time to take test I did not do as well. Even important standarized test, like MCAS, and SAT, those did not show my skill level at all, it only hurt me. So I think that judging a child's ability needs to be more than just taking test.

Growing up with disabled children in my family, and wanting to pursue a carreer teaching the disabled, this aritcle was interesting to read. It was not to difficult to read or understand, maybe my interpertations of some of it is a little different from maybe what it is suppose to be, but this is definitely something that interest me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Talking Point 8

Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work


Jean Anyon provides evidence in the article from what other have previously argued. Some of the arguments were; "public schools in complex industrial societies like our own make available different types of educational experience and curriculum knowledge to students in different social classes" as well as " Basil Bernstein, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michael W. Apple focusing on school knowledge, have argued that knowledge and skills leading to social power and regard are made available to the advantaged social groups but are withheld from the working classes to whom a more "practical" curriculum is offered". Anyon provides evidence for each argument, which she gathered from closely observing five different schools.

1. "Since each of the five schools is only one instance of elementary education in a particular social class context, I will not generalize beyond the sample. However, the examples of schoolwork which follow will suggest characteristics of education in each social setting that appear to have theoretical and social significance and to be worth investigation in a larger number of schools."

I like when authors write something to this effect before they get into their arguments. It gives the reader a good feeling about the rest of the essay, that the author is not going to be bias about anything and is going to state the facts as to what they see, as well as not generalizing in their paper.

2. " The identification of different emphases in classrooms in a sample of contrasting social class contexts implies that further research should be conducted in a large number of schools to investigate the types of work tasks and interactions in each to see if they differ in the ways discussed here and to see if similar potential relationships are uncovered."

I do believe that if further investigation is done they will find the same results, but I do not think there is a lot that can be done to fix it. It not only has to do with the school teachers, but the family influence. The problem is going to be harder to fix than one would think, because I believe there is more to the issues. Something simple like the only teachers that are getting jobs there are the ones who can not get a job at a higher level school, so the lower schools get the 'not so great' teachers with poor teaching styles.

3. "The teachers were expected to be available before school, after school, and for part of their lunchtime to provide extra help if needed."

I believe that teachers like this can really change children. If a teacher is not willing to do whatever it takes to help the children, it can and will really effect the learning going on. It shows a lack of care for their job and the students they are suppose to be teaching. This is a root of many problems, teachers not being willing to help the children and 'cater' to the learning needs of each child.

I liked hearing about what was observed in different schools, but you can see issues like this in a school between teachers, because of different backgrounds and teaching styles. I enjoyed reading, and rereading the article. It makes you think what exactly could be done to fix issues like this, but when you do there are so many different factoring issues that go into the problem; so it would seem very difficult to fix the problem. That is why I think it is important for teachers to get a good soild education, in many different teaching conditions, like inner city schools; it can prepare them to help fix issues of equality like these.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Some Pictures from my SL school...

These are just a few of the pictures from Charles N Fortes, it is a museum school, and there are exhibits like this all over the school, I have like 95 pictures in total if you are interested in seeing more just let me know. All of the exhibits are made my the children, and the ideas come from them as well.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Talking Point 7

Anita Hill Is A Boy
By: Peggy Orenstein

In the article written by Peggy, she argues for an education system in which gender is treated equally. A system that is not male dominated, by providing classes, such as self defense for females, to help bring equity closer in the school systems.

1" Some educators are developing strategies to break down gender and race hierarchies in cooperative learning groups."
---- This quote is kind of... i don't know, it is hard because not every female learns the same, or acts the same of do anything the same, and the same goes for blacks, Asians, and anybody. How can they be doing a serious study to help benefit students, when in fact it might work in Providence but not in Smithfield. It also depends on the groups that they are learning in it will always be different, so I see this as more of a struggle to try and fix the problem. It would seem it be a time consuming and tedious experiment. Maybe I am looking at the quote all wrong, but.... I don't know

2. " challenge both boys' and girls' perspectives on the female self."
----- This quote makes it sound like females are like outcast in the school and people are trying to make others realize that we are not bad, nor do we have cooties. Yes I believe that this country does not give enough credit to women, but I have never thought that it goes back to the classrooms, I have always felt equal with other males in my classes. It might have to do with my personality, but in school I do not feel the gender battle, but I guess it would make sense to teach it in the class to prepare both the males and females for the real world. Educating children will help to prevent, and slowly diminish the inequality.

3. "I mean, as long as they're interesting, what's the difference if they're women? Women are people, too, you know."
-----I agree with this kid, and I feel like this is the view of most people, excluding the sexist people of the world. But I do not look at a class and go O wow lots of males, must be smart and all the females well they are borderline, and yes I am a female, but I highly doubt males do that either.... I think it is a good thing that children can say that thing.

I liked reading the article it was interesting to see what some of the ideas were and how they were implicated into a classroom. Also it was interesting to see the responses of the children to the curricula.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Talking Point 6

"One More River to Cross"- Recognizing the Real Injury in Brown: A Prerequiste to Sharping New Remedies.
By: Charles Lawrence
In this article Lawrence talks about the struggle for equality, in America. He uses the famous case Brown vs. Board of Education to show just a piece of the struggle, as well as other segregation cases. These cases really changed the education system for blacks, who at one point were hardly going to school and learning.


1) "The ultimate goal was full political and civil equality for blacks; they knew that this could not be achieved until the entire system of segregation had been destroyed"
---- This quote stands out to me for more then one reason, for starters it amazes me that at one point they thought that this could or would have potential to bring total equality to America. Yes it is a step in the right direction, but there is no way that this one simple act can erase. Also knowing that it could not be achieved until the entire system had been desegregated, even when that happens I believe racial problems will always exist. The history can never be erased.

2) "Many black schools that existed within the segregated school systems of the South were in
fact superior to their white counterparts."
-----This quote, to say the least confusing.... especially to what I have been taught growing up. You always learned that the black schools had the worst materials; broken books, and not enough supplies to teach. Maybe I am just reading this wrong, or I was not taught the truth, which would not be a surprise because often children are not.

3) "In 1954 we believed that school integration would break down racist attitudes by bringing white and black children together."
----Because many Northern Americans wanted a quick fix to the racial problem, they believed that a simple act of forcing schools to desegregated would immediately solve all problems. When in fact the problem was much deeper then that, the history would not be erased by such a simple act.

The reading was difficult to read, both for vocabulary as well as just the structure in which it was written. Is was interesting to read the different views, as well as integrating the different cases into the time period, and conflicts. Looking froward to the talk in class to help bring some of the things into perspective.... :)