Monday, April 19, 2010

Random Blog 2

For my second random blog, i have been wanting to post about the worksheet incident that happened in class a few days ago. When i recieved the worksheet, i of course thought that it was definitely something different, but i didnt think to not do it. After we finished the worksheet i found the discussion very interesting. The majority of the class did not like sitting there doing the worksheet on the Oakes reading. Only myself and a handful of other students didnt mind doing the worksheet because we found it as a an organizing activity. However, when Dr. bogad explained why we were doing the activity, everything became much more clear. It was showing us what type of teachers that we shouldnt be. The majority of students do not like sitting there doing handouts because they feel like they arent learning and that it is busy work. Dr. Bogad showed us how much more we lean by doing group work and interacting with other students and sharing all of our ideas with one another. Doing a worksheet does not give you the same interaction and experience. A worksheet once in a while is okay to be used as practice material. I now realize that worksheets are not the best way to teach or learn something new.
After this happened in class, during my service learning project the next week, i automatically reflected back on the whole worksheet idea. The teacher was passing out worksheets to the students as soon as they walked through the dorr. The class is always rowdy and never wants to do their work; but now i can see what part of the problem is. They are constantly doing worksheets everyyyyy single time i am there. They have a few worksheets to do then usually one or two workbook pages. no wonder why the students cannot focus and do not want to do their work. They have to sit there every class and just do independant work immediately after they are taught a new lesson. Giving students worksheets everyday are not very beneficial. The worksheet incident in class and then seeing it first hand at my service learning project definitely have been great examples. These examples show me some different strategies and outlooks and what type of teacher i want to be.

Talking Point 10

Education in Politics
By: Ira Shor

1. "A curriculum that does not challenge the standard syllabus and conditions in society informs the students that knowledge and the world are fixed and fine the way they are with, no role for students to play in transforming them, or no need for change."

-I really liked that quote and i found it very true. If students are not challenged then they believe that the world and schools are okay the way they are; when they are really not. There is always room for improvement in the curriculums and students should be aware of that and encouraged to change society.

2. "Participation is the most important place to begin because student involvement is low in traditional classrooms and because action is essential to gain knowledge and develop intelligence."
-I find this quote to definitely be true. I think participation is very important in a class and helps to understand the topics that are being discussed in class. I agree with this quote so much because i am experience the importance of participating in this fned class.

3. "While a participatory classroom cannot transform society by itself, it can offer students a critical education of high quality, an experience of democratic learning, and positive feelsing towards intellectual life."
-I thought this statement was powerful. It shows how participation and class discussions can really impact a student.

I thought this article was a good one to read. I liked the beginning when the author was talking about students and the syllabus; and whether students take part in the form of the syllabus or not. I find it helpful to see what the goals of a class are and how the class is going to work out. It is good to look forward to some events and assignments in class. I feel that the syllabus of a class is inportant and something that all students take consider to pay attention to in order to gain knowledge from the class. Another part of the article that i enjoyed was all of the questions that were asked. I liked reading a few of the questions at a time and then going back and answering them to myself. i thought it was interesting to answer the questions and then relating them back to my personal experience in school. I also liked the section where they talked about participating in class. This is the first class i have really been involved with when it comes to speaking out loud a lot during class. My other classes have never really had a rule when there was a requirement to talk during every class. At first i thought it was going to be a horrible semester because of the participation points and now it really doesnt even bother me at all! I thought this piece was important to read considering that i will be a future. It gave a lot of questions for me to consider and some outlooks on helping me become the best teacher that i can be.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Talking Point 9

"Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome"
By Christopher Kliewer

1. " It's not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label. We're all here-kids,teachers, parents, whoever-it's about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is. Don't tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail."
-This quote was by a teacher (named Shayne) and i agree with what she is saying. I think she means that students do not come to school to be labeled, they come to learn. If students are labeled something, it is more of a distraction and the label, if it is a "bad" label, then it is pretty much setting up the student to fail; just because of a name that is given to them.

2. "Acknowledging students with down syndrome as thoughtful, creative, and interested learners with personal identities that distinguish them from all other people suggests an individual value that enhances any context containing the child."
- I think that the adjectives used to describe children with down syndrome are positive and also encouraging. Down syndrome learners should not be looked at as less able; treat these students the same so that way they can feel valued like the other students in class do too.

3. "To eliminate a single person through any form of banishment, no matter how benevolent the logic, reduces the web and makes the community a less democratic and less rich place.
-This quote is pretty self-explanatory but i really liked it. Eliminating and discriminating against anyone is wrong, and i think the result of the elimination does cause the community and also the classroom to be less of a place in general.

I thought that this article was a little long and had some boring parts to it. On the other hand, some of the stories in the piece were so interesting to read and i really enjoyed them. I found all of the stories about each of the children very amazing. i have never really met anyone with down syndrome, so my own thoughts were that, when it comes to schooling, students with down syndrome were either home schooled or put in a separate classroom with other disabled students. I was totally wrong. It was definitely interesting to read about these students that were put in classrooms with learners without a disability. I really never even knew that classrooms did such a thing. one example of a story that i found so amazing was about a girl named Christine. she had gone through segregated schooling until age 14. when she entered a public high school, the isolation was over and she was put in a "normal" class. although Christine started out with low level cognitive skills, low levels of communication, and over all, all other low-leveled skills, she had a total 360 as her high school career progressed. christines skills approved in all areas, which i found so astonishing. as i was reading this article i felt so happy for all of her accomplishments. this reading was definitely an eye-opener. I think that now-after reading this, it is just as important to not have children with disabilities isolated when it comes to their education. this message is just another example showing that isolation isnt right...not only when it comes to cultures and languages; but when it comes to students with disabilities as well.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Talking Point 8

Jean Anyon- "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Schooling"

1. "(In working class schools) The teachers rarely explain why the work is being assigned, how it might be connected to other assignments, or what the idea is that lies behind the procedure or gives it coherence and perhaps meaning or significance."
-I think it is a shame and unfair that students are not given the connection to other assignments in the past or even a meaning or significance of the assignment. I know that when i know the purpose of the assignment i am much more interesting in working it through. Just because the teachers work in a working class school should not determine how they state purposes of assignments and make connections.

2. "While the teachers spend a lot of time on explaining and expanding on what the textbooks say, there is little attempt on how or why things happen, or to give thought on how pieces of a culture, or say, how a system of numbers or elements of a language fit together or can be analyzed."
-I think that teaching should go beyond the lessons and learnings of a textbook. The most important question is WHY something would happen and if teachers are giving little attempts on answering the "why" questions in middle class schooling, then i feel that they arent learning subjects to the fullest extent of which they can be taught.

3. "(In the executive elite schools) A primary goal of thought is to conceptualize rules by which elements may fit together in systems and then apply these rules in solving a problem. Schoolwork helps to acheive, to excel, to prepare for life."
-I find this quote important; especially the second sentence. I think that no matter what social class a school is located in, the goal of school work should be exactly as the quote states; to help achieve, excel and prepare for life. School work should be enriching for all students no matter what social class they are in.

I found it very interesting to read about how teachers teach and the creativity factors that are included at each school. It seems like at the working class and the middle class schools, the students dont seem like they are asked as much as students in the higher social classes. I feel this is wrong. Just because someone lives in a lower income neighborhood doesnt mean that they should be taught at such different extermes as the students that live in high class areas. I also noticed that in the elite schooling, students are asked to explain their answers in great detail and they seem very challenged. On the other hand, the working class students seem to get some answers handed to them; which means they really are not learning what they need to be. Why cant lower income students be challenged too? I think the students should be challenged starting in the first grade; so that by the time that they get to high school, they will know what will be expected from them. I can relate this to the students that i work with from the service learning project. These students come from lower income areas and i can tell by the lessons and tons of worksheets that they are receiving each class that they were not challenged at a young age. These students are in eighth grade and they have no motivation in class, nor are they discussing problems in class. This doesnt help their learning process of the new material that they are being taught.
I really thought this article was eye opening and the differences between the schools and classes are easily visible. I really didnt think that the differences would be that apparent, but after reading the article, the examples of the same types of lessons are taught so differently amongst the classes. I am looking forward to class to discuss the schools and social classes on Monday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Social Justice Event

I attended my Social Justice Event on April 7th which was a lecture by a man named Dr. Edmund Barry Gaither. The lecture was titled "Comtemporary Cultural Constructs." Dr. Gaither is very well known and is the director of NCAAA, which stands for National Center of Afro-American Artists. The lecture was by far not what i had expected. It had to do with the expression of human diversity and the arts. The focus was African American art and the strides that black people have had to overcome to get their art in museums. Dr. Gaither ( who is African american) was a greatspeaker, but he spoke so fast it was hard to catch and then remember some of the important highlights of the speech. His speech was broken up into four sections that posed a question at the beginning of each part. All four parts had to do with the struggles that black artists faced just because of the fact that they were black. I felt such shame during the speech because it was difficult to think that a piece of artwork could not be showecase simply because of someone with black skin.
I found connecting this event to three authors that we have discussed in class was difficult. The first author i chose was McIntosh. This connection had to do with white privilege. White's were privileged enough to have their artwork hung in museums and had the privilege to show off their talent in a public place without any problem at all. On the other hand, when black artists wanted to showcase their work, it was such a struggle. The white artists had, what we called in class, the invisible knapsack. The knapsack would include words such as advantaged, confidence, and power especially. Another aunthor that i chose to make a connection with would be Carlson. Although the lecture did not have anything to do with the subjects of issues with LGBTQ, Carlson's message is to break the invisibility, silence, and absense of LGBTQ students. This can be applyed when looking at the discrimination against Black's and their artwork. Dr. Gaither did not want black artists artwork to be invisible or kept silent from the public eye. He felt that black art should be included in all museums and be equal to white art. Dr. Gaither accomplished this message that he was trying to spread to people by speaking about the issue to people all over. The last author to make a connection with was a little difficult. I chose Delpit for a couple of different reasons. When i looked back to my notes, as a class, we made a list about what we thought Delpits article was all about. The words power, control, struggles, race, and conflict all stick out at me when i look at this list. These words all have to do with both the lecture by Dr. Gaither and the Delpit reading. I have already discussed struggles of black people because of their race, and the conflicts they faced when it came to showcasing their artwork. White people had all control in not only the arts, but the society as a whole.
I thought the lecture taught me something new and reinforced some old ideas that i already had. overall, it was an interesting lecture that gave great examples of problems that were faced by African American artists.
This website is a site that showed some black art that i found very beautiful and interesting to look at.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talking Point 7

Gender and Education Research

While researching gender and education for the year 2010, there was not too much information regarding the subject. A lot of the info was not recent. However, while reading over this particular website about gender gap and colleges, i was not surprised with the statistics. It was reported that in 2010 and past years, that the college split between women and men is 57% to 43%. Last semester i took a class on gender inequality and although many subjects have to do with favoring men, in this case, women have a higher percentage. There are more women in college than men. When it comes to college graduation, women also have the higher stats, and i would assume this would also be true for high school graduation as well. There was a lot of the same information about the college gap and little focus on early education.
When it comes to boys and girls in education, the two genders have always been stereotyped. Boys are favored towards science and math, while girls tend towards english and history. This website, MSNBC, shows the myths about girls when it comes to math and science. To summarize, 5 myths are given about girls saying that when it comes to boys liking science and math, there are just as many girls too. another myth that is stated says that girls are less interested in science in elementary school, which is not true.

This UNICEF website shows many graphs comparing the gender gap in the different continents. The wensite concentrates on gender equity and empowerment of women in education.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Talking Point 6

"Between Barack and a Hard Place"
Author--Tim Wise

Watching a video and then writing a blog after it was something i thought i would like. However, i now realize that i would much rather have the reading material right in front of me for easier access. This video blog really wasnt for me. However, the topic of Tim wise's interview was interesting. It had to do with racism in our country and the topic of Obama becoming the first black president is discussed. Wise says that racism 1.0 which he describes as the kind of racism that everyone has; the "overt, biased opinion." In the case of Obama becoming president he says that racism 1.0 has been defeated but that he unsure that this would happen every time in America. Wise then describes racism 2.0, which i find interesting. It is the hope that people will support and accept our black president. Wise explains that white folks can live a double standard and not be critized for being a buffoon. however, colored people have not been able to live this double standard like white people have been able to. Bottom line is that Wise doesnt think that America has come all that far in racial segregation. Some people still do not view white and black people as equal, which is a total shame.
When it comes to the Brown vs. Board of education case, i think that Wise would agree that maybe we havent actually come all that far since the case. The case and Wise's interview on racism have very similar points. The 1954 case ended segregation in schools, which was of course a big deal. However, the line on the website that really stuck out was the quote "separate, but not equal." This quotes shows that colored and white people are still not looked at as equal in the united states. Wise also agrees. He thinks that people have not looked at colored and whites as equal, but Obama becoming president is a step in the right direction; yet everything takes a lot of time. Wise believes that the Brown case was huge step in the right direction over 50 years ago, but even now there is still a long way to go; even after electing a black president.
It was shocking to hear Wise explain that back in the 1960's 2 out of 3 white folks would say that blacks were treated equally back then, while now if you ask white folks they would definitely admit to the harsh racism that colored people have had to endure. although it hink that the separation has been dimished a little, i also agree with Wise that we have a long way to go; still even in the year 2010. Some of the assumptions and beliefs that people had about colored people back in the 1900's are still percienved today in the 2000's. i think that the stereotypes will still unfortunately exist for a long time to come; which is such a shame.