Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cutest Video Ever

A little boy dedicated Bruno Mars song Just The Way You Are to his little sister who was born with down syndrome.  I thought it was cute and reminded me of the talk we had in class the other day about people with special needs being included with everyone else.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shor's Education is Politics

The two articles that I related Shor’s piece to was; Colliers piece and Christensen’s piece.   There were specific points in the article that made me think of these pieces for one reason or another.  First, was Collier’s piece.  “Piagel urged a reciprocal relationship between teachers and students, where respect for the teacher coexisted with cooperative and student centered pedagogy.” This reminded me of Collier because he talks about a language barrier and difference in backgrounds.  If the teacher and student can’t understand or connect to each other on a certain level, then their relationship is not as easy.  The students that respect their teachers the most are normally the ones who feel comfortable in that class and with that teacher.  If the student feels like the teacher doesn’t understand them and isn’t willing to put in the effort, then there is no respect at all.  This goes along with what Kliewer says about how working with children with disabilities is.  If there isn’t a mutual respect between the parent and the teacher, then the student has no hope of being included in the class outlines.
The second article was Christensen.  When Shor started talking about key questions to ask to get issues for the class started he brought up the news and the media.  Clearly I thought of Christensen and how the media distorts the images we see and therefore we are subject to discrimination without knowing it.  Kids grow up thinking something that they saw on TV is the truth, and therefore judge others until they are told that it may not be accurate.  Is there a body that regulates the ethics of newspapers? Why isn't the media more accountable for its actions?” These are questions Shor asks that directly relate to Christensen and it is done in a way that stimulates the students to be interested in what they are learning.  They become active and follow the outline that Shor gives us for a positive classroom environment between teachers and students. 
I think Shor had great ideas in how to make the classroom easier for both teachers and students.  Having a relationship based on respect, participation, cooperation and more allows for learning to happen while teaching values to the students about not only education, but about life and self.
In class I wish to know how other people motivate their students to participate when they are discouraged.  I find it very hard to do in the Providence Schools and am not sure if there is a better approach than what I am doing. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Social Justice Event

Playing Unfair: The Media Image of the Female Athlete
I attended the Women’s Study Event about the Image of Female Athletes in the Media.   I thought that the event was extremely relevant to me and to the discussions we have had in class.  I myself being a female athlete connected to what was being said and really agreed with the idea that women are stereotyped and objectified when shown in the media.  It also was ironic that every person in the audience of the event was a woman.  There were only about four women and the only reason we were all there was because of a class event.  The idea that women are being objectified in the media is not being taken seriously because it is not well known or spread.  No one is fighting it and therefore it is continuing to happen.
I easily connected the event to Christensen, McIntosh and the Title IX discussion we researched on our own.  First and foremost this completely ties in with the Christensen piece we read.  It shows that the media is playing a role in how we think and act towards female athletes.   The event talked about how female athletes are shown as doing “female” type things, like being moms, wives, or sex objects.  Consider tennis player Ana Ivankovic.

Does this picture tell you that she is an athlete? Absolutely not.  How would anyone know that she plays tennis and isn’t a playboy model?  There really isn’t any way to know.  Whereas if you look up Michael Phelps you get a picture like this:

It is not fair that woman athletes don’t get portrayed as being an athlete.  It is also a bigger issue for African American athletes.  Female athletes who are not white have a bigger problem with getting the attention as being a pro athlete.  McIntosh touches upon this issue when she lists out the availability for whites that blacks do not have.  In particular, when she says, “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race” it refers to seeing primarily white males because that is what is dominant in our culture.  However, when we do find black athletes we see the same issues pertaining to how females are displayed.  They are never playing the sport they exceed at.  Take Serena Williams.  Her picture below shows her in a bath suit posing in a flashy way.  She doesn’t swim! She plays tennis so why is this picture what society sees her as.  Yet when you look at Shani Davis you can tell he is a speed skater.  This is not equal or fair at all because it is sending the wrong ideas to those who are looking at this information.

              Shani Davis
Lastly, Title IX comes into play.  When we researched it on our own a lot of us brought up about Title IX being used for women to gain access to sports.  It is about having equal treatment for men and women because it is against the law to discriminate based on a person’s gender.  If this is the case, why don’t pictures get included?  It is most likely because no one really wants to take the effort to pursue the fact that it is not just.  Women are always seen as doing housework, being mothers, or being sexy.  Yet men get to be the macho athletes.  It is the idea that women still belong in the house waiting around for men to come home.  Title IX has allowed for women to become more equal in school, sports, careers, and life, yet we are still so far from truly being completely equal, whether it is between males and females or blacks and whites or straight and gay. 
If you want to watch part of the piece check it out below:

In class we should talk about some things that could be done to try and change the way people are portrayed in the media because it has really changed the thinking of children and how they grow up. It is the future of our world that is going to decide if we learn to accept of if we continue to shut out major ideas that need to be acknowledged.

Citizenship in School

Kliewer's Citizenship in School

Kliewer states that people with disabilities need to be included in the community in order to learn and participate along with everyone else.  It is based on the values of respect primarily because each individual learns differently than someone else, so why do schools make it harder to be accepted if a child has a disability.  One quote that I think sums up his entire piece is, “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.” This quote really stood out to me because it just hits on the fact that every person needs someone to look up to and rely on and be able to interact with in order to learn and grow up knowing how to be educated. 

The video above explains exactly what Down syndrome is.  It shows a family, in which a down syndrome little girl and her mother make the hard decision about what school to go to.  It is in her best interest to go to a special need school where she can get one on one help on speech and hearing.  She is allowed to learn through playing and benefits her in the long run.  It also shows a mother who has a little boy, who is a little further along in his education, and sends him to mainstream schooling.  He benefits because he can socialize with other children his age and participate in the things that other students are doing.  It is very interesting to see how parents really work to make sure they are making the right decision for their child. 
 One of the biggest themes I was seeing in researching down syndrome in the school system is having the guidelines and procedures ready for the school and for the teachers.  If the teachers are trained then the students with disabilities have an easier time adjusting.  They need the support, and sometimes mainstream can’t provide it because the classes are too big and there is not enough help to give the one on one a child needs.  Either way, most say that the biggest thing is that the goals for children with disabilities are the same as those without.  They want an education that will provide them to be successful in the world.  Learning is useful to everyone and should be taught no matter a person’s appearance or background.
The best things that a teacher can do and practice for a child with down syndrome are simple in saying but hard in doing.  The first is inclusion.  Keeping the student involved in what everyone else is doing is important for the child’s self esteem and even helps them in gaining intellectual strategies and necessities.  Giving direct instruction is also a key factor.  Most have a short attention span so distractions are a problem.  Keeping them engaged is important for routines, expectations and other life lessons to be learned.  Lastly, having a speech and hearing time is good because most down syndrome students need the extra practice learning these skills in order to stay on track.  Doing this without upsetting the child or discouraging them is the most crucial step. 
Most parents say that teachers need to also be educated in dealing with their special needs child.  Most mainstream schools don’t have the ability to provide the education, which is why most go to a special school.  In order to merge the students there has to be learning for the teachers as well.  They need to realize that they need to teach appropriateness and boundaries in a positive way.  They need to be able to communicate with parents and the child to make sure that everyone is on the same page and lastly, the child is unique, not a disease so don’t treat them that way.  

I really liked the sites I found online because I felt that they helped me understand what could actually be done in helping the merging process.  There is a lot of things that need to be worked on especially in the younger levels when a disabled child needs extra assistance.  Most teachers have 20 students so one on one is not an option.  When this changes, so can the divide.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Literacy with Attitude

Finn's Literacy with an Attitude
After reading Emily’s blog I realized that I have very similar thoughts on how to connect Finn with other authors we have read so far this semester. Delpit and Johnson run though Finn’s piece the most and have the strongest and most direct connections.
First off, I want to compare the connection from Finn to Delpit.  The quote, “he didn't say to an errant student, 'What are you doing?' he said, 'Stop that and get to work.' No discussion. No openings for an argument" shows a lot about what Delpit preaches.  If the students are told explicitly what is expected of them and what to do, then there won’t be such a cultural miss. There has to be control in the classroom and it has to come from the teacher.  If the teacher has authority, then the students know exactly what is expected from them.  When a teacher starts to ask instead of tell, it confuses the students.  We talked a lot about this in class and how primarily white teachers will ask a child if it is time to be playing with their toys.  This is giving the child a chance to think about what they want the answer to be and most often will just continue playing with the toys.  However, what really needs to be done is for the teacher to say put the toys away.  Then the child has no choice because they know exactly what should be done.  Delpit would say that being told the rules directly and explicitly is what needs to be done and that is what Finn is doing in his classroom with the students who need more attention.  He is such a hit with the students because he actually takes the time to tell them what he expects so there is a clear outline of what the class is going to entail.
The second connection is from Finn to Johnson.  Johnson would agree with Finn in educating those who are poor in order to help them succeed in the world.  If the poor were educated the same, then there wouldn’t be such a “divide in levels of income, wealth, dignity, safety, health, and quality of life.”  We actually spent a great deal of time talking about these differences in class and I agree with both that if everyone was equal in education, then all these things would be closer together and there wouldn’t be such a divide in who is more powerful in the world.  Finn actually uses this in his own classroom when he explains what he wants and gives clear directions as to how he wants it done.  He gets through to his students because there is no longer a divide between the upper level students and the lower level students.  Each student receives the same directions and therefore has an equal chance of succeeding.

I want to talk about my own education growing up and how we had inner city kids at our school.  They received the same directions as everyone else in the room and therefore in my opinion were able to succeed if they put the time and effort in like everyone else.  I wonder if having them in class with the upper level students made the difference instead of being in an environment that treated you as if you were poor from the start.  Does location really make a difference?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Title IX Inspiration

What is Title IX??

So what about it??

Title IX Gender and Education

This video really stuck out to me on a personal level.  First off, I had the pleasure of meeting Dot Richardson this year down in Florida over spring break.  She runs the annual softball tournament for college teams that RIC goes to.  She is the most down to earth person you can meet with the knowledge and background far beyond what I can explain.  Everything she says in this video I find exceptionally true. 
First, she talks about why would women do something if we need a disguise to do it?  I actually connected this to our GLBT talk.  Most GLBT students hid from society because they are scared of being accepted.  Well believe it or not they aren’t the only ones.  We still have issues with race, and even gender in 2011.  Her second point talked about this.  She had asked why we even need something to tell us what is right and just.  This is just perfect because it doesn’t just relate to women, but to race, and sexual orientation as well.  Why can’t gay/lesbians get married? Why can’t women be the CEO of most companies? It’s because for a long time these ideas weren’t present in society so it is taking longer for everyone to catch up and be equal to others.  One of the last things she says is that it can’t be done by just women.  It is going to take both boys and girls together in order to overcome this battle.  Just like it will take whites and blacks and Asians and whoever to solve the race issue. 
It is the saddest thing to watch when you see someone with a talent so exceptional but they can’t do anything with it.  Can anyone imagine if someone told Michael Phelps that he couldn’t be an athlete? No, because then who would hold records for getting the most gold medals at one Olympics. What about Kobe Bryant or Aaron Hernandez? All these men had the chance to exceed at their talent, so why is there an amendment to make sure the Dot Richardson and other women like her could do the same?  The very last thing she said was if you could inspire just one person, then your life is worthwhile.  If we all work together to make sure the next generation is accepting and willing to go beyond the norm, then we won’t see these sort of issue that need the law to step in and tell us what is right and wrong.  We will just know!

The last thing I found, even though it is not up to date, is a chart that I thought was good.
HS Athletic Participation
It shows the increse is women being involved in high school sports.  The dramatic increse over the years is a great sign and hopefully increases even more over the next years.  Maybe it already has as this is from a few years ago.  Still good in my opinion, very eye opening.

This assignment hit very close to me because of me being involved in sports, I have some stories I could share with class about Title IX impacting my own life. I hope everyone understands that there are issues that affect everyone in some way or another so we aren't alone in being excluded from the "perfect" society we think exists.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Extended Comments: Emily

Wise's Between Barack and a Hard Place
Extended Comments:

I really liked the ABCD acronym that she started with.  The fact that we have to “accept blacks and change the views of discrimination” is perfect to describe what is going on in today’s society.  It seems like it would be a simple fix to just accept everyone.  It isn’t a matter of liking everyone or relating to everyone, it is just the idea that you can understand where they are coming from and acknowledge that people are different and have different outlooks on life.  I just connected it to myself because one of my best friends is Dominican.  I have known her for 9 years and when I first met her I remember other people I was with saying that she probably didn’t speak English and was most likely bad at school.  They continued to say all this stuff and I remember thinking that I didn’t know her so how could I really talk about anything about her.  She actually is very smart in school and can relate to me better than most people of my own skin color.  This acronym just made me think about her because if I didn’t accept her, maybe no one else would have.  How can we change something that no one will stand up against?  It is just like Johnson explains; we have to say the words out loud in order for them to be heard.
She then connects both the Wise and Herbert piece.  I found the Wise piece extremely interesting because I didn’t know that you could have two types of racism.  I actually found myself agreeing with how Emily explained what Wise was saying.  Racism 1.0 is the idea that Whites are put before Blacks and literally signs distinguish where each race can go.  Racism 2.0 is the idea of stereotypes and how most Blacks are seen as poor or involved in crimes.  However, Barack Obama is the exception because he is proven to be smart, but more so he has a white parent.  The idea that most blacks are poor instantly made me think of my VIPS experience.   Most of these kids act really really good to get stamps or stars from the teacher because they know that if they get so many they get a prize.  They can pick from erasers, pencils, candy and more.  They always pick the school supplies over the candy because it is something they need that their parents may not be able to afford.  It is sad to think that all except one or two kids in my class have free lunch because their parents don’t make enough money to pack them lunch. 
The last point that I really liked from Emily’s post was “can an average person of color amount to something the way and average white could?”  This brought me all the way back to the first weeks of class when we went over SCWAAMP.  I wrote about how I would have a completely different life if I woke up a different person.  If I was a boy, or if I was black, or if I was extremely poor I would not have the same outlook on life.  I believe that the answer to her question at this point would be the majority of the time no.  Society still has not allowed for everyone to be consistently equal.  Of course there are people who do well, like Obama.  He is the first black president of our country.  That is an extreme breakthrough.  However, in my opinion, it doesn’t happen enough to say that someone of color can always amount to someone that is white.

I found this online and just thought it was a pretty ignorant thing to be posting.  One of the biggest stories I know about is the Petit Family because they live in my town.  The two killers are both white and I would actually like to talk about this further in class because I feel like most of the stories I hear about are involving whites and just don’t know if it is because I am white so that is what I see on the news or if this statement is just total crap.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In Service of What?

Kahne and Westheimer's In Service of What
I really enjoyed the piece.  I think that the idea of getting involved and being a part of service learning is a great experience for everyone.  There are many ways for people to get involved and that’s exactly what the article shows.  It allowed for people to understand that any little thing they can do can influence someone else in a way that they may never know.  In reading this article I thought about being in the providence school system and how just giving a little of my time to help out those younger than me and in need of extra assistance can change their lives as well as mine.  I probably never would have step foot inside the school building but now that I have I don’t really want to stop.  I enjoy going and wish I had more time during the day to spend with them.  Even though I may not understand what is going on in their lives, I am someone reliable that they can depend on seeing every week.  It would be an even closer experience if those students saw me outside the classroom but I realize their is only so much we can do.  It really is a rewarding experience no matter if you do it to try to change something or if you do it as a charity project.  In the end, someone is benefitting and that should be enough in itself.
This article really made me think about all the work I have done in the past and whether or not I did it because I thought I could change the world or if I just did it to help out.  I think that I know that just one person can’t change the whole world but that one person can make a difference in another person’s  life.  If everyone just does one thing that can help someone else, then maybe the world could be a closer and safer place for everyone.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

Christensen's Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us
Christensen’s argument is “Our society’s culture industry colonizes their minds and teacher them how to act, live, and dream.”  This is done through children’s books, movies, and other media and technology. 
I completely agree with the idea that what we see in the media influences how we grow up and act.  It is apparent in the beginning of her article when the student made a comment about stories not being cute, but learning to manipulate people into believing one thing.  I was stunned right then at how true most of this was.  It continued to show how cartoons and movies are stereotypical as well.  There is barely any evidence of black, poor, or even GLBT people on TV.  The focus is primarily on whites.  When children watch TV they are actually watching a false reality of how the world is.  For instance, Disney movies only show one way of life.  Until last year, you never saw a black princess in a Disney movie.  This was also a very controversial idea.  I believe that if we follow Christensen’s idea of influencing people, we should at least do it in a good way.  We should be showing black people, as well as GLBT.  The book, Prince and Prince we read the other day was the first time I have ever seen a children’s book, movie, or idea revolved around this issue.  The quicker we get the information out, the sooner we solve the problems around these issues.

I would like to talk about the movies on TV and see if anyone actually has seen a movie around any of the issues we talk about in class because I don’t believe I have.  It is time that we start speaking about the issues and solve whatever problems there are.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School

I was shocked in reading this article at the amount of people who are affected by harassment in schools because they are transgendered.  I have heard a lot about gay, lesbian and bisexual harassment but I feel that transgender issues fly under the radar.  Over 90% of transgender students hear derogatory remarks in the school system.  This is ridiculous to me because that means that in almost every class that student has to attend, there is someone there to basically make fun and torture them.  Almost half of transgender students skip class or miss school just because they are uncomfortable in their classroom.  I don’t understand why nothing is being done to help these students.  Even though most students can confide in at least one person, only a third could find more than one supporter in the entire school.  How can, in a school of hundreds of people, a student only have one person to talk to.  That means that they are hiding from everyone else in hopes that they don’t get made fun or get bullied that day.  The saddest part is that half of the students who are bullied don’t report it because they feel that the situation is not addressed anyway. 
The most shocking part of the whole article, however, is that only one out of five sees a teacher step in when a situation occurs. How can only one situation be addressed and four are overlooked.  For the problem to get better we all must realize that no one is the same as anyone else.  We all have to accept each other and stop comparing one person to the “norm.”

This 14-year old boy, who is gay, spoke out on Ellen DeGeneres on behalf of his teacher who asked a student to leave the room for harassing another student for being gay.  His excitement over this one teacher actually standing up for GLBT students shocked me.  I applauded his courage for standing up and defending his teacher, but at the same time, I was shocked that this doesn’t happen more.  If there are many GLBT students in a school system and they are facing well over 50% of harassment, why are there not more cases of teachers jumping in and speaking out?  It really caused me to feel a mix of emotions.

Lastly, I think that the reason so many problems are started revolving around transgender people is that from the moment we are born we realize that there is male and female.  If you are male, you are treated like you are male.  Same for a female.  This article shows how no matter what age you are, if you are treated for being a person instead of being gay or lesbian or male or female then each person can live without being worried about harassment and bullies at school.

If everyone could just start treating others they way that they want to be treated, then I believe our school system would be a better place for students to go and learn, instead of go to be made fun of.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Richard Rodriguez’s Aria

Argument: Richard Rodriguez argues that there is a loss of individuality, particularly in children, when forced to assimilate into a public society.

Forcing a child to learn and use a language that is not their native tongue is extremely hard on every aspect of that child’s life.  The first and most obvious is when the child goes to school.  They are immediately classified as needing special assistance in order to catch up on the language that they missed out on.  They are constantly corrected by others which makes them self conscious and in turn very shy when it comes to socializing with others.  Being afraid to talk out only hurts the child more because then they don’t get to practice the language that they need help with.  When a child can’t master English, they are looked at as not being able to survive in society.  This is hard for the child to accept because they already feel like an outcast and know the rest of their life is being judged.  They are confused due to the fact that they don’t understand everything that people are saying around them and just want to feel the safety and comfort of their own language at home. 

When the language at home is different from the school system it also makes life hard for the child.  In Rodriguez’s argument he shows that it is hardest at two separate times in the child’s life.  The first is when the family as a whole makes a switch to the new language.  The child feels more confused because the safety of their native language is gone.  All they hear is the foreignness of people talking around them.  They want comfort but can’t find it.  The second part is when the child eventually passes the knowledge of their parents.  This is hard on the child because then they are forced to use their new language but also some of their old language to translate things their parents don’t understand.  The switch between the two can bring back the same feeling of discomfort for the child, and then the parents are left with the confusion and dissatisfaction of themselves.

Children often follow patterns of learning English as a second language.  As shown in this article, people usually make errors in trying to learn the new language.  When they make these errors they may become ashame and fall into a time of refusing to talk at all in this new language.  After that, they become able to speak alittle bit of both languages by using both to make sentences.  Once English is fluent for the person, they then begin to lose alittle of that native tongue.  These steps are explain by the ASLHS and demonstrated by Rodriguez's story.

Comments: I think that this article really shows the back side to the story.  When children in school seem to be acting out and not willing to learn the basics to switch languages, they really just want someone to confide in.  It would be easier if they felt comfortable to express themselves even if they were wrong.  It would allow most students to be a little more outspoken, which could potentially be brought home for their parents to learn as well.

Hahahaha....this made me laugh.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege

Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Choose three quotes and explain what they mean.

Quote #1:
“Whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege.” Pg 1
This shows that in schools, careers, and communities, whites do not acknowledge the culture of power.  Whites are not told explicitly that they are following a particular code that others are judged for not knowing. When those who are not white do something that does not follow the specific code, then they are looked at as being rude or disrespectful.  Same goes for men.  When a person wants to speak to someone in charge of a business, they tend to speak to a male.  Men do not know that they are following this code, but women can see it clearly.  Men acknowledge that women don’t get the same rights, but they do not think that they have a more privileged life.  Whites and males act the same in the aspect of seeing wrong, but not understanding that they are part of the group that has more ‘power’.

Quote #2:
“Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence.” Pg 4
Being born to the culture of power allows a person to feel more comfortable in everyday life.  When a person goes to school or a job, if they are white they do not get looked upon as being an outsider.  They would not be harassed by classmates or teachers for having a different background.  A black person can go into a store and be followed by white employees because they are thought of as going to steal.  Being white protects a person from the feeling of being watched or followed.  It shows that a white person has less to worry about when out in the world.

Quote #3:
“Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit other, this is seen as work that will allow ‘them’ to be more like ‘us’.” Pg 2
Peggy McIntosh makes a great argument with the quote about how whites believe that they are the ideal community.  She looks at herself to show how whites are taught to think early on in life.  One of the points was that a white person can open a newspaper or turn on the tv and see the white race being represented and it is considered normal.  Also, a white person can make bad choices and they don’t represent the whole group.  However, a person of color can make bad choices and then they are looked upon as the whole race is bad.  Whites unknowingly try to act as if they are average in the hopes that others will be like them but in reality everyone is different and can’t be represented by others.

I really liked the 26 points that Peggy McIntosh made because some of them I would have never thought of but they are totally true.  For example, I would not have thought that I could ignore the customs of someone of a different race and not feel any penalty for it(point #16).  I believe that her points hit all the main concerns in society like safety and credibility.  It also surprised me to read some of them because I found myself wondering why it was such a big deal, and then when I stepped back and relooked at it I found myself agreeing because only the white race thinks that way.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hey Everyone!

My name is Marisa Jandreau.  I am a sophomore studying secondary education mathematics. I am from Connecticut and live here on campus.  I play softball for RIC.  I am very excited to start going into schools and interacting with students.  I work at a daycare during the summer and the kids really do make the day better.