Sunday, November 27, 2011

Talking Point #10

Author: Ira Shore
Text: “Education is Politics”
     When thinking critically about the reading, two other authors come to mind. I thought discussing Shore’s writing in relation to other authors like Johnson and Christensen. Allan Johnson writes about the importance of creating a dialogue that focuses on the issues of power and race. This type of explicit talk can be useful in a classroom setting. Students can gain the sense of being comfortable with speaking honestly about feelings and issues. This relates to Ira Shore ideals because Ira strongly believes in making students feel like equals. When they feel like equals, they can get a better understanding of their education. When they acquire this understanding, they can hold value in education and use any this excitement for learning to ask more questions and discuss problem solving.
     Linda Christensen is a strong advocate of educating students about noticing oppression and taking action against it. She encourages teachers to assist their students in expressing what they feel and how they think. In a way Ira Shore encourages the same. Shore thinks teachers should learn from their students and take their point of view into consideration. This can be helpful when problem-posing. Problem-posing is a method of teaching that centers on talking, listening, asking questions, and taking action.
     I like the idea of taking different readings and using them to analyze another. This idea is appealing to me because it reminds me of the presentation that was assigned and if we talk about this concept in class it would be super helpful. If we discuss this in class, I can take notes and steal everyone’s ideas and concepts.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Talking Point #9

Author: Christopher Kliewer
Text: "Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" Going to School: Ir a la Escuela
     In the reading by Kliewer, the concepts of school citizenship, community, and educational equality where brought up several times. Students with Down syndrome are seen as different to the extent of segregation. Kliewer writes, "the notion of Down syndrome often obscures our ablitiy to recognize the child as a child. She or he becomes a walking pathological syndrome, a mobile defect on the loose". Its true to think that these students are different but everyones different. We all learn differently and we all have our own individual voices. This voices are often silenced or made unimportant because others see a genetic condition instead of a person. There needs to be a new way of looking at students with Down syndrome and more educators need to think of these students as individuals instead of a group. These educators need to value what these students want out of their education and they need to be more sensitive to the needs of these students. They also need to have faith in these students. Anyone can be amazing if given the chance to be.
     Once I was done reading Kliewer, "Citizenship in school: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" I thought of this video. It digusting and sad a teacher would talk to a student in that fashion. Teachers are people students should trust. They are incharge of molding minds and inspiring students to hold value in education and higher learning. The man in the video isn't doing anything he should be doing. Calling students hurtful names doesnt encourage them. It makes them feel low and stupid.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Promising Practice

I attended workshop I. Supporting Students in Under-represented groups in undergraduate study . It wasn’t my first choice. I really wanted to be in workshop H. Art and Diverse Expressions. Being an Art Education major, I thought it would be helpful to be in a workshop that focused on Art. Tragically, I registered too late.
The first part of the workshop was called Everyone In: Achieving Diversity in Undergraduate Nursing Student Activities. This workshop was dedicated to nursing. My first thought was “Wow, this has nothing to do with me”. The second part of the workshop was called A.L.L.I.E.D Across Our Differences: Reaching and Teaching Students from Under-represented Groups at Rhode Island College. This half of the workshop is what attracted me and made me pick workshop I. as my second choice. Last semester I had taken A.L.L.I.E.D as an extra one credit course so I was incredible familiar with the course.
When I got to the room for the presentations, the first thing I noticed was the small number of people in the room. Most of the people in the room were A.L.L.I.E.D students. I also recognized my fellow FNED classmates, Stephanie SaintClair, Yanill Vargas, and Kayla Perdomo. I was excited to be around people I knew but that excitement faded when the first part of the workshop started.
They handed out a copy of there PowerPoint presentation and began to repeat facts listed on the screen. I wish I could write about the presentation was about but I can not remember what they were talking about. It was way to early for that kind of presentation. On a lighter note, the presenters knew what they were talking about and showed passion for what they were talking about.
The second half of the workshop woke me up. It was a large panel made up of A.L.L.I.E.D students. My opinion is completely bias because I was in that class last school year. All in all, the A.L.L.I.E.D presentation was awesome. I loved hearing from each person on the panel and I knew what they said was accurate because I was in A.L.L.I.E.D. The description made by the students was exact and I was impressed.
After the workshop was over and we all meet up in the Donovan Dining Center for the Promising Partnership Expo.
I wish I could say that I went to each table and gathered information but I didn’t. I was so excited to be around food, that I wasn’t really trying to get information. So I got some french toast and tatter tots and sat down with the rest of the class. Yanill took pictures and we all talked about our workshops. It was nice to be able to talk to people in class I don’t usually get to talk to. I even got to yell at Phil for being in the workshop I wanted to be in.
After the Expo, we all made our way to Gaige 100 a little early to get the best seats. I found it funny that the class stayed together. We all sat in the back and cracked jokes as we waited for the Teen Empowerment presentation to start. On the stage, was a panel made up of students around the ages of 16 to 22. I noticed all of them were minorities. Each student spoke and they played ice breaker games with the audience. It looked fun from where I was sitting. I was entertained when they told people from the audience to stand and do a given action if they fell into a certain category they mentioned. It was a good way of getting the audience excited and comfortable. The head speaker, Heang Ly, was really well spoken. All the students seemed to know what they were talking about but I didn’t get much out of it. I think the real teachers in the audience might have gotten something from it.
The students finished the Teen Empowerment presentation and took questions from the audience. At this point I was ready for the presentation to end. Luckily, it did end and we all went back to the Donovan Dining Center to have lunch. Along with the lunch was another student panel. This panel was made up of the youth representatives from the A.L.L.I.E.D Mt. Pleasant High School Teen Empowerment group.
I didn’t get any of the lunch and I didn’t stay for the whole “Engaging Perspectives of Youth” presentation because my ride arrived earlier than instructed.
When making connections, I want to say there were a few authors/themes that correspond to the Promising Practices Expo. The second part of the workshop reminded me of Collier, Johnson, and Christensen. A.L.L.I.E.D is based on unrepresented students. Being a student of A.L.L.I.E.D, I know many of the students first language was not English but this was never discouraged or made into an issue. That reminded me of Collier.
Johnson is all about learning to say the words and talk openly about race, class, gender, and sexuality. The A.L.L.I.E.D class is full of students of different races, classes, genders, and sexualities and I know for sure that all these factors are an open topic.
A.L.L.I.E.D also allows underrepresented students to talk about issues that have a lot to do with stereotypes and oppression. This made me think of Christensen. I personally think the founder of the A.L.L.I.E.D group, Dr. Lesley Bogad, encourages students to take action and spot stereotypes.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Talking Point #8

Patrick J. Finn: Literacy with an Attitude
“Some minorities feel they have been wronged by mainstream Americans and that “acting white” is a betrayal of their people.”
This quote is really amusing to me. I can completely relate because I’ve felt this way before. I’ve always been compared to my cousins and I never felt like it fit in with them. I remember one of them saying that I “act white” because I was well behaved and I liked school. I wasn’t interested in getting into trouble like many of my cousins. I never associated being well behaved with being white but they did. I was merely following the rules set by my mother. For many years, the thought of not being Spanish enough bothered me. I wish someone could explain what it takes to be Spanish because I honestly don’t know.
So some minorities think speaking a certain way or having certain interests make you less of your race. This doesn’t make sense but I can understand why this is so. I think it has to do with the stereotype that the people that are successful, educated, speak properly, and do the “right” thing are white. These white people are successful and they must be doing something to keep minorities in a place of inferiority. So to act like these white people is like betraying your race. This notion is ridiculous but some people really think this way.
“The literacy they acquired would not be literacy to become better citizens, workers, and Christians as the rich defined those roles for them; it would be literacy to engage in the struggle for justice, This was dangerous literacy”
I'm intrigued by the concept of “dangerous literacy”. It seems inappropriate to put those two words together and that’s probably why it sounds so attractive. The idea of using knowledge to encourage change is not a new idea. When people gain an understanding of the way things are, they can use this information to come up with new ideas and ways of thinking. Some minorities think they have a disadvantage in life. I happen to be one of those minorities. I understand how important literacy is. Literacy allows me to see the injustice and find routes around some of the disadvantages I can’t control. I can only assume the people that would find this to be “dangerous literacy” are the people that have power and want to keep things the way they are.
I often thought of the reading by Kozol. The idea of people in poor areas staying in these poverty stricken areas because there is a system of power keeping them their. Kozol argued with Lawrence Mead because Mead thinks “if poor people behaved rationally, they would seldom be poor for long in the first place”. In this case I slightly agree with Mead when using his theory on literacy. It’s your choice to learn or not to learn. You can only become literate if you’re willing. There are certain acceptations, like not having the tools to learn.
“Teachers are supposed to teach, not blame children for what they don’t know how to do.”
I love this quote. It’s so simple but I feel like it’s kind of powerful. Teachers are supposed to teach. It makes so much sense. I feel like some teachers are give up easily because they don’t understand the students. The whole idea of having a “dialogue” with students was a prime concept in this reading.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I hope this goes up like it's supposed to. I hate blogger and I need someone intellegent to show me how to work this thing. I can't comment or post properly. This is very irritating. I realllyyyy hope this post goes up.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Talking Point #6

Author: Tim Wise
Title: "Between Barack and a Hard Place"
Extended Comments: I read Sammi Machado’s blog and I completely agreed with everything she wrote about. She used quotes to explain the views being made in the reading and video clips. When it comes to the topic of race and acceptance I think honesty is important. Sadly, not everyone can be honest. People are afraid of to offend or disrupt what is already the norm. Sammi made it a point to stress the word “minority”. We think of this nation to be free and full of equal opportunity. We think “oh we have a black president, we must a progressive nation” but we’re not. We still separate ourselves with terms like “minority”.
All things aren’t hopeless for the United States. Despite the racial setbacks, great individuals do amazing things even if they have to face adversities and hardships. If things were so easy then we wouldn’t be challenged to the point of doing something incredible and revolutionary.
It’s awesome that we have equal rights. We can live together and work together. We can have the same jobs and send our kids to the same schools. Even though we have this right, it doesn’t always happen. There are still neighborhoods full of minorities or just mainly white people. There are jobs some people can’t get because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. It’s sad that we can do so much but we don’t allow each other to do so.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Talking Point #4

Author: Linda Christensen
Title: “Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us”
Reflection: This text was all too familiar to me. Last semester I took a sex and gender class and just like in the reading, I did my own analysis on race, class, and gender roles reflected in popular Disney movies. While reading through the text, i noticed I that I had done what the students in the text had done. They had made general critiques at first and I had done the same. All my critiques were obvious and not incredibly thought out until I developed my paper.
            Christensen’s goal was to get these students to really think. “I want my students to question this accepted knowledge and the secret education delivered by cartoons as well as by the traditional literacy canon.” This text makes me think about the paper I had written and what I wrote about. I noticed the same things the students had but my main point was to explain how these popular Disney movies portrayed the truth in our society. I still agree with what I wrote but after reading Christensen’s writing I don’t agree with my own acceptance of what is wrong. I think because I’m so accustomed to the way things are, change seems impossible. Like in the text, I think some people are poor because not everyone can be rich but why can’t everyone be rich.
            In class, I would like it if everyone could share their opinion on the section of the text on page 4 titled Writing as a Vehicle for Change. I’m interested in hearing what my peers think about the idea of everyone “accepting the inequalities in power and exploitative economic relationship”. I think if people are aware of how this acceptance may be the “root” of the problem they could start a dialog and really think. This thinking could lead to ideas and actions that could change others opinions.