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.


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