Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ira Shor, Empowering Education-'Reflection'

    While reading this article, I immediately thought of our last article by K. She begins, right from the start, to quote a man named Bettelheim.This man does not believe that the three R'S concept as the answer, or main goal of the school systems. He is a true believer in the overall concept of socialization. Socialization has many different areas that creates an impact on our lives, in schools, and the social day to day life. I looked up the definition of socialization, and posted it. Right away, it states 'a continuing process'. It is a life time learning experience for all of our community, children or adult. The rest of the definition is what I believe Shor is tring to explain in this article. Our parents, our families, and our teachers, all help us for an 'identity' during our lives. They are all forms of social activity that creates our values and social positions.



[soh-shuh-luh-zey-shuhn] Show IPA –noun
1.a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.

I agreed with Shor when it comes to the democracy that is held in our school systems. I feel that the comparison of the schools 'chain of command', and the future long term employments for these children, are quite similar in comparison. The future of the students, must be included in the curriculum to instill a brighter future for tomorrow. We must look ahead in all things that we do in our lives. In my own words, I feel that Shor was trying to explain the similarities when it comes to this topic. Our schools have the top employee, the Principal, which then stems down to the teacher, and last but not least, the children. In a work place in the future, this is still the concept that will follow these student for the rest of their lives.There is the owner of the business, the Manager that follows the owners rules, and then the regular employees. We need to look at all of the needs of each individual 'step in the chain', and make in harmony, where they all benefit. 

    In class, I am curious to know exactly who creates the curriculum for the schools in the first place. Who decides what our Children should learn, and shouldn't learn in their education?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christopher Kliewer, Citizenship in School:Reconceptualizing Dowm Syndrome-Reflection

   While reading the book by Christopher Kliewer, I began to see the reasoning behind his writing on behave of the children with some sort of learning disability. He gives examples of different teachers in the classroom, using unique ways to teach a concept that they can all learn. If we, as Educators, use many forms of teaching methods in our classroom, we can help all the children learn and understand the techniques. Just because a child has a disability, does not mean that they can not function or learn a lesson in their school. I think that he may be against the use of tracking in the Schools. He seems to focus his writing on having the children work together, and not separating them from one another because of their abilities.

   He discusses, in great length about Howard Gardner, and his views on this topic. Gardner has come up with the three R's that should be integrated into our styles of teaching. They include, Problems, Challenges, projects, and opportunities. He has focused his Field of study on school-based literacy, and Mathematics instruction. I found it relative to our class when I was reading about his idea of culture, and how it is important to include in our classrooms. Diversity is important, and we, as Educators, need to change with the times that we are living and teaching in.

  I sat down, after reading this article, and thought about what I should write, and what it means to me. I have ADD, and was not diagnosed until eighth grade. Why was it not known to my teachers or parents until such a late age? the reason why, and I realize it now, is because I had learned to deal with it, and hide it from my peers and Educators. I did not want to be labeled, and taken out of the classroom that consisted of all of my friends. The children that were pulled out, and called to some kind of resource were made fun of by the other student. So, I learned how to get through my grades, and not ask for the extra help that I did need. This is upsetting and depressing to me now as an Adult looking back at this situation. These student should not be labeled, or considered different or be casted out from their peers. This is still a problem in schools, and in the lives of these children that are affected by this daily. If we are aware of the issue and problems that are associated with it, why is it not a key note that we address.

I found this website interesting, a great connection to the lesson for this week in class. I think that in class, we should talk about ways that we can help create a positive atmosphere in our classrooms, for all of the different disabilities that our students face daily.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gender Stereotyping of Women in the Media

The AXE Effect - Women - Billions

Nissan commercial

Promising Practices Conference

  I really had a great experience at my first Promising Practices Conference. It was reassuring to see my fellow classmates sitting at a table together. It made any stress or confusion dim away from the start. I was glad that I had preregistered because it made it so easy to just grab my folder, and get ready for the day.
     My first session was called Horton: Digitally Organizing Your Ideas, taught by Connie Horton. This was held in a computer lab, where we took our test last week. Mrs. Horton was a very enthusiastic Teacher from the moment that we all walked in. The program that was taught to us was about the method of using Concept Maps in our classrooms, or as a guide for our personal organization. She had explained perfectly, which made it easy for me to grasp the procedure. You make a list, or steps that you want to turn into a time-line. After you are done organising your thought, you press this button, which automatically turns it into a time-line.You can cange the colors for the text, shapes, or even add an imagine in the words place. I found the program to be a wonderful tool for children that need to write a report.I may even use it for my own next project! It will keep me organised, and help me visually see the steps that I need to take. We all created a 'Sunday' page, and the things that we needed to do that day. It was fun to play with the images, and change the colors of my list. I do recommend this Session for those people that enjoy working on the computer.

     My favorite Session was definitely the second one. I walked in and just felt so comfortable with the Student teaching this class. The name of the Session was called David: Bringing Media Literacy Into the Classroom. This was the perfect conference to attend because it went right along with our class discussions, and I learned some new things too! It introduces the topic of Gender Inequality in the classroom, and in the Media. Kayla David was teaching this topic, and  is actually a Student at RIC. She was excited and nervous at the same time, and truly passionate about this lesson. She began with letting use take ten minutes, in a group, and writing down the difference between a female and a male! I knew a bit more then the rest of group because of our class and the reading, but I waited and then put down my answers. She explained the difference between sex and gender, which brought to mind the reading by Linda Christensen. The 'Teacher did not mention an author in her presentation, but gave a over-view of the issue in the Media. Christensen taught use about the problem that arises in our daily life, and the 'Hidden Curriculum' that is taught to use daily. Miss David also touched on the ideas and ideology's that are in our society. She did not use Disney Films in her presentation like Linda Christensen had in her article, but brought our attention to the media.We all wrote our ideas on the girl and boy drawings that she had put on the board. Then she showed use some commercials that use females as a 'sex object', and inferior to the male race. I posted a couple that she played, and some that I found on YouTube! It's awful to read the comments some 'Men' left under the videos!!

   I am not quite sure how to sum up the Keynote speaker, Dr.Dennis Shirley. I tried to understand what he was addressing in his speech, but found myself con fussed throughout the discussion. I think that if I did read his book, I would remember bits and pieces from the speech, and maybe 'get it'. He seems like a well educated man, that has many experiences to share with his listeners, but I was confused. I think he jumped around most of the time, and I did feel aggravated because I was excited to learn something new about Mindfulness!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oaks and Finn 'Reflection'

    The article that was written by Jeannie Oaks brought some good points and ideas that I found interesting. This is an article about the use of tracking in our children's education. Is it a positive aspect or a negative system that is another part of stereotyping. There are two different views that people feel toward the subject. One is that the students that are advanced, should be in a higher, separate class then the average and below children. On the other hand, some people feel that tracking is an important part of their education. The above average students need to be separated from the others, because they need room to excel in their education.

    I feel that after reading this article, that they do have some valid points in each standpoint.I am a person that feels each child deserves the same opportunities as the next. If we do not give these children a fighting chance, then how do we know they can not achieve the same outcome in life.  I do not agree with the idea that intelligence is only developed at an early age. That the outcome for success is not a probable factor. This is a form of stereotyping in our schools. Learning is a life journey, life, not just elementary school. I am not totally against some form of higher education for some students. Maybe a class once a day, or a after school group. This would still keep some parents with excelled children happy to some extent.

      When my son was in Middle School, they divided the children into four groups. My son said it was the smart kids, the good kids, the ok kids, and the dumb kids. The named the groups after animals. He was in the 'good kids group', that's what he said. I was disturbed that they did this type of stereotyping in his school. The children in the lower groups must feel awful about their 'lack of achievement', so why would they have any inspiration to really care and try for their success in education. I actually brought it up in a meeting I had to go to, and asked his teachers why they do this. They said it was not their idea, but a standard that they are made to go by. I was not fulfilled at all with their answers, but I am only one parent who does not agree.
      I found the article written by Patrick J. Finn to be a bit difficult to understand in the beginning of the reading. While I read on, I began to figure out what he was trying to express to his readers. The difference in a persons success in life is determined on the type of education that they receive, the level of literacy. If a child is given a 'higher literacy education', then they are more than likely to have a rich, powerful. ans successful life. If they have a 'low form' of literacy and education, then they will be a part of the  middle class, or poor society.
He is a teacher that tries to provide a strong foundation in education to all of his students. He feels that this will help in the future of all of their life goal;s in life. I found it interesting to see that he had included Jon Kozol's book in his writing.  He made great connections to the idea of inequality being a huge part of the problem that faces these children's education. He also reminded me of Lisa Delpit because he has a strict teaching style. He lets the students know and understand that this is how he wants things done, no questions asked.
    I feel the both of these articles made excellent points, both discussing the stereotyping that is done in our schools, and everyday life. If we challenge these obstacles, maybe we can make a difference in this issue.
    I think that in class we should discuss the ways that we can prevent this stereotyping working in our own classrooms. If we have a good understanding of the problem, we could become the impact on our children's lives. It begins with the parents and Educators!!!