Monday, December 5, 2016

Pecha Kucha

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Education is Politics

Article by Shor

This last reading by Shor was a great read to sum up and conclude all we have learned this semester.

"The teacher plays a key role in the critical classroom. Student participation and positive emotions are influenced by the teacher's commitment to both. One limit to this commitment comes from the teacher's development in traditional schools where passive, competitive, and authoritarian methods dominated"(Shor 26). 

There is nothing worse than having a teacher who is not interested in what they are teaching. I have had teacher's during high school who were not interested in their job and what they were teaching. It made the class drag on every time and I never felt like I fully understood the material because it was not taught in depth or with the care it should have been taught with. I just barely passed a class with a teacher like this because I could not get engaged because the teacher was not. 

"If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted"(Shor 12). 

In school's today, it is all about teaching by the guidelines given which limits teachers. The student's should be taught beyond those guidelines into the world and their society. Pushing them to think beyond the guidelines will in fact increase their ability to think critically and maybe to even open their eyes to an event in the world that they were not aware of. I took a class in high school that strictly discussed and interpreted the current events in the world and our society. We would break down certain events and talk about them and tie them back to what we were learning in our history class. 

"Until students experience lively participation, manual authority, and meaningful work, they will display depressed skills and knowledge, as well as negative emotions. Teachers will be measuring and reacting to an artificially low picture of student abilities"(Shor 21). 

If the teacher does not attempt to get their students into conversation and making the classroom friendly and safe, they will not show their full knowledge. In FNED, Dr. Bogad has made the class easy to participate in without feeling nervous. In one of my other classes, I rarely ever participate if at all. The teacher never initiated any want or care for participation so at this point I would feel out of place participating in the class. 

** In a way, this reading reminded me of the piece we read by Gerri August, Safe Spaces. The reading by August is about safe spaces in a classroom for the LGBT community and this can connect to a safe classroom in all aspects. Classrooms need to feel safe for students to be able to learn and this can be provided by the teachers and the way schools are run. 

Points to discuss in class:
I enjoyed reading this piece and felt like I learned a lot from it. It is very important that students feel like they can participate in a class and that the teacher is engaged in what he/she is teaching. A class can be very boring if the teacher is not engaged in what they are doing.. the students often lose focus. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

Article by Kliewer

For this weeks blog on Kliewer, I have chosen to do quotes. I had a tough time reading this piece and interpreting it but I tried to pick out the quotes that stood out to me.

1.) "Such acceptance is the aim when children with Down Syndrome join their nondisabled peers in classrooms, and many schools and individual teachers have entered into this effort, which seeks and finds community value in all children"(Kliewer 202).

I like this quote because I think it is so very important that children with Down Syndrome interact in classrooms with everyone else. There is nothing worse than isolating them from the world and keeping them in the same classroom everyday. That seems to me like it makes it much worse on them. At my high school, we had classes called "peer partners" (for spanish, music, art, and gym) where I got to go and work with a student with disabilities. Each student has a peer to guide them and it was the greatest class I have gotten to be a part of. I looked forward to it everyday and loved helping my student learn Spanish. They also look forward to it which I think makes their day even better. It is so important that children with disabilities do not get isolated into one single room all day. 

2.) " In classrooms that recognize all children as citizens, teachers and peers have rejected the image of community burden attached to Down syndrome. Rather the student is recognized as a participating member of the group"(Kliewer 208). 

Every child should be looked at the same way no matter how they learn in a classroom. It is important that children with Down syndrome be treated the same as everyone else because they are a human just like every other student or teacher in the room. There is no justification for treating a student with disabilities differently. If a student requires a small change to happen in the classroom, the do it, it won't hurt anyone but the student with a disability that you as a teacher are not treating them as a citizen and being accommodating. 

3.) "Community banishment of students with Down syndrome stems from their lack of behavioral and communicative conformity to school standards that form the parameters of intellectual normality"(Kliewer 212). 

Schools should not isolate students with Down syndrome because of how they learn. Schools need to accept the fact that not everyone learns the way that they want them to and expect them to. School standards need to accommodate students with disabilities and not push them away from all the other students just because they learn a different way. 

Points to discuss in class:
In order for students with Down syndrome to feel comfortable in the classroom, fellow students and teachers need to be accepting of them and look at them as a human being just like everyone else. I get frustrated when people show hatred or other rude feelings towards people with Down syndrome because they are no different than any of us. Communities and schools need to all come together and accept their students and peers. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tracking; Why Schools Need to Take Another Route

Article by Oakes

I enjoyed reading this piece by Jeannie Oakes. I felt that I could connect with it to my High School years and her argument was very clear throughout the article.

Oakes argues that schools need to find another way other than tracking to figure out placement of students in classrooms. As I was reading this, I kept thinking back to my high school and it connected so well. I felt as though I was reading about my own school in a way. At my high school, it was similar to how Oakes says it should not be. There were three "groups" of classes and students. The highest would be what they call the honors classes where those students receive much attention and a lot of homework as Oakes says. The next would be the middle kids who are in between the highest and the lowest(at my HS, they are named college prep classes) as Oakes calls the average students. The lowest would be the students who are behind and require the most amount of help and who usually still don't get that amount of help in the lower class.

A quote that I think explains her argument well states, " It seems that tracking is both a response to significant differences among students and an ongoing contribution to those differences"(Oakes 179).
Oakes clearly does not believe that tracking is the best option and that schools need to find another way just as her title of the article says. I agree with her as I can connect it with my HS and look back now and see that it is a bad setup and it should be changed. It is also very true that the richer students were in higher classes and the poorest in the lowest class. This isn't saying that is the case for every student, but it was the majority.

I think this article can connect to the individuals vs. institutions. Tracking is definitely the institutions(school) wrong-doing and not the individual student. The student does not pick which class setting they are in, the school does. This Ted Talk discusses why tracking is not good in schools.

Points to discuss in class:
Is this issue of tracking seen in other high schools that you know of? What are some other ways that schools can place students other than tracking. Tracking seems to be doing worse things than it is better for the students. Students should all receive the proper education they need no matter if it is more teaching required than some other students.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Promising Practices

Promising Practices Event 11/5/16

On Saturday November 5th I attended the Promising Practices event at RIC. The two workshops I attended were Fostering Resiliency: Strength-Based Interventions that Support Diverse Learners on the Path to Standardized Test Success and Building Resiliency Through Play. The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Brooks who was a great presenter with interesting information and personal stories.

Workshop I- In this workshop, the presenters shared four ways to help students to take a standardized test successfully. Those four ways are:
1.) Loaning confidence- to frame the challenge in a positive way and find where there was success in the test taken. Also, to identify change to have a better outcome the next time.
2.) Reverse Scaffolding- to go with what the student knows and work off of that. Sometimes you just have to use your better judgement on a test question.
3.) Meta Testing- take the student behind the scenes, and be aware of themselves as a test taker. Help them in areas they say they are not good.
4.) Strength in Numbers- phone a friend. Practice in a group setting and get support from others in trying to answer a test question.(Learn off of each other).
I enjoyed this workshop because it applied to me personally. I am in the middle of studying and getting tutored for my core math test so it was interesting to hear about testing strategies. Here is a bit of information on standardized testing. This workshop could be connected to Kozol's individuals vs. institutions. Is it the individual student failing the test because they do not know the information or is it the school institution not preparing their students well enough to pass a standardized test?

Workshop II- In the second workshop, we learned about resiliency through play. I did not enjoy this workshop as much as the first because we only played games and briefly talked about resiliency and play. I like to have a powerpoint or some sort of notes when learning but we did not get anything. I did learn that games are a good way of getting students to interact with each other and through play they can overcome challenges of solving problems, working as a group, etc. In one of the games, I entered it after they had already started playing therefore I had no idea what was going on. This can connect to Delpit because I did not know the rules of the game until someone explained them to me. Delpit argues that you need to explicitly teach those rules and codes of power and someone did that for me so I could play. I could also connect this to Kristof's USA Land of Limitations. Was I "limited" before I learned the rules of the game? I had no idea what was going on so I could not play to the best of my ability. This article is interesting as it talks about the importance of play for children's development which is what we learned about in this workshop.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Map the Authors

Author Map


                                                                    Author Map 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Problem We All Live With

Radio episode/Herbert

As I was listening to This American Life, It was making me think about many of the authors we have read in this course. I decided to blog about connections today between the radio episode and authors we have read in class.

Johnson- I went back to my writing on Johnson's article about Privilege, Power, and Difference and found a quote that I had written down, "Whether it's a matter of can't or won't, the truth is that we simply don't get along. Segregation in housing and schools is stubborn and pervasive, and the average wealth of white families is almost ten times that of blacks"(Johnson 2).  This quote made me think about what Nikole Jones said about her friends telling her they cannot come to her house. The white families did not want to get along with the blacks and segregation in housing in her town was true. They simply don't get along as Johnson says.

SCWAAMP- The radio station relates back to SCWAAMP in many ways. I saw it above When Nikole Jones discussed the white families not coming to her side of the town and again on the topic of schools. Ira Glass states what Nikole Jones noticed, "The bad schools never caught up to the good schools. And the bad schools were mostly black and Latino. The good schools, mostly white"(Glass). It is shown that whiteness is in the "good" schools. The rest basically, are "bad".

Kristof+Kozol- I heard these two authors as I was listening to the episode. I think that the U.S.A is the Land of Limitations for people of color. It is because of the housing they are in as well as the schools they are put in all based on their race and their poverty level. They cannot seem to rise above it because it is too hard to do so. This leads to Kozol who talks about individuals vs. institutions. Is it the people of Mott Haven making the bad choices, or is it the institutions that provide them with needles? For the radio episode, it is the school students making poor education choices, or is it the school system doing a poor job of integration, curriculum planning, etc? Jones states, "Those kids have greater educational needs. They're more stressed out. They have a bunch of disadvantages. And when you put a lot of kids like that together in one classroom, studies show, it doesn't go well."(Jones). 

While listening to the episode, I was curious as to what the Normandy School District looks like so I looked for a YouTube video and found this. Very informational video to see what is happening in Normandy.

Separate and Unequal by Bob Herbert also reminded me of the authors above. Herbert states, "But when the poor kids are black or Hispanic, that means racial and ethnic integration in the schools. Despite all the babble about a postracial America, that has been off the table for a long time"(Herbert). Communities do not want these students in their districts because of their poverty level and their race. There won't be a change unless people start accepting everyone else as the same. 

The Brown Vs. Board of Education website was interesting to look at previous history and also gives a timeline and essay about it. I liked the photographs of the exhibition, I think it would have been neat to see in person. 

Points to Discuss in Class:
We need to all be accepting of students of all races and income levels to be sure that they receive the best education possible. A students education should not be in jeopardy or lessened in any way because of who they are or where they come from.