Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is a pretty sweet video one of my friends had me look at...take a look I think you'll enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Privilege, Power, and Difference
What Can We Do?
By: Allan G Johnson

Authors Argument:
Johnson argues that topics such as racism, sexism, and other topics of that nature should not be to the side and not taken care of but brought up and recognized as a problem that needs to be fixed.  He argues that in order to fix what the present problems we need to learn form the past and accept what we need to do.  Not only those who have the problems but all those who see and who are surrounded by it.

"It's easy to have opinions, it takes work to know what you are talking about."
I chose this quotes because when I first read it, it reminded me of when that loud person ina crowd thinks they know everything and they are right just because they are the loudest.  When it comes down to the fact of having your own opinion on certain subjects its absolutely right to have them, but when they are degrading and disrespectful that puts you in the wrong.  What Johnson is arguing here is that people just believe that their own opinions are right no matter what evidence is shown, so maybe once in a while we need to step back and realize that we are not always right and to look around before we are that "loud" obnoxious guy in the crowd.

2)  "Make Noise, be seen."
In order to make a change, you need to make a stand.  Sometimes people who have the best intentions don't have the heart to have their great ideas thrown out there.  For change to be had, there needs to be noisiness and a loud voice to be heard over the mess of nonsense.  But still not that "loud" guy. 

3)  "Don't let other people set the standard for you."
Johnson is trying to get across that by your own power and strength and knowledge, you need to stand up and say what you believe in, even if your standing alone.  Not something radical or crazy but for a good moral reason it should be said.  If you know it is right and you want to challenge others, do it.  It's people like that, that get stuff done, that make history, and make change.

I really enjoyed this article.  I thought it brought out a lot of passion and it was a good article to end the semester with, see as Johnson is the author we started with.  It was encouraging for me to know that I will stand up for what I believe in and it is ok, because other people are pushing for that too.  I hope everyone follows Johnson's advice as we all go to become teachers.
Citizenship In School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
By:  Christopher Kliewer

Authors Argument:
Kliewer is arguing that people with disabilities, Down Syndrome especially should not be cast away from the average student in school settings.  They should be able to learn at the same level as the other students who do not have disabilities because it alters their learning and deprives them from the full academic experience.

1)  "It's about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is.  Don't tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail."
I picked this quote because I have felt very strongly for awhile of why special education students are shunned off.  They are usually put into their own wing of the building interacting with the same people all the time and through much of their academic career.  Life is really no like that, there isn't a bubble to protect them always.  If we are trying to involve handicapped people in every day life and want to make it normal, their should be equal involvement in the other classrooms.  Students should be together, if special help is needed then that is understandable, but segregating them is not doing anything but teaching more and more that they are different so they don't belong.

2)  "They didn't think it was realistic, that she could handle it, that she could handle the job.  Here they have her educating America's future, but they're scare to let her work at a movie place."
This just shows because a person has special needs or has some handicaps does not mean they are going to sit on a couch for the rest of their lives waiting for people to wait on them hand and foot.  These people have brains, and talents, and understandings of the world and how things work.  I love the fact that someone with special needs can come back and show up by teaching when they doubted their abilities to work at a movie store.  Goes to show to never underestimate people.

3)  "Don't think, she said, 'that those special needs kids drain anything.  That class would not be half what it is if any one of those kids got segregated.  We are all in this together.'"
I hope that my classroom when I become a teacher is like this.  I feel that special needs children being so much more, more innocence, imagination, and creativity, just because things don't look the same to them as to us doesn't mean its wrong, it means its different and wonderful and full of life.  And who wouldn't want a classroom full of life.  And thats what they bring life to a whole new meaning.

I really enjoyed reading the descriptions of the children and of Shayne.  The technical stuff got annoying and I tended to skip over it, but I enjoyed learning about a new portion of special needs.  I plan on getting my special education credits and I hope one day I can be a teacher with a classroom with mixed children and it won't matter to me because they are all students willing to learn and I'll embrace it all.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Talking Points #8
Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Schooling
By: Jean Anyon

Author's Argument:
During this article, Anyon argues that students based on economic backgrounds are being schooled to be ready for certain jobs and professions.  The "working class" students are being prepared to grow up to also have "blue collar" jobs and the executive elite school studnets were being prepared to have white collar jobs, such as lawyers and doctors.

1)  "One teacher explained to me, 'Simple punctuation is all they'll ever use.'"
This quote is saying working class people only need to know the basics because they won't need any of the in-depth stuff because they won't use it.  While higher class schools emphasize the importance of the complex language of English.

2)  "The teacher's attempt to control the class involves constant negotiation.  She does not give direct orders unless she is angry because the children have been too noisy.  Normally, she tries to get them to foresee the consequences of their actions and to decide accordingly."
This is pretty interesting he is changing the way kids think  that they don't have a voice in the classroom.  When the teacher attempts to negotiate with his/ her students shows the kids that they are trying to work on the communication with teacher's.  That gives the students a great feeling of belongingness.

3)"The four 5th grade teachers observed in the working class schools attempted to control classroom time and space by making decisions without consulting the children and without explaining the basis for their decision."
I'm not sure what author it is that we got the quote from in class, but its is something like we do the things we do but do we know why we do what we do.  The school being lower class, the teachers don't really care about the students learning and becoming successful in society.

This was an interesting article.  I felt it was pretty easy to read and had a lot of true, but eye-opening information.  Its one of those things you know goes on and you think about it, but you never really expect it.  Being form a public school I always talk crap about private schools just because I don't like the whole idea of paying to get a "better" education. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Anita Hill Is A Boy
By: Peggy Orenstein

Author's Argument:
This article is trying to dissect the "hidden curriculum", and the learning of girls in the classroom.  Ms. Logan's class teaches people about it.  The whole aspect of how males look through the window and girls look into a mirror.  They are self conscious about many issues.

1)  "My own gender journey ends where it began, in the classroom of one teacher who is trying not only to practice equity but to teach it, to change both boy's and girl's perspectives on the female self."
This is a great quote.  This is Johnson right in the middle of the classroom.  Ms. Logan wants to teach and change the ways of a classroom.  She is a firm believer of the "hidden curriculum".

2)  "...girls opted to take on either male or female personae, the boys chose only men.  It disturbed me that although girls were willing to see men as heroes, none of the boys would see women that way."
This quote is kind of crazy. When I was reading it I was surprised that such things actually happen.  It can be something that people joke about and guys make fun of girls for it but I didn't think it was something that girls actually believe.

3)  "It's different in those classes because we're focusing on the important people in history, who just happen to be men."
This quote is also crazy.  It makes you think and you're like wow its kind of true.  All of the people we learn about in math class are males, history class there are only a handful of females.  It is hard to turn away from it.  All of the "important" people in our schooling have been of the male figure.

This was a really interesting article.  It made me thing about things that I have never noticed before.  After reading this article I actually noticed things like girls holding back when guys are around.  Or they let the males answer or volunteer first in public settings.
"One More River To Cross"
Recognizing the Real Injury in Brown:
A Prerequisite to Shaping New Remedies
By: Charles Lawrence

Authors Argument:
Lawrence talks about how the Brown vs. Board of Education court case influenced our nation.  He argues that there will always be : "one more river" for blacks to cross.  Even though this got blacks and whites into the same school, that didn't erase the years of segregation in the past.

1)  "In short, segregation American-style, like South African Apartheid, has only one purpose: to create and maintain a permanent lower class or subclass defined as race."
Wow, this quote can really catch you off guard.  The only reason for South Africa is because of its production of race??  How can someone possibly think that.  This just shows how poorly these people were treated.

2)  "Segregation's only purpose is to label or define blacks as inferior and thus exclude them from full and equal participation in society."
This is a reason why the Brown case has such an important value.  I feel blacks do not suffer from having their own schooling because even when they got into the same school as the whites, they suffered and were not given the same education as the white kids.

3)  "Many black schools that existed within the segregated school systems of the South were in fact superior to their white counterparts."
This is quite surprising to me.  It seems like the blacks schools were the ones that always got the short end of the stick.  They were the ones that had all the bad materials.  However, this quote tells us that the Blacks' schools were better than the whites.  I don't know if this quote is true or if what I learned during my schooling is true, but I found this quote very interesting.

I found this article really interesting.  I don't ever recall learning about the Brown verse Board of Education.  As you can see I did this late and I loved how we connected it to Remember the Titans.  This case took place in the 50's, and in that movie we see huge problems still existing in the early 70's.  Very interesting topic.

Monday, March 30, 2009

In the Service of What?
The Politics of Service Learning
by: Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

Authors Argument:  
The authors are arguing that service learning is very important to be done, but that the focus should be more represented in the democratic way rather than the individuals feelings on service learning.

1) "almost all discussions of service learning practices emphasizes the importance of reflection."
I agree completely with this quote because even with our service learning, when we discuss our VIPS in class I feel I gain more from my experiences than others peoples experiences.  I really think when you look back on the things you accomplish because the more you look back at the good times, the more you learn and take from it.

2) "Similarly many contemporary scholars focus on change over charity and argue that the lack of connection between individual rights and communal obligations within our culture has left us with a bankrupt sense of citizenship."
I think that service learning should be really for oneself and not to change the world.  It is wonderful that people are getting together to save each other and help other people out, but its  great for a personally experience to get you use to a field, or to make you feel better.  Service learning should not be just because people are forcing you to do good deeds.  It should be self motivated because you need to do it for yourself.

3) "The importance of a meaningful reflective component becomes clearer when one considers the kind of deliberation and student empowerment that such a curriculum can foster"
This basically means learn from your experiences.  This is completely true.  The fact of what your learning comes through more, the more you reflect upon it.

I think this is important because I reflect on my service learning all the time and I know that it helps me to realize what I am doing when I think about it.  It think it is more important to realize how you are serving others and why you are doing it because it makes it that much more fuller and meaningful personally.