Saturday, October 24, 2015

Teaching After Brown v Board: Separate and Unequal

-Wow. There are so many powerful points, statistics, and research data that these two podcasts bring about. I would argue that the main point these two podcast are hinting at is to get back to our original roots of Brown v Board and eliminate separation. 
-I feel like the deepest and most powerful stats that were brought up throughout all of these podcasts was in podcast 562. This podcast talks about how since 1988 we have almost "segregated", and since this has happened the achievement gap has widen all over again. The United States Dept of Ed. put out information last year. This info showed that Black in Latino kids in segregated schools get the worst teachers, the worst course offerings, the least access to upper level courses, etc. On top of that, the students in these school typically come from backgrounds of poverty, which reflects a whole idea of stress levels and students being surrounded by people with the same struggling background as them. The whole idea of integration between privileged students and poverty students is that the bar will be raised   for these students stuck in poverty. They will finally have the opportunity to excel and reap the benefits of higher more qualified teachers, in schools that are more financially stable.
-What these podcasts really made me think about was the video we watched in class when Dr. Bogad was out, about the two students who lived in Long Island that were in two totally different school systems. It was clear to see in this video, just like it is touched upon in these podcasts, that the systems are to blame here. We saw one black student who lived in a wealthy neighborhood, therefore he got the opportunity to go to a better school in a better system. On the other side, the other black student lived in a more poverty struck area, so he was forced into a school with a teachers of lower experience, a school with low levels of technology, and a school with a lower graduation rate. These different factors that the students encountered were all due to the simple fact that the systems were different. The second podcast defined the fact that who you are in your environment ultimately ends up defining who you are. This podcast talked about examples of small sided integration, and how students ended up adapting to their environments that they were put into. This again has to do all with the system of the schools.
-The whole idea of separate and unequal lead to me the website of Brown v Board. This website basically laid out the information of what happened during that time, and the public programs that are more recent. My question that is brought to me is where did we loose touch with the whole idea of Brown v Board. Service learning has brought new light to my eyes, as I have began to see how there is very little/no integration within classrooms or school systems. This to me is shocking.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

In The Service of What? Kahne & Westheimer

Extended Comments- Namita's Blog

“To be critical thinkers, students must be able to consider arguments that justify conclusions that conflict with their own predispositions and self-interest.” 
Interestingly enough, I found this quote to be the most significant quote in the whole reading. I think it is interesting how Namita and I both found this quote to be significant, and also how we both have a similar feeling on this quote. Students MUST be able to understand what they are learning and why is is significant to their future lives. They also MUST be able to understand their beliefs on a certain topic and realize that these beliefs can conflict with that is best of their self-interest.
“The experiential and interpersonal components of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step toward diminishing the sense of “otherness” that often separates students—particularly privileged students—from those in need.  In so doing, the potential to develop caring relationships is created.” 
Namita makes a great point in this quote, bringing up how service learning teaches us the understand on what it is like to work with students in order to become future educators or youth workers. Personally, I agree with this idea totally, service learning provides the opportunity to really feel what it is like to work with students with different backgrounds of life. I can relate this to my current service learning project because in just three short weeks I have already gained some important knowledge of how to work with students of different backgrounds to make activities as successful as they can be.

Namita's blog felt like it could have been one of my own, I really loved her quote I feel like I would have personally hand picked some of these quotes from the text to use in my own blog. I loved how these large quotes were also broken down into simple terms by Namita, and I agree with all of the points she made. Service learning is a life changing experience as it helps students grasp an understand on working with students of different ages, backgrounds, and knowledge levels. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Christensen- Unlearning the Myth's That Bind Us


I believe that Christensen main argument in this piece is he is trying to bring light to a greater audience about the who are role models are as people, who we idolize, and how we portray our self image into the world in which we live. I feel like the most interesting piece that Christensen offers to this piece is the part about the perfect Disney princesses, which has causes much controversy over the past few years. These Disney movies portray the protagonist princess as 'the stereotypical' idea for beauty, which is a thin white female with long beautiful hair. These princesses typically meet a handsome prince and live "happily every after". However, as Christensen argues, is this sending the wrong message to young children watching this? Are we possibly making young children innocently accustomed to these stereotypes? A really powerful quote that struck me when talking about Christensen's' argument is "I don't want students believing that change can be bought at the mall"pg133. The power behind this quote shows how we want to look like the models in magazines, and we want to act like our idols. That is part of the reason why the United States is such a popular country for getting genetically modified!! However, these people that we idolize... do they really look like this? Are they really as perfect as we portray them too be?

The power behind this article was very deep. My question is will there ever be a "Black Cinderella"? Can we as society change our moral values and focus more on living life for ourselves than living life to look like our idols? Or will we always fall under the idea of SCWAAMP, and idolize the people that society idols?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Safe Spaces

So far, so good—until the family is two moms and their children or two dads and their adopted daughter. Such families rarely make the curricular cut—they are invisible. P.85
- Such a paralyzing quote. Within society we believe sometimes that we have made a difference as the years have went on, and are more accepting than we once were. While this is true, this quote makes me take a step back and realize that maybe we haven't come as far as we should have or as we thought we have as a society. Newman explained curriculum at the beginning of the chapter, but throughout the chapter she makes connections to curriculum that I personally would have never thought to make. This whole idea of how these families with lesbian or gay parents do not make the "curricular cut" and are "invisible" is why I chose the word paralyzing.

Students understand that classrooms are not neutral spaces—they are charged with emotion. Far from being beside the point, feeling of relief and dread are the point for young people. P.83
-After starting service learning, it is clear to see that even elementary classrooms are charged with emotions of students. As students progress these emotions shift into more intellectual emotions due to the increase in knowledge. That is the basic idea of life, the older you get the more knowledge you tend to attain. However the last sentence in this quote shows that students seek to use this charged up emotion to fit in or "relieve" their-selves. LGBT students, teachers, heterosexual students should all seek for the relief in the classroom as this is a place for growth an knowledge, and Newman shows throughout this piece that we need to seek to eliminate the "dread" factor.

LGBT students need to see themselves in a world of ideas and experiences offered up by their teachers if they are to become academically and socially connected in the classroom. Heterosexual students with LGBT family members or friends need to see their loved ones reflected in the images and stories that shape ideologies. Pgs.90-91
-I felt like this quote summed up the overall message that Newman we getting at in this piece. LGBT students are no different than a heterosexual students just because of their sexual orientation, and they shouldn't feel the need to feel as if they are different in the classroom or in life in general. Reversely, heterosexual individuals with LGBT family members or friends need to be able to see their family members or friends succeed in life and be a whole member of society.

While LGBT have been becoming well accepting inside schools, how much work must we still do until we ALL one day view all individuals as the same no matter their race, gender, or sexuality?