Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Promising Practices

Workshop 1-Hearing Empathy

The first workshop I attended during Promising Practices was Hearing Empathy. The original workshop that I had signed up had been canceled therefore I decided to take this workshop. The presenters plans for the workshop didn't occur as he had planned out. In hearing empathy we were able to learn more about schizophrenia. The purpose of the presenter's workshop was to present us with the experiences that many people with schizophrenia undergo. He also explained that many people with schizophrenia have hallucinations. But he further explained to us that hallucinations can vary, and they aren't the typical hallucinations we hear of. He also explained that as a social worker in the VA he can see veterans experience hallucinations but it doesn't necessarily mean that they have schizophrenia. During his presentation he also spoke about a new method that they're using to study this mental illness: by using the Sim Man 3G. This "robot" is not only used in his field but it is also used by many nursing students because it allows you to create simulations with this "robot". At the end of the presentation he let us see someone experience a simulation.

The person that underwent the simulation had to wear head phones. And while he heard the voices (on the headphones) swear at him, he also had to listen to the presenter ask him questions. In one occasion he was asked to repeat what the presenter had told him. But when it came to repeating some material he actually had some difficulty.

Schizoprenia is a mental illness that doesn't only affect adults, but it is an illness that can affect children. Therefore providing students with a SAFE SPACE is necessary. Although August spoke about creating a safe space for students who are LGBT, it is important to have this same space for students who have a mental illness. Especially since some students may sometime be bullied for their mental illness. Therefore as teachers we should always place a lot of attention in making ALL students comfortable.

Transitions from the Hospital to the Shelter

My second workshop was Transitions from the Hospital to the Shelter. In this workshop I was able to learn about the problems that Rhode Island Hospital and Crossroads dealt with. One huge problem that they dealt with was the fact that many of the homeless patients who would visit Rhode Island hospital would be sent to Crossroads and vice versa. But the biggest problem that they dealt with when it came to this was, that people, according to HUD had to be homeless. These people would be affected if they were at the hospital for a couple of months because the hospital would become a habitable place (according to HUD). Therefore according to HUD they had a HOME but when they left the hospital, they wouldn't really have a place to live. In many occasions Crossroads didn't have space for more people to live. Also they could only take a limited amount of people because at one point other people's lives could be harmed. For example in one occasion someone actually got stabbed in the waiting area because of an abundance of people staying in the waiting area. Therefore they coordinate people to receive other resources such as living in an apartment where they get to share a room with someone. But the PILOT PROGRAM they have still needs to reach more people, therefore they need more funds. But for the presenters, one of they're goals is to be able to open the program to more hospitals.

It was interesting to learn that Crossroads and Rhode Island Hospital are working together to provide support for many of the people who do not have a home. When hearing about the situations that the homeless are exposed to, it reminds me of SCWAAMP. It reminds me of the importance of Property ownership in this country. Those that do not own property are sometimes looked down upon and do not receive the resources they need to succeed. While hearing about this I also thought about Kristoff and the limitations that many people are institutional. People may not be able to get a home due to the unavailability of jobs which means they can't pay. Therefore some people are exposed to circumstances that can affect their health and they'll need to resort to a hospital. Also many of the homeless have limitations that are existent that may not permit them to have a job or made them lose their home.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Empowering Education- Ira Shor

Extended Comments- Mary Abby's Blog

I agree with Mary Abby regarding Shor's argument. Shor feels as though it is necessary to include the students into the curriculum. Meaning students learning strategies and backgrounds should be taken into account in order to provide an engaging classroom. Also Shor points out that teachers should indeed allow their students to question what they are learning. By doing this the students are engaging in critical thinking and are able to retain the information they are learning. They actually learn and are able to understand what they are learning. Why? Because they're not just using memorization to learn the information. 

funding is another political dimension of education, because more money has always been invested in the education of upper-class children and elite collegians than has been spent on students from lower-income homes and in community colleges.
While reading the article I had also highlighted this quote and found it in Mary Abby's blog. When reading this quote it reminded be of multiple other articles we read this semester. But I immediately thought about Kristoff. I thought about the different education that many of these students receive due to funding, the inequality in these students education is institutional. I also thought about Finn because it reminded me of the different types of education students received depending on what schools they attended: elite, working class, etc.

Mary Abby's 2nd Quote was interesting because it reminded me that the maintenance of the facilities is also important.  A facility that jeopardizes a child's health can also hinder their development and their education. While I read this quote it reminded me of the high school I attended. The school actually moved and got a new head of the school.  I received a link from my high school teacher that updated us about the changes that occurred and the situation that the school was in.

Schools need to be defended as an important public service that educates students to be critical citizens who can think, challenge, take risks, and believe that their actions will make a difference in the larger society.
I really love this because I feel like this is what Shor wanted to communicate to us. Also this quote reminds me of what we do in this class. This class MAKES US THINK, CHALLENGES OUR BELIEF'S, ALLOWS US TO TAKE RISKS, AND WHAT WE ARE LEARNING WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON OUR EXPERIENCES AS TEACHERS. 

While reading this article I also kept thinking about Delpit, Christensen, and August. Delpit's first aspect of power:
Issues of Power are enacted in the classroom

 We see this because the teacher is the one that has the power in a classroom. But Shor wants students to also have some power. POWER to challenge what they're learning and take part in the classroom.  Which also reminds me of Christensen. Christensen was also present because she wanted students to find ways to talk back and if students were oppressed they should talk back. Also August's Safe Spaces was present because as you engage students (or take them into account) you create an atmosphere where students are actually able to talk and provide their opinions and answers.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome- Christopher Kliewer


I really enjoyed reading
Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome. This article made me question if the Special Education classes really benefit the students. Kliewer raises awareness of the effect that students receive, if they are segregated into classrooms for students who are labeled as, "disabled or uneducable." Kliewer provides many testimonies of students who benefited from INTEGRATED SCHOOLS. Schools where they were not labeled as different but rather provided education plans that would help them improve their motor skills, language skills, etc. 

Throughout this article I could see many connections with other articles we have read in class.
"To value another is to recognize diversity as the norm. It establishes the equal worth of all schoolchildren, a sense that we all benefit from each other, and the fundamental right of every student to belong." 
When I read this it made me automatically think of Collier. Although Collier discusses honoring the students first language skills. I feel both authors really want their students to be honored and respected for who they are. For example Shayne Robbins was a great representation of honoring her students diversity because she was able to understand and respect Isaac's way of thinking. Also Collier explained that the students language added to the classroom experience. Which is very similar to what Kliewer believed when he made this statement.

This also reminds me of August's, Safe Spaces. When Shayne Robbins allowed her students to interpret their education as they did, she created a SAFE SPACE for students to learn. And students were allowed to use their intelligence, (musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, etc.) 

When I read this article I also thought about Delpit. When Kliewer said:
"These new relationships serve to reformulate past understanding, which then reconstitutes the web of relationships, leading, again, to new relationships and continued reformulation and recontextualization of understanding. More advanced members of the cultural collective (such as teachers) serve to facilitate these relationships in a direction valued by the community. "
It's as if the teacher's explain and in some situations, tells the students the rules and codes of power. Kliewers explains that the relationships are made in a way that they'll be VALUED BY THE COMMUNITY. Therefore in a way the teacher is teaching the students some codes that are accepted by a wider population.

Also the segregation that existed within some of the classrooms reminded me of the segregation that existed prior to 1954. Although the segregation in this case doesn't deal with race, it does deal with people's disabilities. In the article some students were told they were uneducable. Also  because some students had a disability, such as Becky, students were deprived of their education because of this label that was placed on them. Throughout the article I could see the effect that segregation had on the students. One quote that opened my eyes to this topic was:
"Students with Down syndrome are placed in school structures that supposedly remediate their defects in order that they can eventually join the wider community. But this, of course, leads to perpetual school separation and, ultimately, the need for community placements that mirror the rigidity of segregated special education."
I really enjoyed reading this article because it opened my eyes to the education that some students with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or other disabilities receive. Prior to this article I only thought about segregation existing due to race or SES but I really didn't think about it in this perspective. 

An article that explains the Individual's with Disabilities Act which protects students and families rights. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Literacy with an Attitude

The social class of a student can make it difficult to receive
an education that allows them to prosper

In Literacy with an Attitude, Patrick J. Finn discusses the differences in educations systems. He explains that there are two different types of education, empowering education and domesticating education.  The working class usually receives the domesticating education while the wealthy receive the empowering education. Throughout the article we are able to see the discrepancies that exist within varying education systems, that in part are differentiated because of the class they belong to. In this article we were able to presence various connections to Delpit.

When Finn discussed the status quo and the comfort felt by those who have power, it reminded me of Delpit. Those that have power are the ones who can help benefit those that have not acquired this power. In this case power is referring to LITERACY and the domesticating education that many of the students in the working class receive. In Delpit she states "Those with power are frequently least aware of-or least willing to acknowledge-its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence." Altough the people with less power may want to make changes they don't have that POWERFUL LITERACY which is necessary to make those changes.

Finn and Delpit are also relatable when it comes to the methods that working class teachers use to educate their students. Finn gave various examples where teachers are constantly in control over their classes: STRICT PROCEDURES, LOW CREATIVITY, RIGID CLASSROOMS. This can relate to Delpit's fifth aspect of power, "Issues of power are enacted in the classroom." Teachers have full control over the students and what is asked of them. If students did not follow the teachers rules/procedures the students would not receive a passing grade.

Kristoff is also present in Finns chapters. Many of the students who belonged to a certain class received a particular education. The students who attended a working-class school would have a limited education. Student's were not graded by their creativity and weren't allowed to have a say in the classroom. Also a many of the classrooms were rigid which caused many students to resist.  But the students from the affluent professional schools and executive elite schools were given the opportunity to have a more liberal and empowering education. These students were also taught the rules and codes of power to succeed and continue to be part of those social classes.

This article was an eye opener for me because I never related the rules in a classroom to the  education inequality that exists. Every time I thought about the differences between a working-class school, middle-class school, affluent professional school, and an executive elite school, I always thought about the resources that were available for these distinct schools. I always thought that students were to ask the teacher and do as the teacher said. I actually enjoyed reading about the differences that exist in our education systems. While reading this article I also thought about the two students who attended different schools: affluent and non-affluent. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pecha Kucha

Delpit- Delpit explains that teachers tell there students explicitly the rules and codes of power. In my class I can see this happening constantly. I am in a bilingual classroom where most of the students speak Spanish. Some of them only speak Spanish. When the teacher speaks to them in English and writes the material in English, she is teaching the rule and code of power which is English.

Collier- Collier explains that you should honor students first language. Although the teacher speaks to the students in English she also speaks to them in Spanish. She does this especially when she's giving instructions. In the classroom they also have a reading group that consists of only Spanish students.

Kristoff- Kristoff discusses inequality as institutional not individual. This institutional inequality can be economic. Which would cause monetary poverty which would make it difficult to have a classroom that falls under the "good signs" in Alfie Kohns  table. This same institutional inequality makes it difficult for families to be more involved with the school.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Separate and Unequal.

Integration is important in order to allow all students to reach their full potential.

Separate and Unequal. As I listened to the podcasts of The Problem We All Live With, Separate and Unequal, and the website Separate is not Equal, these two words were well represented by the information provided. Although Brown v. Board of Education fought against the separation of students due to their race, circumstances similar to those existent prior to 1954 are taking part in todays society making INTEGRATION an important factor(Yet resisted) in todays education systems.

 It wasn't until Brown v. Board of Education that students had the opportunity to rise out of the underprivileged education systems they were in. Brown v. Board of Ed. allowed students like Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock 9 to experience this integration in education. With this integration there were a lot of people who opposed integration. 

All of the readings were very similar to one another because it dealt with the resegregation that exists in the 21st century. Although we have Brown v. Board of Education, segregation continues to exist. Such as the case of Normandy district. When the Normandy schools became unaccredited and the Transfer Law came into action, many students felt a relief. They would get the opportunity to reach their full potential because of the INTEGRATION of school districts. And would get the opportunity to leave segregated schools which have:

"...least qualified teachers, the least experienced teachers. They also get the worst course offerings, the least access to AP and upper level courses, the worst facilities. The other thing about most segregated black schools, Nikole says, is that they have high concentrations of children who grew up in poverty."
 In podcast 563,  we see  INTEGRATION happening and the positive effects its having on the students education. Although as Herbert points out, "Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to the school with their more affluent- that is, middle class- peers" , the integration of students in underperforming school to classrooms that provide better resources is a topic that most people turn their heads on.

Prior to reading these articles I had some knowledge of the segregation that exists, but I always blamed it on the SES(socioeconomic status). While looking at this information I noticed a common theme of INTEGRATION. It was important in order to get these students to have the resources they need. Yet many people   are unaware of the positive effects that integration can have for  students living in a poverty stricken area. 

While hearing the parents speak at the town meeting I was shocked by what they said; to me all they were saying was stereotypes. Stereotypes of students attending an underperforming school. There opposition, although not the exact same, reminded me of the opposition of parents in 1954 to integrate Blacks and Whites. Also reminded of the effect that stereotypes can have. Which were similar to the stereotypes held by the middle schoolers in the article In the Service of What? 

When Nikole Hannah spoke about the resources provided for students in underprivileged schools, I automatically thought about the classroom I attend. 11 of the students in my class have IEPs, 11 of 26 of the students! While the teacher has to work with the students with IEPs, she also has most of the students who are underperforming, another factor she takes into account is the fact that she has students who are still learning English. All of these factors make it difficult for students to thrive in a classroom that is structured in a way that makes it difficult for students to reach their full potential without having ALL the resources they need.