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.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In the Service of What? -Quotes

"It lay in the analytic and academic skills, the moral acuity, and the social sensitivity they would develop as they learned to assess critically and respond collectively to authentic problems." 
When students do their service learning they will gain knowledge on the topic and be able to asses the situation they are working with.  They would also further understand what it feels like to be in those peoples shoes. This is because the students will become part of these peoples lives. When students participate in service learning they will be able to work with problems that affect many people. This quote referred to John Dewey's belief that with service learning there was also a chance for students values and beliefs to be changed or brought into question. Such as the case of the middle schoolers who went to an elementary school in a poor neighborhood. In this case their beliefs changed.
"After they returned, the students' perspectives on these elementary school children had changed. They were 'surprised at the children's responsiveness and their attentiveness,' "
This is the change that John Dewey spoke about. With service learning students beliefs are sometimes challenged. Prior to helping out in the elementary school, they only knew what their parents told them and what media said about people in that neighborhood. I agree with Dewey that when you do service learning, it is not only about helping out but it's also about learning something through this experience and helping make a change.
"The ability of service learning curriculum to foster authentic, experience-based learning opportunities, to motivate students to help students engage in higher-order thinking in contextually varied environments, and to promote interdisciplinary studies has led some, such as John Bisco, a leader in the field, to label service learning 'the Trojan horse of school reform.' "
This quote says that with service learning we are able to learn through experience, therefore each of our experiences are unique to us. During our service learning we are all experiencing different things because we work with different students.  When we are gaining these experiences, we are also learning about people/students whose lifestyle may differ from ours.  Therefore we engage in a continuous process of obtaining knowledge. When schools implement service learning for the sole purpose of students to obtain this knowledge and transform the way they learn,  is referred to as "The Trojan Horse of school reform." 
Throughout this article I thought about our Service Learning. This semester we work with students to gain experience as professionals. But now I understand that this isn't the only purpose.  We are also learning about the community we work with and sometimes our beliefs are challenged. After hearing some of our peers speak, I think our service learning has become transformative potential. When we end our service learning many of our thoughts or beliefs may be changed. In December we will have acquired  knowledge and insights on new topics. Now that I think about it, can also relate to the discussions we have on articles and the topics we address in class. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

Cinderella, Peter Pan, Popeye,  and Jessica Rabbit, were only some of the characters that Christensen spoke about. These are also the characters that were part of my childhood. In Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us, Christensen explains that many of the cartoons children watch have an effect on the children. Whether it is waiting for their Prince Charming, creating expectations that will "guarantee" success, or creating false portrayals of a race, sex, or class.  One of the examples Christensen gave was the comparison between Cinderella and the Black Cinderella. Although there was a change in the character's race, she says,
"Both of these tales leave young women with two myths: Happiness means getting a man, and transformation from wretched conditions can be achieved through consumption-in their case, through new clothes and hairstyles." (Christensen, 133)
When consumption of these products happens these companies also gains a lot more money . For example the Disney store has hundreds of things like dresses, shoes, and tiaras, which will make a child look like a princess. But as we get older the expectations to look like these princesses increases. To have the long hair, porcelain skin, and a certain body type. This only leads to our consumption of these products that say they'll make us have the smooth skin, the hourglass figure, and the long shiny hair. All of these expectations exist plus the expectation for natural beauty. 
This is a video I found that kind of links both in a Parody.
                            Where expectations for natural beauty differ.

I was actually very interested in what Christensen had to say.  Because I was part of the group of children who she spoke about.  Those children who watch(ed) cartoons and as they grew up they saw themselves in some of these characters . When I read that Mulan was in this list I was shocked. Because Mulan has been one of my favorite characters and to think that this movie has those underlying messages, left be in awe. when I read about Popeye being in the list I thought that Popeye definitely had these message. Another show that I thought about when Christensen spoke about the women being portrayed in these shows as "sexy", was Ms. Bellum.  In most of the shows we would see her character from the head down, rarely did we see her face. And now that I am older I feel like they were sexualizing her. Also when they spoke about Ursula, I thought about the fact that she wasn't only being portrayed as ugly and smart. But beyond that, were her physical characteristics, she was portrayed as overweight and with short hair. Not luscious long hair like the little mermaid (beautiful character).  

While Christensen mainly spoke about cartoons she also touched upon other medias affecting the way children build their identities. I have a 10 year old cousin who I have begun to see effected by these. She watches a lot of YouTube and looks at many of the girls and what they're doing. I have noticed her doing some of the same things they do in many of their videos, such as gestures and language. Which really shows the effect that media has on children.

This article relates to Delpit because many of the people that watch cartoons, TV,  read magazines, and look at advertisements are learning about what will make them fit into the culture of power. In some cases these rules for attaining power will be told directly to you. Such as the case of Richard Rodriguez in Aria or these may be said with underlying messages such as Cinderella.  According to Christensen it is up to us to take action and make these changes.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces

Inside the Classroom Walls

In Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth,  the authors goal is to inform us on ways that classrooms can actually be Safe Spaces for students who are LGBT.  
When growing up I don't remember many teachers speaking about families or people who identify as LGBT.  But I do remember that sometime in my education, one of my teacher's took a stand on those who would use the word gay or homo. When growing nobody really talked about this topic. Presently there has been more advocacy for people who are LGBT. But still is not accepted by many people. Currently there are some shows that advocate for LGBT families. Such as The Fosters on Abc Family and I am Jazz on TLC.

"Our classrooms need to be "mirrors and windows" for all students-- mirrors in which  youth see themselves in the curriculum and recognize their place in the group; windows through which youth see beyond themselves to experiences connected with, but not identical to, their own." 
The classroom is not only for learning about subjects but it is also about taking into account the diverse population we have. In schools we should take into account students background: sexuality, culture, etc. And in order for the students to be able to feel safe we should be able to bring these particular things, that make schools so diverse,  into our curriculum.  As teachers we should also be able to inform our students about these same things, that way students are not stuck on their reflection.

"...nearly 50 percent of transgender youth between the ages of 13 and 20 who participated in a National School Climate Survey reported skipping at least one class and an entire school day within the past month due to physical or emotional duress."
Half of these transgender students had to skip out on their education because they are different from all the other people.  Straightness is so engraved into our society that when people are different they are looked down upon.  Therefore bringing us back to SCWAAMP and the effect these have in those that do not fit into these specific norms. 

"Far from what the children's chant would have us believe, words are sticks and stones. And those sticks and stones can either build bridges or break bones."

I think this quote really goes with the theme of communication. As teachers and people, what we say can build someone or break someone. Although we are told to JUST BRUSH IT OFF in some situations words do hurt and affect people. Therefore as teachers we should use words cautiously, in order to help build those bridges and create a SAFE SPACE FOR STUDENTS TO GROW. 

In this text we can also see how straightness is valued. Those teacher who don't do anything or make fun of their LGBT students, think they're teaching students the culture of power or how to live in a society with these norm. But in reality they're teaching them how not to be different and "They teach their students the status quo."