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.