Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude

For this weeks reading I had a little bit of trouble trying to get through the reading especially considering that it was thirty five pages, but after managing to read it, I couldn't believe how it connected so well with Delpit. I decided to do my blogpost this week on the connection of Finn and Delpit. Delpit is all about rules and codes of power and that is exactly what Finn was talking about in the reading. While teaching in his classroom, he is in complete control and he makes sure that his students know this. Finn claims, "I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument."
Finn shows in his classroom exactly what Delpit wants. In Delpit's reading she emphasizes that we have to teach these rules and codes of power as well as helping students to value their home culture, all at the same time. Finn explains all of the different mechanisms that he has to keep the classroom under control and it seems to work. Although he feels that he is too controlling, that's the only way to keep it tamed. For example, any parent who let's their teenage child do whatever they want when they want to without any rules or codes of power than he/she is going to let loose and be wild, not having any respect towards anyone and same goes for schooling. If you have a teacher that let's the students control the classroom then you bet your bottom dollar that they are going to take control and only work when they feel like it. This is why it is very important to have rules and power in school as well as at home too.
Students who have rules at home have a better understanding of what it is like to follow directions at school whereas students who don't have rules and codes of power at home find it difficult to follow directions at school. Both Finn and Delpit believe the rules and codes of power is a success when teaching a classroom.

 Below is a link of an article that provides good information about when Delpit and Finn talk about using power and control of their classroom, as a teacher.'s-Classroom.aspx

Monday, March 24, 2014

Brown vs Board of Education

When I saw that the reading for this week was going to be about the Board of Education I was very excited. I can remember back in the tenth grade I had to do a huge report on Brown vs. Board of Education. Although I can't remember much of what it was about I do remember the main points especially after this weeks reading. On the website that we had to look at, it talked about the Civil War and how it was meant to pave rights for everyone, but during the early 1900's, many of the laws were put in place which caused segregation. But one thing that was established was that there was a fight for civil rights for blacks, which proves that their was some type of effort.

In the Wise videos, it was said that there is evidence of racism of people of color that is still relevant. It also claims that racism is sometimes defeated, which is a step up from what it has been, but it is not always defeated. There was also an interesting idea, that there are certain exceptions for certain people. Some people of color are accepted, but this is not really helpful when there are still so many other people out there of minority. There aren't any particular white acceptable people, just based on their race; so why is it that way for the colored? There is no racial equity, and until that day, I feel that there will always be racism. Another interesting idea from Wise was that all the movements for acceptance of blacks has taken time, and although it is taking time, us Americans are moving forward with it which is a good thing. Also, an ironic thing was that this piece mentioned Brown vs. Board of Education and said that it was a big step forward.

What connects these two pieces together is that they both say that it took some time to make a change. The website on the Board of Education had a timeline so you could easily see the years that went by to change everything. The video also explicitly says that it has taken time as well.

Below is a link of a video that I found on YouTube which talks about the Brown vs Board of education case.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In The Service Of What?

 In this article I decided to pull some quotes that I thought was interesting and could elaborate a little more on. In the beginning of this article it was confusing to me because I wasn't fully aware of the difference between the "charity" and "change" types of service learning. After reading the article over again I realized the differences and began to develop a keen sense of the differences between the two. From my understanding, my view on the service learning charity could teach students important values and possibly change their views, in of course a positive way. In this article, both Kahne and Westheimer explain that a music class went to a school in and area that performed poverty from the attending students. These students talked about the school that was located in a poor neighborhood and how scared they were for the things they thought they knew about the students who went there. This also connected me to Inspiring minds in the Providence Schools. My first day I was very nervous and scared for I didn't know what to expect. The students in the music class performed a service and ended up learning from this. The original learning was done at the school in the poor neighborhood and it was continued while they ended up discussing their experience in class. I personally believe that if students are demanded and have an expectation to perform community service, they are in fact completing the service portion of service learning, but only partially.

 "As is commonly the case with new policy initiatives, however, more attention had been focused on moving forward than on asking where we are headed"
This is an important quote in the article because it shows the articles main point. Most policies start without the planning that they deserve. An example of this happened in my high school. Throughout the year several times the new graduation requirement was changed because it was not planned very well. This was frustrating to many students because teachers or administrators were unable to answers questions that students had because of the poor planning. This was similar to Khane, and Westheimer when they wrote about service learning and how quickly it entered the education system without an effective learning strategy which resulted into not being well-developed.

"In Atlanta students simply write a 500-word essay describing their experiences. They never discuss their experiences as part of a course. In fact, many of the major legislative proposals have a minimal reflection component- sometimes for fear that such an orientation would diminish the focus on altruism" 

I personally believe that Christensen would not like this. With the policies that with held in this quote, the students are taking action by volunteering in their community but they are not reflecting upon their experiences in a meaningful way. Performing and action and then writing about it does not compare to the what the student learned in a meaningful way of their experiences. In order to make it meaningful, their needs to be a class discussion which shows progress of learning. After doing a project it should not stop with just the project but should be continued with a reflection. During the reflection process it could be difficult for it could make or break a project but when it is being forced on a student it is most likely going to break it.

"In the service of what?" is a question that inevitably merits the attention of teachers, policy markers, and academics who take seriously the idea that learning and service reinforce each other and should come together in America's schools"

The purpose for writing this article, I believe, was to elaborate on the importance of answering the question, "In the service of what?" If we continue to take action upon service learning without answering this question, then their is a possibility that we could end up with strategies to incorporate service learning into the curriculum. For example, Mr. Johnson's project ended with a few unsuccessful results. The argument that the author tries to portray to their readers is that people who enjoy service learning should realize that service learning becomes a very effective method before you implement it.

Below is an article that I found online about service learning and all the great things that come from it. I found this really interesting and thought it was very realateable to what we read!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us- Arguement

In this article Lisa Christensen argues that today's society and media are responsible for the images of ourselves and others in today's world. She claims that Disney, and other cartoon authors show off multiple stereotypes throughout their cartoons and characters that affect children and shape their view of themselves but also the world too. Christensen also strongly believes that because these messages and stereotypes start influencing kids at such a young age that some of these kids will grow up believing themselves or others when really they are the ideas of the society that influences them. She claims that it goes further than the typical racial stereotypes, and takes away from other stereotypes that cast upon a bad light for people who do not fit into the "pretty" or "white" categories. I believe that this is true. Society affects the way children/people view themselves and others. But it is hard to avoid every possible media outlet that might stereotype. As Christensen mentions, it goes beyond cartoons and Disney Movies. It includes movies, cartoons, books, television shows and songs. Although some part of me feels that we should keep children from media so they can create their own perspective on life, it seems impossible due to the amount of media that portrays negative stereotypes. Christensen suggests to try to change this part of society, but the difficulty is that we all must agree and try. If we don't fight this than we are agreeing to having more children grow up believing that society gives them the right outlook, when in reality it is not, these children don't know this because they have always only seen the world through that outlook, just like we did as kids.
Here is a link to an article that talks about two of the Disney Princesses that relates to this article, which I found really interesting.