Monday, December 7, 2015

promising practices

Promising Practice Conference at Rhode Island college was a good experience even though it was super hard to wake up that early. Anyways before the two workshops the lady who opened the conference with a presentation made some very interesting points that in some way connect to our class. She talked about a variety of gaps that exists in the United States that we haven’t covered in our class.  For example overdose with drugs, HIV among gay individuals, and the percentage of who gets their high diploma or not. This class has made me realize how messed up and the amount of fixing this country needs. Because these issues are higher in societies like the one I grew up in, and before this class I used to always blame the citizens who are in this situations but the truth is that the systems places a huge part on making it happen.
My first workshop was interesting but I knew most of the stuffs they talked about. I picked it because I knew a little about it but I expected to gain some more information about it. The presenter talked about the reasons why sexuality education is a good thing to have in schools. For example like it gives the students knowledge, early onset of puberty, improve communication and for the safety of the students. I feel like she gave lots of information but she rushed it which didn’t help as much because it felt like many statements with no explanations. I prefer learning of something resourceful in the way that it’s easy to understand and remember and I can always go back to but she just gave us a ton of information all at once making hard to keep up and learn.
On the other hand my second workshop was more resourceful but less of my interest. There were two presenters, which I believe they did a very good job. There were many questions asked and all of them were answered which gave me a better understanding even though I wasn’t the one asking them. The main topic of the workshop was about how in New England States there are many programs which focus on helping professionals who have health issues like alcohol and other drugs addiction.
I expected to have more connections to our topics in class but I feel like these two workshops focus on making safe places where these individuals (students & professional) can get information about problems or get treated and helped.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Empowering Education by Shor -reflection

“A curriculum that does not challenge the standard syllabus and conditions in society inform students that knowledge and the world are fixed and are fine the way they are, with no role for students to play in transforming them, and no need for role for students to play in transforming them, and no need for change.”
            This quote really caught my attention, connecting me to many previous readings. Many things I have learned in class, I can relate to the quote for example it connects to Collier in the way that if teachers let students be themselves in the critical thinking and expressing what they think and believe it would value who they are and even their family beliefs and difference between one another. It would also create a safe place where students feel free to interact without hiding any difference from one another. While reading I kept thinking of how Dr. Bogad teaches her class and this reading is basically a description of her system of teaching. In the way we read and when we talk about it in class is thoughts and things of what we got from the reading. Most of the time there isn’t a right answer, it’s more like what we got and learn from the reading. Many times we have disagreements but that’s fine each of us is different so there will be some difference between us but we respect it.
            The type of curriculum Shor talks about its frequently used in middle class and upper level class society. Shor and Finn both talk about how a challenging curriculum of more thinking and less straightforward assignments is the better way to educate and how the lower classes societies are lacking of this system.  

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Citizenship in School by Kliewer (reflection)

The “citizenship in school” that Kliewer is referring is the integration in school between the non-disable students and Down syndrome students. Kliewer argues that by having special classes for these kids we are harming them mental and emotionally instead of helping them. I don’t know much about Down syndrome disability but if they can participate and learn like any other student why segregate them. All this would do is hurt them by putting down their self-esteem, making them feel distanced from everyone else and unable to participate with the other students, which they can. The “help” Down syndrome students get from these special ed classes are seem as negative judgments by them because the segregation is notneeded

“Anybody who know Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he’s gifted- in how he solves problems, cares about others, reads, reads, loves math. So I guess what I’m arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn’t be seeing Lee. It’s not Lee you’re picking out. It’s your stereotype, your mind-set. Its you, and its has nothing to do with Lee.”

This teacher makes a great point about his Down syndrome student. Its like someone walking into a class looking for the kid that been interrupting and causing problems most likely the person would think is the black or Hispanic kid in the class because those just are stereotypes that are set up in America. The same way the stereotypes of Hispanic and black kids occurs, same way the assumptions of Down syndrome kids being unable to work on the same speed and do the same assignments as the rest. This article can connect to USA land of Limitations by Kristof. The same way Kristof talks about how low income family are limit to better things in the US, same way kids with Down syndrome are being limited in their education and a better life. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Literacy with an Attitude by Finn (hyperlinks)

This reading reminds me of the reading Land of Limitation, how through education in America we are being limit to reach higher level of education and becoming successful in our society. Finn explains in details the inequality between the urban schools’ and rich schools’ curriculum. He describes how in urban school the work students do are easy going, not as challenging and not as helpful to get students equipped for higher educations like college and striving for success.

In this YouTube clip Dr. George White talks about transforming urban schools using a system approach and a few ways education can be improved. In his presentation he states “the kids that are struggling the most we have to challenge the most instead of giving them the easy reading.” Finn and White are in the same page about how a more challenging curriculum would be more effective in improving inner city kids’ education. The high school I went to has a lower class education system how Finn would say. The assignments given by teachers are really easy in the way that they don’t require any kind of thinking which teachers look for a specific answer. Teachers don’t really demand a lot from the students, expectations are low; knowing obvious details about readings, no thinking outside the box, no personal thoughts or connections. “we can teach kids in elementary schools higher order math” White states that teachers can teach higher level math but I believe there’s still other factors that have to add to that. For example in high school I took Calculus  (college level class), it was a whole year around class and with all that time in hands we didn’t even covered half of what my professor in college covered when I took it.
American Episodes 562 and 563 connect to this reading in the way that integration works because it gives the low class kids access to rich-curriculum and the codes of power that Delpit describes

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Problem We All Live With (extended)

In this blog I used Josh’s blog as the center of mine. Josh made some great points on his blog that I totally agree with him on, but I want to start by connecting these two episodes to Delpit’s work and how she talks about how we are aware of methods to improve learning and teaching in America but we just ignore them. And that’s what happening with integration being a successful methods  “but we decided it wasn’t worth the trouble” stated in the broadcast. This trouble they are talking about it’s the issue Josh focus on his blog, which is the racist judgments and opinions from the white and wealthy parents.

“This is not a race issue. This is a commitment to education issue”. To say that this isn’t a race issue is a complete lie, especially when a woman before her said in a “very kind” manner that she didn’t want people of a different race coming to their side of the bridge.

The one way all this accusations brought up by parents are proven to be fabricated by beliefs it’s shown in the second video. This one student talks about how at first she was scared of having black and Hispanic kids in her school and that now that’s sounds stupid to her. She also talks about how ashamed and embarrassed she is for even having such mindset. Like Josh said the issue wasn’t about education because statistics showed that the students who chose to traveled every morning for their education ended up averaging same test scores as the kid who were originally from there. This also proves that integration really works we just have to put in practice.

"But if you're always in the same environment, always doing the same things with the same people, you become naive. Or like, you don't really know about the world. It's better if you experience something different, because you get a feel of other people. And you end up changing, you end up becoming a different person, a lot based on the community you're surrounded by. And that's reality. Your environment really makes you."

Josh explains how integration ‘gives a chance for students who may not know the culture of power to learn it from students who do’. And not only that!! At one point in the second video they talk about how students come home and with excitement tell their parents stories and new things about the diversity in their school. Integration is not only the key to improve school and test scores but also the tool to make schools in America “safe places” like August would say. Because kids would grow up accepting the differences that exist among them.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

In The Service Of What? by Kahne and Westheimer (refection)

While reading “In The Service Of What?” by Kahne and Westheimer a few connections and experiences that I can relate it to came to mind. During my high school years my school did many acts for people in need; homeless, hospital and many others. Most of the events done in the high school I went can be consider charities. For example my school made our homeroom teachers collect cans and other types of groceries for homeless people and people in need of it, and whichever homeroom collected more food would be announced in the morning announcement and also would have a pizza party. My point on telling my personal experience is that students brought cans and groceries so their homeroom wins the announcement and the pizza party. The school doing this to whoever wins makes the act not about the people in need but about the students themselves even though it’s something helpful for the people. It was charity because we were doing something good for the people in hunger. But I know the impact in the lives of those who received the food wasn’t effective enough to resolve the problem.
“Change” events also took place in my school. Donating blood is an event that throughout an academic year happens more than once. I believe this event is a change because when nurses go to collect blood to the school, they usually go to each lunch and sit with the students and educate them and give them information about how are they making a change and saving lives by donating blood. The fact that the nurses inform the students of the way they changing people’s lives just by donation of blood, many students felt engage and extended their research and asked many questions to the nurses. I even had friends encouraging me to donate too but I couldn’t because I had to be a certain weight to be able to. The difference between change and charity is that they’re both good for the society but change goes beyond just doing good, it’s also learning about the issue.