Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kliewer Cont


I wanted to extend more on my feelings from this article, and after reading Alicia's blog, I knew I could reflect on more from my own life.

"I sat down, after reading this article, and thought about what I should write, and what it means to me. I have ADD, and was not diagnosed until eighth grade. Why was it not known to my teachers or parents until such a late age? the reason why, and I realize it now, is because I had learned to deal with it, and hide it from my peers and Educators. I did not want to be labeled, and taken out of the classroom that consisted of all of my friends. The children that were pulled out, and called to some kind of resource were made fun of by the other student. So, I learned how to get through my grades, and not ask for the extra help that I did need. This is upsetting and depressing to me now as an Adult looking back at this situation."

Two people extremely close to me have learning disabilities, but unless you know them very well, it is difficult to tell. This relates to Alicia's story because she was able to hide it from teachers and peers. This is not a very easy job.

One of the people I knowhad to deal with testing and being taken out of class all throughout middle school. He did not mind it at the time, and still doesn't. But the fact that he did not have many friends and became "popular" until after he switched schools and was in high school does not seem like a coinicidence to me.

My other friend has been taken out of class ever since elementary school. She has been constantly ridiculed and harrassed. Although her problem was not so severe, she needed more time on tests and easier work. I wish that she had been able to done what Alicia had done, not been the center of attention. Although the extra help she got helped her, she was never able to have a "normal life."

My own father questions what ADD and ADHD is. He even makes comments like, "Maybe they are the normal ones. Maybe the people who are constantly moving and are completely active are the normal ones. Maybe we are the "bad" ones. Maybe its not actually normal to just sit around all day and relax." This makes me question my feelings about everything concerning these problems. I know that there are some people who do need medicine to calm down, even just for safety reasons, but maybe medicating every child who is hyperactive isn't quite the cure.

Shor Cont.

For my first Shor blog, I did quotes, but after class today, I felt that I could expand on at least one of Shor's main ideas...

Shor says that empowering education is participatory. This means that students need to work together. Education needs to be active and interaction is necessary.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oakes and Finn Cont.


I read over Finn's article again, realising I had not said too much on this. I came across another point I thought was interesting. I saw that a person's success in life depends on the type of education he receives. If the person has better literacy teachers and logic teachers, in the future they will then have these attributes throughout life and will be more successful than someone who had lesser teachers who did not teach these things very well.

This website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_(education) is an overall idea of tracking in schools.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Promising Practices


When I first got to the conference, there was a lot less people than I first assumed. It quickly filled up though. We started a little bit late, so it was confusing that my first session with Elizabeth Rowell, started while everyone was still coming in the room. I learned a lot in this first session and it made me feel more comfortable for next semester, because the session leader will be one of my teachers. The subject for my class next semester and this session intertwine, both about the LGBT group. This session was mainly focused on how harassment hurts. Rowell gave the group. She said that 50% of transsexuals will have at least one suicide attempt by age 20. Self mutilation is also something else that these people may go through due to the stress of bullying and harassment.

We watched a video of mainly inner city teens singing a song to encourage others that, yes, bullying happens now, but it gets better. They shared a generalized story about their lives and what has happened to them, including being part of the LGBT group. They all confirmed that it had gotten better for them in life. I think that this video will help people, but I think it is unrealistic in the fact that it does not get better for everyone. It seems that they may give false hope, telling everyone it gets better. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Rowell told us about different groups, like FLSEN and The Trevor Project, that help support LGBT students. They talk about how it goes from “teasing to torment.” She talked about people’s views on homosexuality and what can happen because of it. Missing class or days of school, poor grades, and dropping out are some of the things that happen when harassment becomes too much for students.

She told us one interesting concept about bullying in general. She said that bullying (that’s not about gayness) is usually taken care of properly. But in today’s society, gay bullying is more accepted. In the world, it is not firmly stated that gay bullying is absolutely prohibited, so people feel as though it is acceptable. These people that are bullied and harassed feel unsupported, isolated, invisible, and feel like they are in a hostile environment. Some cannot turn to their families for support. This made me feel sad because I know it’s true and know that some children and teens lose their families because parents disown them. This session made me think of the media literacy videos we examined in class and Christensen. Christensen said how the media, at a young age, teaches people how to act or their stereotypes about different topics. Rowell showed us different videos that supported gay bullying and discrimination against LGBT’s. I believe that Christensen’s ideas relate to this because there are still videos, television shows, and movies that still support the idea that gays are bad and should be discriminated against.

Also in this session, we watched a “What would you do” episode about gay bullying. I found it very surprising that it took over 30 minutes for the first people to come up to stop the scene. It really made me think about the world and what it has come to. People really won’t stop if there is a teenager being pushed around and having people yelling gay slurs at him on a public board walk? It made me disgusted that there are people in this world that don’t seem to care about someone’s well being, but would probably want somebody to stop if it was them.
Go to this site, http://abcnews.go.com/whatwouldyoudo, and look for Bullied for Being Gay. This is the “What would you do” video we watched.
We also watched “It’s Elementary”, the show we watched part of in class. One point I found slightly disturbing was that students assume that only gay teachers want to talk about gays and other members of LGBT. I do not understand why children would even think of this. I think it may be because some people have the notion that only gays care about the way gays are treated.

It’s Elementary

Its STILL Elementary

This is the sequel to the previous video. It shows the problems people had when children were to learn about gays in elementary schools. It has the original cast members from the elementary schools and interviews with them.
I thought I would just add in 2 last statistics she gave the group. 9/10 gays face harassment, and gays are three times more likely to commit suicide that straight people. This session then also reminded me about Wise. He said that discrimination against blacks has gotten better, but it has taken a lot of time. It takes time to change this big of a thing, and I think that this relates to this situation. I think that gays or slightly more accepted now than what they were 20 years ago. I think that it will get better as time goes on, I just think that it will take a long time.

I then went to the Resource fair. It was so busy, that unless you were visiting a booth that was completely empty (which was very unlikely), you were unable to speak to the person at the table. I did get a lot of resources though. My concentration is geography and one of the tables had a great, large map that is great. At the same table, I got other geography brochures.

I was disappointed at the second session. I went to the “Universal Design for Learning” session with Maria Lawrence. She described what the topic is. She said its materials and activities used by the teacher that allows learning goals to be attainable by individuals with wide differences in their ability to see, hear, speak, move, read, write, understand language, attend, organize, engages, and remember without having to adapt the curriculum repeatedly to meet special needs. The purpose of this is also to “make instruction readily accessible for the widest range of learners”

She said that there are three components to the universal design for learning. Once was multiple means of representation, the teacher’s plan and presentation of information. Another is multiple means of expression, how students show what they know and learned, and then also multiple means of engagement. Lawrence related this workshop to her science career, teaching us about the brain, but failing to connect it back to this design for learning. I felt that a majority of the time was spent on science and her career rather than what the workshop was said to be about, so I was upset. I was very interested in this session, believing that it would give me insight into teaching students of all different levels. Lawrence was a very funny, knowledgeable woman, but I feel there was a lack of concentration on the subject at hand.

The end speeches, before Shirley’s, had one interesting point. One of the speakers said not to be afraid of curiosity and to ask questions. She used life experiences which was helpful to understand the concept of asking questions. I was taught, just like her, not to be rude and don’t ask personal questions. But this speaker made me feel more confident in asking questions about other people’s cultures and lives.

I was under the impression that the seminar was to be about multicultural relations. But when Shirley spoke, I rarely felt this was the case. Yes, he did incorporate some cultural differences and made us more aware, but most of his speech was about different teaching techniques and what happens in a teaching seminar. He gave five dimensions of multicultural education. He said they were content integration, knowledge construction process, prejudice reduction, an equity pedagogy, and an empowering school culture.

Shirley gave an interesting thought that I had noticed in high school, teachers act different and use a different curriculum when being judged, but go back to the original curriculum that worked. He also used the phrase “plate of locust” when he was discussing giving an assignment that requires the student to write about what they think their assignment would be about. I’ve never heard this phrase before and he used it in a clever way and it made me think.

One thing Shirley said I found disturbing was someone was “better off having a few drinks before driving than having a cell phone.” I thought that this thought was very disconcerting because of all the fatalities due to alcohol and driving. I understand that cell phones are bad, but if used properly, there should be no dangerous accidents. He used this phrase in order to talk about how technology has become such a big part of our life, technocracy. Shirley continued to give teaching tips, like to give students quiet time or chime time. I thought that this was a good concept because I know it can help relax the students, so by the time they are done with this quiet time, they are calmed and are able to concentrate more.

Shirley gave two different lists, the first of which teachers should have or be aware of, cultural sensitivity for second language learners, learn the pressure on leaders, you need to know what your vision is, and have a supportive network. I thought that this was a good thing for him to say because I don’t think that many people realize these traits. I’ve just recently realized you need to have a support system in a school so then your students don’t suffer from it either. The second list was the seven synergies of mind, teaching, and learning. They are openmindedness, caring and loving, stopping, professional expertise, authentic alignment, harmonizing and integrating, and collective responsibility. These traits are also important I think because they encompass everything a teacher should be about.

Overall, if the conference was to be about Multicultural beliefs, it was not successful. There was a lack of concentration on the subject. If the conference was meant to help college students get techniques for teaching and help teachers with new skills, it was successful. There were a lot of different techniques and tips given. I feel that from an educational stand point, learning to be a teacher, I learned valuable ideas that will help support my future career.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Education is Politics by Shor


I chose some quotes that I liked because of either personal reasons or because of its relation to class.

"On the one hand education is a socializing activity organized. funded, and regulated by authorities who set a curriculum managed (or changed) in the classroom by teachers. On the other hand. education is a social experience, for tens of millions of students who come to class with their own dreams and agendas. sometimes cooperating with and sometimes resisting the intentions of the school and the teacher."

This quote really made me think. I never thought of school as just an activity. I've always thought of it as a duty. It seemed like I had to go and that was that. I never also thought of school as a social experience. Yes, you get to be with your peers and make friends, but once again it always just seemed like a duty. I feel that now in college it is becoming more of a social experience. Not with peers, but with the world. We get to go work in our field and learn with hands on experience.

"The teacher is the person who mediates the relationship between outside authorities, formal knowledge, and individual students in the classroom."

I knew the teacher mediates formal knowlege, but I had never thought about the relationship of outside authoritites. I knew that there would be a relationship, but never thought of it is that big of a thing. This made me think more about my thoughts on being a teacher. It made me think about how there would always be someone at the school that would be there for me in case I needed help. There would be other teachers, secretaries, and principals. I've had it in my head that I would be all on my own once I get my own classroom, but his quote made me realize there is a support system in place at every school. I would be able to bounce off ideas on other teachers and if there was a big problem, I wouldn't have to handle it on my own. There would be others that would be there to help.

"A curriculum designed to empower students must be transformative in nature and help students to develop the knowledge, skills, and values needed to become social critics who can make reflective decisions and implement their decisions in effective personal, social, political, and economic action"

This is a pedagogy will help students be prepared in life. It will help them have all the skils they would need. It will make them book smart and common sence smart and help guide them through life. This article acknowleges what students need at a younger age in order to be successful later in life. I believe that this is a good teaching technique because it will make the students feel confident about continuing in school and going on to things bigger than schooling.

In class I think it would be interesting to discuss different teaching techniques that everyone thinks work. I know I haven't yet figured out the teacher I want to be yet and ideas for everyone I'm sure would be good.

I found this webiste that gives you the traits of different kind of teachers, it seemed very interesting.

Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome Kliewer


Kliewer discusses how children with disabilites are excluded in schools and how that then affects their relationship with the world. He mentions how separating these students from others sort of distrupts their learning, and then they will never have proper social skills. He used many different examples from other authors, but never seemed to voice his own opinion. But these sort of things made me remember my past.

No I do not have down syndrome. No i am not disabled. I am lucky. I have what's called Mosaic Turner's Syndrome. Its a problem with chromosomes. It explains why I am so short. But also, I am supposed to have odd physical features and be mentally disabled. For some reason, I have not experienced this, so I view myself as lucky. One thing I have noticed is difficulty in math, which is a main thing of Turner's syndrome. But this article made me think of how my parents refused to put me in SPED classes.

I went through testing and I seemed fine, so even though I struggled, I was never put in any special classes. When I recently told my mom about the math difficulties, she said I very well could have a problem. I asked why they never got me into different classes in school, and she gave me all the reasons that Kliewer listed. She said she wanted me to be treated normal, to be socially active. Not to be taken out of class and have people give me "the look". I know I am lucky, but I do somewhat understand what having a syndrome can do to a person, even if there's not much wrong.

I think that Kliewer uses alot of other author's to just help prove his point more that Down Syndrome children shouldn't be segregated from all. I believe this is true, but also that there needs to be assistance ins schools for those who do need help.

In class, I think there should be a discussion about how people think special ed. classes should be conducted. like if the students should be completely in these classes, or should they have a chance to be in other classes also.

Go to this site if you want info on Down Syndrome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oakes and Finn


I thought I would start off by writing some main points from Oakes, since I liked the article better.

List of activities, ideas, and things typically HIGH ABILITY students do and recieve:
`expository writing
`critical thinking
`more access to better schooling
`problem solving skills
`better teachers
`special resources
`lower class size

Compare this list now to the the things LOW ABILITIY students do, or thoughts of them are:
`not encouraged
`"restricted range of topics"
`fewer opportunities

I think the differences are absolutly incredible. This article also connects to the second article by Finn, because the author shows his particular techniques and how it worked with different students, those who "weren't smart" He said with his original teaching method, obediant students did good. If they were not obediant, they did not pass. He made the work so easy so that if they barely tried, it would be ocmpleted. Also, he never created more than a couple assignments that were too difficult to grade.
I think that this method is good for teachers, but not for the students. The students will never learn much if this is the teaching method.
Finn reminded me of Delpit. This is because he seems to be very explicit with his students of what he expects of them. He doesn't expect much, but still is very clear of what is needed and what the consequences are to be.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Confusion in the School

Day # 6
When I went to Asa Messer Annex Elementary this morning, I found out that it was picture day. People were setting up in my room that I work in. I could not find anyone at this point to tell me what to do about it. My kindergartners went to take their pictures as soon as I had to take them. I had less than 10 minutes with them. This did not help them one bit because the other tutors haven't been showing up, and when they do, are not doing Reading Buddies appropriately. I went to my first grade room, only had one student out of three. I was able to work with him for about 5 minutes before he had to leave for pictures. I am feeling extremely overwhelmed because I feel the kids will be pushed behind because of all of this and that's not what I want. :-/

I really hope everyone else is having a good time in their placements.
I am also, its just getting hardwhen these kids need so much help and they can't get it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Brown vs. Board of Education and Wise


Historical vs. Present Issues

The website we had to look at showed only a few ways in which blacks had to fight for their rights. It said how the Civil War was meant to pave way for rights for everyone, but in the early 1900s, many laws were put in place and old customs returned that caused segregation. There was a fight for civil rights for blacks, which shows that there was effort.

In the Wise videos, it was said that there is evidence of racism of people of color is still relevant. It also says 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. That some people of color are accepted, but this is not really a help because there are still many other people. There aren't any certain 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, there will always be racism.

Another interesting idea from Wise was that all the movements for acceptance of blacks has taken time. We are moving forward, it is a good thing. 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 is that they both say that it took time to make change. The website had a timeline so you could easily see the years that went by to change everything. The video explicitly says that it has taken time.

In class, I think there should be a discussion on what people can do to help the progression of change. If people work together, then it would probably be an easier thing to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R279NLNBfLI&feature=related. This video is a history of Brown vs. Board of Education and different facts about Blacks in American history.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Media Literacy Response

Media Literacy

I was very interested in our Media Literacy class, particularly on the media's role with beauty. I looked for more videos. Most you have probably seen or we did in class, but they are here to see...

I really enjoyed this video. It gives facts as it shows you pictures and other visual representations.

This is a CBS video that interviews Ellen.

This is froma student doig this for a health class. It was actually quite interesting with A LOT of facts.

This is how you can easily photoshop a larger woman into a smaller person. This is why parents need to talk to their kids to tell them that not all people in magazines are actually that thin.