Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sex Positivity, Feminism and Health Implications- By: Deirdre O'Donnell

I attended a lecture held at the RIC dining hall. The speaker was Deirdre O'Donnell, a 2013 RIC graduate. She received her degree in Women's Studies. She is continuing school at BU currently for her masters degree. She has experience working with suicide prevention, sexual health, and the pleasure institution.

The main issues that Deirdre addressed included...
 Feminism: social, political, economical, and equal aspects of sexes
Social Justice
Libertarianism vs. Interventionalist Politics
Health Policy & Law- the ACA- Affordable Care Act
Sex Positivity

Public Health Research

Deirdre brought up facts and statistics about the United States that I never heard before, actually she brought up many things I had never heard before that I found pretty interesting. I learned many new things from O'Donnell but I also was able to make connections to many of the authors we have discussed in FNED.

One of the authors that O'Donnell's ideas reflected was Grinner and her term SCWAAMP. SCWAAMP is a model that represents all of of the ideal norms and values in society. For example, some favored norms in our society are straightness- and maleness, which O'Donnell addressed. After the connection I made with Grinner I realized the similarities that August has to the topic. O'Donnell's ideas relate to August because she introduced the term LGBT and emphasized the significance of understanding the term. She also discussed the issue that are present in society because people do not understand the term LGBT. Lastly, Lisa Delpit can be compared to Deirdre O'Donnell's discussion. O'Donnell brought up women's rights and the issue of society's perception of  women's roles. Her arguments were spot on, they were extremely relevant to Delpit's "rules and codes of power". In society males are seen as having the most power. O'Donnell pointed out that too often in society women are being disrespected.

Comments/ Points to Share: I really enjoyed this lecture it addressed topics that I find really important especially as a woman. These topics are sometimes uncomfortable to talk about but Deirdre made it fun and interesting. She had a great sense of humor I would definitely recommend her lecture!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Education is Politics- By: Ira Shor

Ira Shor efficently explains the significance of socialization in education. He supports his ideas with the rich experiences that children will encounter as a result socialization in their education. Too many times education consist of an, as Shor describes it a, "one way street" of teacher-student talk. Socialization in education involves, teacher and student dialogue. As an effective teacher it is important to acknowledge the difference between talking and dialogue. Through dialogue students and teachers have the opportunity to exchange thought and ask questions, and overall receive a more valuable education. Bettleheim also points out that by asking the students questions, proves to them that you trust them and believe that they are intelligent. This idea reminded me specifically of Finn and Oakes' ideas on education. Bettleheim's thoughts also made me think of Lisa Delpit.  As Lisa Delpit describes, there is a "culture of power" and those who are not already a participant, must learn the rules and expectations of the culture of power specifically in the educational setting. Yes, I agree it is necessary to teach these rules and codes of society in school. However, I believe that it is equally as important for students to question, "Why?" "Why do we have these expectations?" "Where did they come from?" as Bettleheim believed in Shor's article. Children would benefit greatly from being taught the importance of school and why education is valued. As a future teacher, I am always looking for suggestions on what to include in my classroom and useful tools and techniques to incorporate. This article from Middle Web outlines the characteristics observed in both non-effective classrooms and most effective classrooms. The characteristics of the most effective classrooms reflect the beliefs of Shor and Bettleheim. 

Functions of School Socialization, Cultural Innovation, Integration & Latent Functions 
I felt like this video was relevant to Shor's article because it introduces the term Hidden Curriculum . The term
hidden curriculum relates to the importance of socialization in education because instead of ignoring the hidden curriculum, we must acknowledge it, and inform our students of it in order to encourage students curiosity and questioning as Shor explains. 

Comments/ Points to Share?:
If socialization were more incorporated into lower class schools, would more learning take place? Would more students graduate and continue to attend college?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome By: Christopher Kliewer


I found this article to be the most interesting one that I have read this semester. Special education is something that I have considered getting my degree in. I hadn't considered that before this semester maybe because I wasn't yet familiar with it and what it really was. After this semester, with my service learning experience being in an inclusion classroom and SPED 300 I have really taken an interest in it. I have learned the importance of placing my attention on what the individual with a disability CAN do rather than focus on their disabilities. 

This week I chose to do my blog based on connections to other text we have read. While reading Kliewer's article I thought of so many of the other topics we have discussed from other texts. I found it especially interesting because at first the title kind of threw me off...Citizenship and Down Syndrome, what the heck do they have in common? But once I started reading and got into it I thought about August, TAL,  and SCWAAMP.

August- In "Safe Spaces" August discusses the issue of acknowledging the LBGT community. She emphasized the importance of including and accepting differing sexualities and making the classroom a safe place for students who are not secure with their sexual identities rather than alienating them. This relates to Kliewer when Shayne Robbins explains, " Its not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label." Just like or LGBT community, our disabled community just wants to be included without being looked at and treated differently. 

TAL- "All Lives Matter" discussed the need for the integration of races in schools. The story highlights the need to give all lives despite their race equal values, specifically when it comes to education. The value of of whites is significantly greater then that of blacks. The whites get the more qualified teachers and nicer schools while the blacks get the poor schools with the less qualified teachers. The article also pointed out that having integrated schools with black and white students results in many more learning opportunities not only for black students but for white as well. Kliewer's article reminded me of "All Lives Matter" because the author argues the need for integration of disabled and non- disabled peers in schools. If all of our students with disabilities are segregated, they are being deprived of such rich learning experiences. Not only would our children with disabilities have rich learning experiences but so would our non- disabled students. 

SCWAAMP- Leslie Grinner argues that there are certain categories in society that are valued in society over others. One of categories she identifies as highly valued by society is able-bodiedness. This connects to Kliewer because he addresses the fact that society presents a negative attitude towards individuals with disabilities, and in a way look down on them. 

Connections/ Comments to Share: I think that it is important to acknowledge the progress that society has made when it comes to the inclusion of children with disabilities in the regular education classroom, but there is definitely more improvements to be made. It is so important for young children especially to learn how to interact with their disabled peers and get to know them. It will better prepare them for later encounters in community and society in the future. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Literacy with an Attitude- Educating Working- Class Children In Their Own Self Interest - By: Patrick J. Finn (1999)

Extended Comments: This week I chose to use Katherine's blog to do extended comments on. Katherine's blog really caught my attention because we had a similar reaction while reading Finn's article. Delpit was the first thing that came to my mind after reading Finn's quote, "When I discussed discipline problems with other teachers, a frequent topic of discussion in the teacher's lounge. I would talk about my teaching methods as methods of control. I had work assignments on the board when the students entered the classroom, and so there wasn't a moment when they didn't have anything to do. 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, 3-4) I also agree with Katherine, this quote is a perfect example of Delpit's 4th aspect of power "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier."  I think Finn did a great job explaining the importance of the way you phrase statements or questions to your students. As a teacher you need to be educated on the most effective strategies for using discipline with your students. As a future teacher, both Delpit and Finn have taught me the importance of being aware of the cultures in your classroom. Too often educators neglect to recognize the cultural differences that are present in their classrooms. As both authors explained, discipline is demonstrated in many ways when students go home. Students who are already part of the culture of power are familiar with the rules and codes and know how to succeed. When it comes to those who are stuck outside the culture of power they are at a huge disadvantage. Unfairly, teachers tend to write those students off assuming that they don't want to learn, when many times thats not the case at all. Those students are just not knowledgeable of what what is expected. That is why I really admire the strategies Finn uses with his students. The fact that he always has an assignment on the board conditions his students to know what is expected of them. He demonstrated his power in the classroom in a general way that all the students understand. Finn also uses an effective technique with his students when they are off task. Instead of asking a question, he makes sure to use a statement so their is no opportunity for argument or confusion. This can also be related to Delpit's aspect of power, "Issues of power are enacted in the classroom"(Delpit, 25) The title, Educating Working- Class Children In Their Own Self Interest is the most fitting name for what every future educator and educator needs to become educated on. It is extremely crucial for educators to educate their students in their own self interest in order to provide their students with the opportunity to learn as much as they can...but more importantly to prepare them to succeed and achieve. 

Questions/ Comments/Points to share: 
"When rich children get empowering education nothing changes. But when working-class children get empowering education you get literacy with an attitude." (Finn, preface) I think that this quote of Finn's is extremely significant because it can be related to  Delpit's 5th aspect of power, "Those with power are frequently least aware of-or least willing to acknowledge its existence. Those without power are often most aware of its existence." ( Delpit, 24)  Similarly, it can be related to TAL, the importance of school integration, and Mah-Ria's story. The parents and students at Francis Howell were already participants in the culture of power. They do not have the same appreciation for the education provided at Francis Howell as the students from Normandy do. 

P.S. I found this really cute video. I think it is relevant to the idea of empowering education. The little boy in the video makes a great point, "You wanna change the world, you gotta know about it!"  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Problem We All Live With- This American Life & Separate and Unequal- Bob Herbert

Each of these readings discuss a specific topic that our country continues to tip toe around, the need for integration. The readings all question, why not integration? As the articles explain, research does prove integration to be highly beneficial. So why have we not put integration into action? 


"So we're not talking about the Normandy School District losing their accreditation because of their buildings, or their structures, or their teachers. We are talking about violent behavior that is coming in with my first grader, my third grader, and my middle schooler that I'm very worried about. And I want to know-- you have no choice, like me-- I want to know where the metal detectors are going to be. And I want to know where your drug-sniffing dogs are going to be."
Part 1 of "The Problem We All Live With", told a story about Nedra Martin and her daughter Mah-Ria Martin. While Mah-Ria was in the process of transferring to Francis Howell a primarily white school, it was heart breaking to hear all of the negative opinions from the Francis Howell parents. The parents were so eager to assume that their children would be in danger. They worried that welcoming the Normandy students would disrupt their children's learning. The quote above really upset me because the issue of the schools un-accreditation was not a result of violent behaviors. This parent clearly holds a  negative stereotype about the students of the Normandy school district. That stereotype is encouraged because of the high percentage of latino and black students, and the fact that the school lost their accreditation. The parents of the white students showed barely any open mindedness about integration. Which is exactly the problem, integration needs to be given a chance. Little do those parents know, integration is also beneficial to their children. 

One teacher testified, "I think that children can overcome the stigma of poverty. I think children can overcome the stigma of their ethnicity. But what they cannot overcome is the stigma of separation. That is like a damned spot in their being, in their self image. And that's what segregation does to children. They see themselves as apart and separate because of the language they speak, because of the color of their skin, the origin of their parents."
Part 2 of "The Problem We All Live With", told a story about a different approach to integration. A less hesitant one and a more aggressive approach towards it. John Brittain, a civil rights lawyer was in favor of integration. He knew exactly he needed to do to be as successful as possible in his attempt to make it happen. He got the entire board of education to not only support him but actually testify. Now that's saying something. The board of education knows what is best for their students. They are the ones who are most aware of the negative impact that segregation has on their children. 

"Breaking up these toxic concentrations of poverty would seem to be a logical and worthy goal. Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to school with their more affluent — that is, middle class — peers. "
Bob Herbert's article in the New York Times also discussed the need for integration, and the fact that the need is being ignored and pushed aside. His quote relates very closely to part 1 of TAL that we read. Part 1 also brought up the point that these schools made up of latino and black students, are also primarily living in poverty. Research as shown that clumping these students together is harmful. They do not have the opportunity to learn from peers and are not likely to be encouraged by their teachers and peers. Those students are more likely to benefit in a motivational environment where they will have the opportunity to learn from their peers and achieve.