Sunday, November 30, 2014

Empowering Education, Ira Shor- Extended comments

For my blog post this week I am using Anthony's blog
Anthony said, "Today having a teacher or professor who is genuinely passionate about getting the best from his or hers students is rare" and I feel that this is sadly true!

When I was in highschool, at least in every class once a day someone would ask the question,  "is this on the test? " and if the answer were no, you wouldn't write notes.

I understand that this video was made mainly about technology in the classroom  think this video has a deeper meaning then technology ruining classes. I think it sums up Anthony's points. When I watched this video (Which was after I read the article) I kept thinking back to shore and his argument about 
Could students resort to technology because they are board in class and not engaged in class?  

Things that Notebooks Said that really stuck that really stuck out to me were

"18% of my teachers know my name" "I complete 49% of the readings" "My neighbor paid for class but never comes" "I memorized this stuff to fail"

Over all I think Shor's reading is a definite recap of everything we have learned this semester and I think that the very first line of this reading is exactly what we have been questioning after this whole semester

"What kind of educational system do we have? What kind do we need?
How do we get from one to the other?" (11)


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kliewer, Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome- Quotes

This weeks reading by Kliewer, was really interesting. In class we have been talking a lot lately how race, and social class segregate students, but I feel as though it is worse with students with disabilities! 

Here are some quotes from the reading that stuck out to me:

"I started to notice that I didn't like the classes I was taking called special education.! had togo through special ed. almostall mylife. I wanted to take 
other classes that interested me. I had never felt so mad, 1 wanted to cry"
(Peterson, 1994, p. 6)
This quote made me think about practicum for SPED 300 I am working with a student who has a learning disability and is pulled out of the classroom and goes to a resource class class, Everytime he is pulled out he says to the people at his table, "time to go to my class for stupid people" these students catch on to the segregation, which they don't like. This kid doesn't like going to the resource classroom, he doesn't like missing part of his class he has told that to me. When I read the quote above and think about the little boy I think back to Johnson's article and realize it could tie in with disabilities and being able to see difference in these children and what they need to offer. They shouldn't be defined by their disability!
"Shaye Robbins devoted so much energy to creating a classroom community where all were 
afforded citizenship. "Don't think," she told me, "that those special needs 
kids drain anything. That class would not be half what it is if anyone of 
those kids got segregated. We're all together in there."(87)
I really liked how Shaye didn't look at her students and saw downsyndrome, August's article talks about how the classroom should be a safe space for students and that is how Shayes students felt. Shaye expressed in the article the importance of belonging to a community, she didn't look at the negatives like one of the girls from August's article who got marked down on her Spanish test for instance non of these students where she was marked down for using "Ama" instead of "Amo"
Shaye went above and beyond to seeing her students succeed with helping her teaching aid with down syndrome find a job of what she like to do!

I would put Shaye in the category of a good teacher, She reached  created curriculum using the popular story "Where the Wild Things Are" because of  which I connected it to the Penguin book that August wrote about in her article.

"Vvgotsky found that the culture of segregation surro"Iunding people with disabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through the isolation of children from socially valued opportunities"(83)  
This quote shows the article went into positive stories about how students who were included were able to not let their disability define them. It showed the difference it made when the students were included in the classrooms. I loved reading the stories for instance: 

 "When she enrolled in a regular public high school as a freshman,Christine's Individual Education Plan was passed on from her segregated school; it suggested that she had extremely poor motor control, low-level cognitive skills, low-level communication skills, a lack of adaptive skills,
 and aggressive "acting-out" behaviors. In the general curriculum of the regular high school, however, these images of defect were dramatically
 transformed (Harris, 1994)"

"By the end of John's first year in Mendocino, he was holding down two part time jobs; taking weekly voice, art, and gutair lessons, attending aerobics classes five mornings a week; occasionally reading stories to kids at the local preschoool;helping his mother teach a class on self-esteem to a group of troubled adolescents; making daily "rounds" in the community and going out to dance or listen to music at least five nights a week. He had numerous friends and acquaintances, and he was daily becoming more verbal and more assertive"   (p.108)

Before these students did feel segregated which reflected on their personality's it was amazing to see how much they had improved by getting involved!!
Here is a video, A different kind of Brilliant that focuses on the strengths of students with down syndrome, which isn't often looked at.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude, Patrick Finn-Extended comments

                   Like many other’s from the class, I had a tough time with this reading.  To better understand the reading I used this summary to get the main points of this article. After reading the full article I felt as though I was able to make many connections to past articles as well as the promising practices and my service learning project. I felt as though I understood the beginning of the text better and was able to connect it more to that.

This week I am using Cindy Rojas blog to make some extended comments on this weeks reading of “Literacy with An Attitude” by Patrick Finn. This reading along with the past couple of readings we have done have really opened my eyes to how unfairly students are treated. I couldn’t agree more with Cindy when she says, “Dividing students into different classes depending on their levels of ability and social class is segregation” . Finn said, “There were four hundred eighth graders who were sorted by reading scores from the highest, 8-1s being the highest and 8-15s being the lowest” he then goes into saying, “The theory was the slowest students would get attention in smaller classes. The reality was that as the year wore on there were spaces available in the lower classes to dump the troublesome students”(3).  This just proves that schools are not providing the same opportunity to students. This article made me think back to Dr.Christopher Emdin’s speech from Promising Practices speech when he said that students would be at more of an advantage, if they weren’t so segregated, which I agree with him on that! This reading made me think of the movie the Blindside
and how  none of his teachers paid any attention to him, they would just pass Big Mike to the next level because they didn’t want to have him as a student again. He didn't start caring about school until a family took interest in him and supported him, what if he had that support  in the beginning?  It is really sad how those teachers exist today and give up on some of their students. For example, there is this one little boy in the classroom I am in for my service learning project. He is in my group for math which is the lowest level of students but he is extremely bright for example, he can count to 100 while the rest of them can barley count to 15 as well as be able to look at a picture that has 9 circles and be able to identify that there are 9 circles and he doesn’t keep counting over them. He is definitely in this group because he is a “troublesome”  student wh doesn’t sit still and is always getting yelled at by the teacher. It is clear that he is bored in  my group so he acts up. I hope this little boy gets the positive attention that he needs from his teachers, so he can succeed.

I think that more teachers need to have that attitude that Finn had when he says, “we wanted are students to succeed and move ahead” (7). Finn got through to his students and said that he was a huge success. He approached his students the right way and pushed them, it seems like he and his students were all on the same page.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brown vs Board

The thing that stuck with me the most from the Promising Practices was when Keynote speaker, Dr. ChristopherEmdin said was black and Brown students achievement was higher prior to the Brown Vs board when schools were segregated which really shocked me.  I can remember learning about the Brown v. Board of Education but I never totally made the connection between then and how race is still a very big issue that we deal. 

The result was that segregation would finally end, but after reading the articles and even listening to the Tim Wise videos, you have to wonder has racism truly ended? In the video interview with author Tim Wise, he mentions that it is important to deal with what is real. Obama is a big topic of this interview and how he is the first African American President of the United States.
Wise argues that we need to note that there never has been an acceptable limit on whiteness. For example, you could be white and be extremely smart go to Yale or be be the complete opposite, but that individual is accepted based on their skin tone. They are both equal. Will there ever be racial equality? To be acceptable as a person of color, you don't have to be Obama and be brilliant, but what about the other men and women who are as brilliant, but good at other things and can run a company, or become lawyers. Can this racial difference we as Americans seem to over look ever be done with? Why is it that two white people can be equally accepted, but a person of color has to have a 4.0 GPA and a high standing job to be accepted? Looking at the Brown V. Board of Education case, these people were to use separate bathrooms, bubblers ( drinking fountains) and countless other public places enforced segregation. It came to the point where people grew sick and tired of being treated differently. Wise states " Work still needs to be done." The historical cases were only the beginning of the work of those decades that would lead to the continuation of work American needs on the "denial" we live in.


                             After reading the article by Bob Herbert, I couldn't help but think of the Service learning we are doing now and how we are in poorer sections of the school system. I, like Herbert, agree with the fact that if these poor children could be put into schools with children who had a educational advantage, or were of a higher class, "  get them away from the environments that are smothered by poverty. This isn't as easy as it sounds but it could be an improvement. Looking at various school systems, the schools are separated by not so much "segregation" in skin color anymore, but by area and the community around that school area; the environment. Which goes back to Kozol when he mentions in his article that the cycle of poverty is going to repeat from generation to  generation because they can't leave. Herbert states "Some have established specialized, high-achieving magnet schools in high-poverty neighborhoods, which have had some success in attracting middle class students. Some middle-class schools have been willing to accept transfers of low-income students when those transfers are accompanied by additional resources that benefit all of the students in the schools."